Brickell vs Edgewater: Which Miami Neighborhood is Best?
Apr 14, 2021 April 14, 2021
When most people are thinking about moving to Miami, the two most popular neighborhoods mentioned are Edgewater and Brickell. These two neighborhoods are only about a 10- to 15-minute drive from each other, but differ greatly. So, how can you know if Brickell is right for you? Or will Miami’s Edgewater neighborhood be better?
Both neighborhoods have grown considerably in recent years. While both areas provide plenty of variety in housing options, they also offer differing lifestyles and benefits. We’ve provided a comparison of these two popular Miami neighborhoods based on categories we think are important to living a good quality of life to help you decide which area could be best for you.
Lifestyle: Brickell vs Edgewater
Edgewater is primarily a quiet, residential and waterfront neighborhood nestled on the shores of Biscayne Bay and the 8-acre Margaret Pace Park. It’s a neighborhood that is ideal for families and young professionals, many of whom are purchasing their first property or moving off of South Beach. Located to the east of Biscayne Boulevard and just far enough away from Downtown Miami to enjoy its own identity, Edgewater is one of Miami’s most well-kept secrets for those who favor a serene, residential lifestyle that still provides access to all of the eclectic offerings that make Miami exciting.
Margaret Pace Park in Edgewater. Photo by Ryan Healy
A quiet enclave that is off-the-beaten path and generally overlooked by tourists, Edgewater provides a laid-back, nature-oriented yet urban lifestyle with easy access to the Downtown Arts District, the Wynwood Arts District, the Design District, Brickell, and South Beach. Edgewater also is also still growing, with more luxury highrises, restaurants, grocery stores and such on the way.
Brickell is, well, Brickell. It’s Miami’s Financial District and home to many international corporate headquarters. It’s a dense and busy area that has been playfully nicknamed “Brookle” or the “Brooklyn of the South,” and more recently, “The Wall Street of the South.” As new construction projects have increased the density in the Brickell area over the past 5 - 10 years, Brickell is now actually more dense than Brooklyn, and in fact could be more easily compared to lower Manhattan.
City Centre in Brickell. Photo by Jill Bazeley
Ideal for ride-or-die urban types, executives, workaholics, and those who wish to live and work in the same neighborhood, Brickell is also home to families and international business executives who come to Miami for extended periods while clenching important financial deals or managing international accounts. Brickell is known for its bevy of world-class restaurants, a vibrant but mature nightlife, as well as its plethora of versatile shopping options, including the open-air Brickell City Centre, with dozens of luxury brands.
Business: Brickell vs Edgewater
Edgewater is essentially a laid-back, homey residential district where you’ll generally see few tourists and neighbors will recognize one another while walking their dogs, pushing strollers or bicycling. There are only a handful of shared work spaces and offices and commercial buildings. If you prefer to leave the work at the office, and decompress when you get home, Edgewater offers that.
Photo by Marcus Lenk on Unsplash
Brickell, on the other hand, is a buzzing international banking hub that represents the largest of its kind in the US, and the second-largest financial center south of New York. Flanked by the Miami River and Biscayne Bay, Brickell offers a unique Miami-style, urban experience that includes plenty of open-air restaurant options, high-rises with spectacular water views, and an active but casual corporate environment. If you like to get deals done over dinner and then walk home, then Brickell is good for you.
Walkability and Transportation: Brickell vs Edgewater
While Edgewater is tucked away between Biscayne Bay and the eastern side of Biscayne Boulevard, it’s still close enough to walk or bicycle to many of Miami’s most desirable locations, such as the Perez Art Museum (PAMM) and the Frost Science Museum, Museum Park, the Wynwood Arts District, the Design District, and Downtown Miami, as well as the Miami-Dade College Wolfson Campus.
Wynwood Arts District near Edgewater
Edgewater has its own Metromover stop, and its close proximity to Downtown Miami means that you can take advantage of the Metrorail and Brightline trains that can take you just about anywhere in South Florida, eventually to Orlando, from the convenient MiamiCentral station, as well as the up-and-coming commuter rail service that will take you to locations both within and beyond the greater metropolitan Miami area.
In Brickell, the free Metromover can take you to Wynwood, Coconut Grove, and Downtown Miami, where you can connect to the Brightline trains leading to the tri-county area and soon, to Orlando. There is also a free Brickell trolley and a very inexpensive airport shuttle that costs $2.25 and runs about every 20 minutes.
In short, both neighborhoods are well connected to public transportation and are highly walkable.
Looking to live car-free?
Don’t miss our article on other Miami neighborhoods where you can live without a car.
Parks and Greenspace: Brickell vs Edgewater
Access to greenspace is Edgewater’s claim to fame, and wins in this category pretty fairly. The entire neighborhood is anchored by the expansive and multifaceted Margaret Pace Park, with its winding pathways, mangrove forests, two dog parks, sports activities, including basketball, volleyball and tennis, and waterfront access for water sports such as kayaking or waterboarding. The park provides an array of outdoor options for nature-themed recreation ideal for young families with children and bohemian artsy types, as well as areas where dogs and their human companions can get plenty of good, clean exercise.
Brickell Key Park
The dense and bustling Brickell also has some parks, as the area was planned to provide sun and fun options at locations such as Brickell Park, the waterfront walk around Brickell Key Park, Alice C. Wainwright Park, and Miami Circle Park. While none of these provide the splendor of the expansive Margaret Pace Park in Edgewater, you can enjoy shady walking trails and areas for dogs to run and play, as well as some breezy water views that make you forget momentarily that you’re in the middle of one of the country’s busiest urban hubs.
Arts and Culture: Brickell vs Edgewater
Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science
Edgewater’s proximity to the Downtown Arts District makes it incomparable as far as access to the arts in comparison to busy Brickell. From Edgewater you can easily walk or bicycle to some of the city’s most renowned cultural venues, such as the Adrienne Arsht Center, Ziff Opera House, Perez and Frost Museums, American Airlines Arena, and many smaller art galleries, venues, and artists’ studios.
Edgewater is also within a short bike or Uber ride to the infamous street art that has made Wynwood famous, along with its galleries and the yearly art fairs that draw millions of international tourists during Miami Art Week. It’s also a stone’s throw from the Design District, and the area’s most prestigious art exhibition spaces and collections, such as the Moore Building, The de la Cruz Collection, and the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA).
While Brickell is better known for its restaurants, chic roof-top bars, and entertainment venues than for cultural venues, its easy transportation options provide quick and easy access to the Downtown Arts District and many of the same attractions that are close to Edgewater.
Eating and Shopping: Brickell vs Edgewater
La Mar - Gaston Acurio at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel
As far as eating and shopping options, it’s impossible for residential Edgewater to compete with Brickell’s plethora of casual eateries and fine-dining options, as well as the wide variety of shopping opportunities in Brickell, including those at Mary Brickell Village, Brickell City Centre, and all along Brickell Avenue. Some of these include The Capital Grille, an upscale steak house perfect for impressing corporate clients, and La Mar by Gaston Acurio at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, where Peruvian fusion cuisine is served in a chic waterfront setting.
Among one of the area’s newest eateries is EST.33 Thai Craft Brewery and Kitchen, bringing a blend of Asian flavors blended with traditional American barbecue, with the bonus of craft beer. An excellent affordable waterfront lunch can be had at Crazy About You, where you can enjoy Mediterranean flavors in an understated bistro setting on the bay. There are also two food halls at Brickell City Centre, where you’ll find a wide assortment of eateries as well as specialty shops serving up all types of food from cultures all over the world, particularly authentic Italian.
If you’re a shop-till-you-drop type, you’ll feel right at home in Brickell amid the many boutiques and wide array of shops at Mary Brickell Village and Brickell City Centre.
Edgewater’s Amara at Paraiso
By comparison, Edgewater provides walkable access to some of Miami’s most popular restaurants. For fine dining, Edgewater’s Amara at Paraiso is a waterfront favorite. And Paolo Fontanot’s Italian bakery and cafe is also a can’t miss, being the only U.S. location outside of Italy. Tons more spots are in our Local’s Guide to Restaurants in Edgewater. Edgewater is also very close to Downtown Miami and Wynwood restaurants, including Kush, known for its infamous burgers and budget lunch menu. For more adventurous fare, Dunkunoo serves up Jamaican dishes along with exotic Caribbean drinks, and an assortment of experimental small plates are available on the eclectic tasting menu at Alter.
Edgewater also provides easy access to Wynwood’s unique boutiques as well as the specialty shops in the nearby Design District, and Downtown Miami’s versatile shopping options.
Architecture and Housing Options: Brickell vs Edgewater
Edgewater was, until recently, a neglected and downtrodden enclave nestled between Biscayne Boulevard and Biscayne Bay, populated by working-class families living in smallish mid-20th-century bungalows and a few low-rise condo buildings. All of that has changed in recent years as luxury condominium towers and modern new developments have replaced many of the older properties with chic new waterfront condos adorned with balconies boasting exquisite bay views, direct access to the bay, and modern family-friendly amenities. For those drawn to the nostalgia of the neighborhood, a few of the area’s old bungalows have been remodeled and upgraded and still dot the local landscape.
Brickell Key neighborhood
Brickell is a larger area that is divided into three sections: Old Brickell, The Financial District, and Brickell Key. The area south of SW 15th Road is known as Old Brickell, and along its grand, tree-lined street, consists of mainly of older low-and-mid-rise condo buildings on the water, as well as small firms, international banks, and other professional service offices, along with a few ritzy mansions dating back to the Mary Brickell era.
The area north of SW 15th Road, and particularly around Brickell Avenue, is known as the Financial District and here you’ll see skyscrapers, both business and residential, which include condos, hotels and mixed-use residential and corporate projects. While many of the area’s older condos provide waterfront access to Biscayne Bay, most newer constructions are being built inland due to limited availability of real estate in this increasingly dense area. Brickell Key is a more isolated, private enclave with high-end, waterfront residential condos.
Cost of Living: Brickell vs Edgewater
Edgewater is a family-friendly area, with condo prices averaging around $386 per square foot and average residential units listing at around $502,715.
Brickell has a wider array of options and attracts a variety of international investors, with property options ranging from exclusive waterfront penthouses to more affordable condo units. The average listing price in Brickell is about $399 per square foot or $530,966 for an average residential unit; however listings may run as high as $29,110,500 or about $2,039 per square foot.
Which Neighborhood is Better? Brickell or Edgewater?
These two Miami neighborhoods offer distinctive advantages and lifestyle options, so that question we’ll leave for you to answer. But we are here to help you determine which neighborhood is most suitable for you. If you’re in the market for a quiet, family-friendly environment with less noise and traffic, access to nature, and very little tourism, you’ll absolutely love Edgewater, which offers a quiet respite after a quick commute from work.
If you prefer to immerse yourself in the Manhattan of the South, with access to the country’s financial center, great happy-hour locations, limitless dining options, and entertainment options where you can spend the night in the company of exciting international visitors, you’ll feel right at home in Brickell.
If you’re interested in more of our neighborhood comparisons, check out these below:
- Edgewater vs South Beach
- South Beach vs Miami Beach
- Edgewater vs Downtown Miami
- The Miami Beaches: South vs Mid-Beach vs North Beach
- Brickell vs South Beach
- Brickell vs Brickell Key
If you’d like to talk more with us about which Miami neighborhood is right for you, give us a call or email, and we’ll be happy to go through the many available listings in both Edgewater and Brickell, so you can make a well-educated decision as to which spot is ideal for you.