Best Restaurants, Attractions, and Things to Do in Kendall, Florida

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eye in the sky

Little Haiti, Downtown Miami, Miami Beach, Hialeah and Kendall are rich in history, steeped in culture, architectural richness, immigration stories and natural beauty. Let’s explore.

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There will come a time when no one will remember people used to look down on Kendall, when they acted like it was some remote suburban outpost next door to the Everglades (or the end of the earth ).

But locals looked at Kendall and chose to live there. Kendall stretches from US 1 to the Turnpike between the Snapper Creek Canal (just north of Sunset Drive) past the area near The Falls Mall. Anything west is categorized under West Kendall, which is basically everything above the Everglades.


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Kendall is not a city, town or township. It is an unincorporated county of Miami-Dade, so residents have a Miami address. Kendall is primarily where people live. Unknown fact: The area is named after Henry John Broughton Kendall, director of the Florida Land and Mortgage Company, who purchased the land in 1883.

Most residents commute to jobs in other parts of the county and bought their home in Kendall because it felt safe and affordable. As a result, everyone knows someone who lives in Kendall. Everyone has a family member who lives in Kendall. And while Kendall isn’t one of those live, work, and play neighborhoods that Miami is obsessed with, these three things happen in Kendall.

As housing prices climb across the county, they’re also climbing in Kendall. And while many may consider Kendall too far from the Miami action to be relevant, residents are probably fine with that.

Here are all the things we love about Kendall:

Parks

Killian Greens Golf Club9980 SW 104th St.; Miccosukee Golf and Country Club6401 Kendale Lakes Parkway; Kendall Indian Hammock Park11395 SW 79th St.; Westwind Lakes Park6805 SW 152nd Ave.

Kendall has not one but two affordable golf courses. The weekend rate at Killian Greens for 18 holes is just $60. If you do the whole course, it only costs $30. Just try not to get run over by a clueless driver speeding down Killian Parkway when you need to hit holes 10 through 13. The maximum you’ll pay at Miccosukee Golf Course in Kendale Lakes is $65.

For Miami cyclists, the trail around the Miccosukee course is the county’s best-kept secret. It offers four miles of an uninterrupted bike path where the biggest dangers are Muscovy ducks trying to cross the street (and riders wearing headphones).

Indian Hammocks Park is where Kendall keeps the game of Frisbee golf alive (IYKYK). There’s also a skate park inside Indian Hammocks and another a few miles west in Westwind Lakes Park.

Point: If you’re going for a bike ride on the Miccosukee Golf Course, stop for empanadas and a coffee at the Blue Star Food Store (66th Street and 139th Court).

holes in the wall

You know what malls are full of? Amazing tiny little restaurants.

Do you know what Kendall is drunk on? Strip malls.

You can try Empanada Harry’s, Smoke & Dough, Mr. & Mrs. Bun, Tacos & Tattoos, Puerto Madero, Hungry Bear Subs. There’s even a place called Hole in the Wall Grill in Kendall.

Point: Tacos & Tattoos offers a taco queso frito that will make you forget about chicken and beef.

Miami_By_Air_Kendall_MJO_7
Aerial view of Town & Country Mall in Kendall MATIAS J. OCNER [email protected]

Lively restaurant

Ghee, 8965 SW 72nd pl.

James Beard Award-nominated chef Niven Patel said, “Where’s the next big thing in Miami?” He decided it was Dadeland before opening his farm-to-table Indian restaurant, Ghee. Patel is on his way to becoming one of South Florida’s most celebrated chefs, with new Mamey and Orno concepts opening at Thesis Hotel in Coral Gables.

But it was his work at his Kendall restaurant that earned him being named one of Food & Wine magazine’s Top 10 New American Chefs of 2020. Give him his James Beard Award already.

Point: If you’ve never been to downtown Dadeland, almost all the parking lots are underground.

old stuff

Super Wheels Skating Center, 12265 SW 112th St.; 305-270-9386; Kendall Ice Rink, 10355 Hammocks Blvd.; 305-386-8288; Arcade Odyssey, 12045 SW 117th Ave.; 305-253-2722

There is a quad skate roller rink (Super Wheels), an ice rink (the boring name Kendall Ice Arena) and an arcade where you can play Frogger and Galaga (Arcade Odyssey) in Kendall.

Kendall Ice Arena has two types of people: Miami folks who will never learn to skate and a small team of trained skaters and hockey players who just don’t want to trip over them. Super Wheels will play your favorite freestyle jams, skating classics like “Planet Rock” and some songs the kids listen to on Tik Tok. Pleasure will be there for everyone. Arcade Odyssey is tucked away in Kendall’s most modest plaza and has no windows, so there’s nothing to let you know you’re not in the 1980s except the fact that you’re old enough to order a beer before and after losing at Pac-Man.

MIA_Kendall_MJO_12
Visitors skate at the Kendall Ice Arena at 10355 Hammocks Blvd. at Kendall on Saturday, May 8, 2021. MATIAS J. OCNER [email protected]

Point: Adult Skate Monday is the way to go if you don’t want to trip over a bunch of kids at Super Wheels.

Breweries

Spanish Brewery Marie, 14241 SW 120th St #109; 786-502-2180; Strange Beast Brewery and Pizza, 15220 SW 72nd St.; 305-912-7390

If one brewery is what an area needs to prove it’s cool, Kendall has two, Spanish Marie and Strange Beast. We’re behind these two spots because we don’t want to have to go to Wynwood for craft beer.

Point: Strange Beast is located next to Miami’s only ice cream sale, Sweet Melody Ice Cream.

This story was originally published February 23, 2022 06:00.

Amy Reyes is the editor of Miami.com. She likes to run and drink wine in that order.

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