CLOSED: Simple and Fresh Food in a Hidden Artist Village- Iron Side Cafe (Upper Eastside)

This cafe is now closed, however there is a new place called Ironside Pizza, which is in the same space. It not only has gluten-free pizza, but I really like what they have done with the space!

Today I was reading (scanning the Restaurants and See & Do sections like I usually do) and I read a review about the Iron Side Cafe, which is in the Upper Eastside in an artist village of sorts also called Iron Side. I had seen headlines for the art complex, but hadn’t read much more and only understood what it was a little bit. Iron Side Cafe sounded cool and I did want  to learn more about it’s location so I added it to the Bucket List (and Tweeted about it as well). A couple hours later a friend and I decided to leave work to get lunch and I figured it’d be a perfect reason to check out Iron Side Cafe (and since it’s pretty close).

My friend Mike has a friend whose sister works and lives at Iron Side so he knew a little bit about it. It is an artist community where artists, architects, and designers can work (and I guess live) in a sustainable and eco-friendly complex of former warehouses. It was cool to visit because there is some cool art and design around and it has the industrial/warehouse feel that I associate with the Pearl/inner SE Portland (and I kind of miss). Plus the concept of the artist complex is really cool. It’s awesome to see these types of places developing in Miami and I think there is so much more potential to places like that (the complex itself and the neighborhood it’s in, as well as Wynwood, which has a very similar vibe). The website for Iron Side art complex itself is- if you want to learn more about it.

Iron Side Cafe is in the complex off the main courtyard in a small, glass enclosed building. It has a number of outdoor seating (near a grill where a lot of cooking is done) and then the inside is very homey with couches and a couple tables, as well as a variety of unique decorations like architecture books on the table and guitars in the corner. The vibe is definitely that of a small, welcoming cafe. The two business owners were there working and the one who served us was very friendly and helpful!

The menu is on the smaller side and is limited for gluten-frees since it has a lot of pizzas and sandwiches/wraps but there were a number of things on the menu I wanted to try. Everything on the menu seems very simple and fresh and very complementary to everything in the dish. I got their grass-fed beef burger, which came with arugula and I added fontina cheese. The arugula came with a vinaigrette on it and they also brought me a small side of very authentic mustard. All the flavors were great separate and together. I kind of felt like one of the chefs on the Food Network that makes a meal with a variety of parts and then mixes them together and goes “oh so delicious- the ” ” with the ” ” goes so well.” With Iron Side that actually is true though. The fontina cheese was great on the burger and the mustard gave a slight spicy-sweet kick to it, along with the slight tangyness of the vinaigrette and arugula. I liked them all separately and together. My friend Mike got the vegetable pizza and he said the vegetables were top-notch.

I really enjoyed the atmosphere of Iron Side and it was cool to afterwards quickly walk around the courtyard of the art complex. Even with my options limited to the burger and a few other things (a chicken and asparagus dish looked really good too!) I would come back to have that! Something I definitely want to try when I asked the owner if they serve dinner is that on Saturdays at 8 PM they have a grass-fed BBQ meal and that sounds delicious and awesome so I’ll be hitting that up on Saturdays!

If you’re on the Upper Eastside and want to experience some of the new, unique development that’s happening in Miami check out Iron Side and if you’re looking for a fresh and simple meal right there check out the Iron Side Cafe.

The outside of the restaurant from the courtyard
The main counter
A lot of the unique decorations that make it homey and welcoming
Tons of floor-to-ceiling windows throughout most of the small restaurant
Vegetable Pizza
Grass-fed burger with fontina cheese and arugula
Outside seating area (with grill)
Main courtyard of the art complex
An example of one of the artist’s studios

Iron Side Cafe (7600 NE 4th Ct Miami, FL)

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