James Beard Foundation's Taste New York City fall 2014

Here are the five coolest things to do in and around Miami this week. We publish a new list every Wednesday, covering Thursday through Wednesday. Stay tuned for insider updates on restaurant openings, festivals, exhibitions, shows, weekend escapes, and more. Planning a trip? Check out the AFAR guide to Miami.

September 17 I Food
Yelp’s Big Bite in Little Haiti
More than 50 of Miami’s best restaurants will show up at Yelp’s Big Bite in Little Haiti to show what they’re all about, handing out free tastings and battling to win their chosen category: Savory, Sweet, or Sips. Expect newbies like Cafe Curuba, LOBA, and Descarga Brewing Company to come out with all guns blazing. The event is free but there’s a suggested $10 donation to benefit Tradisyon Lakou Lakay, a nonprofit dedicated to educating people on Haitian culture. RSVP required, in advance through Yelp.
8–10 p.m. | Little Haiti Cultural Arts Center, 212 NE 59th Terr., Miami | (305) 960-2969 | Free ($10 donation suggested) | website

September 17 I Art education
Locust Salon Scholars
Locust Salon Scholars’ Fall 2015–Spring 2016 semester is kicking off on Thursday. This series of six lectures by Locust Projects aims to provide an understanding of contemporary art in an informal setting. Each talk is given by an art professional from Miami. The inaugural lecture is by Alison Spear, architect and interior designer, and is titled “Inside The Box: The Meeting of Architecture & Interiors.” Later lectures will include a preview of The Rubell Collection’s new exhibition for Art Basel, conversations on the importance of patronage, and a look at the next generation of public art in Miami-Dade County. The cost of attending a lecture includes lunch, and there are discounts if you sign up for more than one.
12–1:30 p.m. | Locust Projects, 3852 N Miami Ave., Miami | (305) 576-8570 | From $70 | website

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September 18 I Foodie fundraiser
James Beard Foundation’s Taste America
The James Beard Foundation is on tour and they’re coming to Miami. The Forge’s James Beard Award–winning Christopher Lee will be joined in the kitchen by fellow award winner Rocco DiSpirito and local pastry chef Sergio Navarro (of The Pubbelly Restaurant Group). These super-chefs will be cooking up a four-course dinner to raise money for the James Beard Foundation’s scholarship fund. But before you even sit down to enjoy it, enjoy tastings from a who’s who of local chefs: Timon Balloo of SUGARCANE, City Hutson of Ortanique on the Mile, Brad Kilgore of Alter, Giorgio Rapicavoli of Eating House and Glass & Vine, and Cesar Zapata of Phuc Yea.
6 p.m. | The Forge, 432 West 41st Street, Miami Beach | (305) 538-8533 | From $250 | website

September 19 I Music
Death to the Sun
Death to the Sun is a free festival that celebrates Miami’s independent music scene. A series of 10-minute performances, with just 10 minutes in between, take place for all of 10 hours at the North Beach Bandshell. This fifth annual festival is a way to get a real grasp of what’s up-and-coming, by stripping away “the bells and whistles of Miami’s nightclub lifestyle to allow the music to speak for itself,” according to the promoters. The bandshell is just steps from the beach, so you can walk on over to cool off between sets. Don’t forget to bring cash for the food trucks.
12–10 p.m. | North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave., Miami Beach | (305) 672-5202 | Free | website

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Weekend Escape
Grand Bahama
For less than $200 you can hop a ferry from Fort Lauderdale and be on Grand Bahama island in four hours. Why not? From Grand Bahama you can take a ferry to a number of other Bahamian islands, though if you’re just here for the weekend it’s probably not worth it. Grand Bahama is more developed than some of the surrounding islands, but it’s still filled with nature. Check out the Lucayan National Park, a 40-acre park famous for its underwater cave system. Other attractions include Garden of the Groves, the Port Lucaya Marketplace, casinos, and, of course, lounging around the beach alongside clear turquoise waters.

Patricia Guarch Wise is a Miami native and blogger behind www.miaminicemag.com. Her interests include paella, paranormal activity, Proenza Schouler, and her Pekingese named Bonnaroo.