History of Miami’s Espanola Way

Here at Mercato Della Pescheria, we’re lucky to call one of Miami Beach’s most evocative streets home: the famous Espanola Way. It makes a colorful and festive backdrop for the top-grade Italian dining we specialize in, and a fine, highly walkable destination all its own.


Espanola Way: The “Historic Spanish Village”

Strung between Pennsylvania and Washington avenues south of 15th Street, Espanola Way launched its career as one of the defining drags in South Beach in the 1920s, when N.B.T. Roney and William Whitman schemed up its design to echo a Mediterranean-style bohemian thoroughfare. It initially went by the romantic (and obviously not quite accurate) name of the “Historic Spanish Village,” and began drawing the movers, shakers, bigwigs, and who’s-who of Miami’s gilded demographic to its nightlife row.

Among the fixtures of that era, the Clay Hotel, still stands just a stone’s throw from Mercato Della Pescheria—a place once frequented by the one and only Al Capone, who along with his associates injected a bit of underbelly danger to the glamor of Espanola Way society.

Decline & Revival

After the high times of its early years, Espanola Way, like much of Miami, gradually slid into a more depressed and derelict state of affairs for the middle decades of the 20th century. But this all turned around in the 1980s, when creative developers such as Barbara Capitman and Linda Polanksy injected new life into the neighborhood. With its bright, colorful, Spanish-inspired facades and lush palms, Espanola Way—an elegantly eccentric counterpart to Lincoln Road just a few blocks north—became a go-to location for movies (such as The Birdcage), TV shows (not least the iconic Miami Vice), ads, and music videos looking to tap into some heavy-duty Miami Beach atmosphere.

The Espanola Way of Today

Today Espanola Way hustles and bustles along with art galleries, cafés, boutiques, and other friendly establishments: a South Beach business community we’re very pleased to be a part of here at Mercato Della Pescheria Miami. Come take in the one-of-a-kind Espanola Way ambience from one of our outdoor tables while relishing the finest in Italian cuisine: mouthwatering seafood, pasta, steak, and other dishes that, given their Old World pedigree, nicely reflect the whole European vibe of the avenue.

We’re proud to be part of the modern-day fabric of Espanola Way: the sort of street driven by lively, here-and-now energy while also drenched in a whole lot of history.