Things to do: Welcome to Westchester

We are pleased to introduce Ashley Martinez as our new editorial fellow. Ashley graduated in May from the University of Miami School of Communication, and for her first writing assignment, we asked her to tell us what’s awesome about her Miami neighborhood. Welcome, Ashley, and for the rest of you in The New Tropic family, welcome to Westchester.



Alright, let’s get something out of the way: Westchester gets a bad rep. Though not as trendy as sultry South Beach or hipstery Wynwood, this little suburb is home to some classic Miami institutions. This area is located between SW 40 Street and Calle Ocho, or Eighth Street, and stretches from the Palmetto Expressway to SW 117 Avenue. The 2010 Census noted 85 percent of Westchester’s population is Hispanic, which has filled the area with quaint Cuban restaurants, bakeries and family-owned spots.

Westchester is full of great places to eat and hang out, if you know where to look. So, here are some spots to explore when you’re looking for something away from the tired tourist hustle.

Grab a bite

Frankie’s Pizza: the mom and pop pizza joint

For more than 60 years, Frankie’s has been making fresh pizza from scratch on Bird Road. Handmade and piping hot, their unique pie is served in squares, allowing for a satisfying crunch in each bite. The joint is small, so take your pizza to go or head around the back for some picnic-style seating.

Arbetter’s Hot Dogs: the homey hot dog hut

The humble hot dog is the star of the show at Arbetter’s, a local favorite for its no-frills food and attitude. Small tables and a counter make for a cozy dining experience at this family-owned 50-year-old restaurant. Come prepared because it’s cash only, but expect their chili dogs, corn dogs and a mound of cheese fries to be pure comfort.