For those who haven’t visited in a minute, some of the recent changes Miami has undergone may come as a surprise. The Design District, which for years was a maze of traffic cones and construction dust, is now brimming with fashion boutiques and places to stop and grab a cup of coffee, a taco or a scoop of local soft-serve ice cream.
Almost a decade ago, New York transplants Anastasia Koutsioukis and her husband, Ahmet Erkaya, opened the charming Mandolin Aegean Bistro, a beloved open-air Greek restaurant in Miami’s Buena Vista neighborhood. This year, Koutsioukis opened her Mrs. Mandolin lifestyle boutique and cafe just down the block. There, she sells eclectic housewares, jewelry and clothing sourced from the couple’s travels to Greece, Turkey and Morocco, including vintage Anatolian hand-carved cutting boards, North African throw pillows and breezy tunics. A small cafe by the front entrance serves specialty coffee from the local roaster Per’La, sweet Greek pastries and gooey chocolate-chip cookies flaked with sea salt.