We just got back from a weeklong trip to Coral Gables and Miami to celebrate New Year’s Eve! 2021 was a long year and we needed this time relaxing in the sun and trying many of the top Coral Gables restaurants. We ate and drank so much, that I wanted to put together this blog post with all my recommendations.
This post includes the 16 top Coral Gables restaurants we tried on our trip. I researched this area a lot before visiting and I think I have narrowed down the best places for different types of cuisines and budgets. A few of these are in Coconut Grove, but every restaurant is within a 15-minute drive of Miracle Mile in Coral Gables where we stayed by. Here are my picks for the top Coral Gables restaurants for both casual and luxurious meals, as well as cafés and desserts.
Casual Coral Gables Restaurants
If you are looking for a casual place to eat, these first six suggestions have you covered for breakfast, lunch and dinner. All of them offer seating at a minimum, but you can get take out or delivery from most as well. You can expect to spend around $20 per person at these spots, not including alcohol. Here are my top Coral Gables restaurants for a casual meal.
Threefold Café – Breakfast
Of the many places we had breakfast, Threefold Café was our favorite. This Australian restaurant focuses on unique breakfast and lunch dishes, and high-quality coffee. The Moroccan Spice Avocado Toast was one of the best things I ate all week. We also loved the Fingerling Loaded Potatoes and Ginger & Lime Cold Brew.
On top of excellent food, the atmosphere is charming and they pay their staff a living wage. There are now three locations throughout Miami, so make sure to try Threefold Café!
LoKal – Burgers
Over in the Grove, LoKal is regularly named the best burger in Miami, so we had to try it. Even better, it is one of the top Coral Gables restaurants for dog friendly dining! They will make and serve your dog a dish, so of course we had to take Kiwi.
We went on a busy weekend night and still had a top-notch experience. Andrew got the Frita and I got the Miami Blues and we both enjoyed the burgers and the toppings. The meat is locally sourced from a ranch with free-range, grass-fed cattle and you could taste the difference. We also were thrilled with the craft beer selection, the crispy fries and Kiwi’s enthusiasm for his chicken and rice meal!
Bay 13 Brewing – Crowd Pleaser
If you aren’t looking for a specific cuisine, or have a big group with multiple preferences, Bay 13 Brewing is the place to go. This brew pub was right across the street from our hotel and we found ourselves here multiple times for the Australian beer and foodie cuisine.
There’s quite the variety of options for lunch and dinner here, from fish & chips to lamb kabaabs. We especially like the elevated bar snacks, like the burrata. The beer is fantastic, especially the Arvo Pacific Ale, but they also have a full bar and soft drinks. Between this and the sprawling patio, Bay 13 Brewing is definitely one of the top Coral Gables restaurants.
CRAFT Coral Gables – Pizza
Another place we loved right near our hotel was CRAFT Coral Gables. They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but their main specialty is pizza. You can find interesting toppings like avocados, Doritos or burrata. We loved the classic margherita with mushroom, which was made with noticeably fresh dough and sauce!
They also have brunch dishes like toasts and a variety of beers and cocktails. The outdoor patio has plenty of shade that is great for a sunny day, but the inside is modern and comfortable as well. If you are looking for pizza, this is my pick for the area!
Graziano’s Market – Sandwiches
It might seem odd to have a Latin American market on this list of top Coral Gables restaurants, but the sandwiches here are too good to miss! We came here on a whim our first morning for sandwiches and ended up back again later in the week because they were so good. For $11, you can get a massive sandwich and a side of crispy breakfast potatoes, for there or to-go.
We tried the Egg & Brie sandwich and the Prosciutto Mozzarella sandwich. Both were extraordinary, but the prosciutto one especially stood out with the buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil. They have a few other sandwiches, as well as omelets, salads and other Argentinian street food, like empanadas. The sandwiches really stand out the most, for their value and flavor.
Copper 29 – Pub Food with a Twist
One more spot I have to include is Copper 29. It is primarily a bar, so I was conflicted about including it. However, I could not leave it out because of how good and the food and drinks were! We went for happy hour and found the truffle mac and cheese to be perfection, as well as the drinks and other small plates we got!
They do have large plates for brunch and dinner too, with options like flatbreads, nachos and eggs benedict. Most of the menu is items you would see at a local pub, but with a fun twist. This goes along well with specialty crafted drinks they have, like the elegant La Vie en Rose tequila drink I had. Though we only had appetizers, I would not hesitate to order a whole meal here and would especially encourage cocktail enthusiasts to visit.
The Top Coral Gables Restaurants to Splurge At
Next on my guide for the top Coral Gables restaurants are five upscale options. These places will cost at least $30 per person, not including drinks, but are well worth the splurge. If you are looking to dine out for a date night, special occasion or celebratory meal, these would be my top pick. Be sure to check the dress code at each, as they can vary and make a reservation if possible. Here are the best upscale restaurants in Coral Gables.
Kae by Chef Landa – Sushi
For a sushi date night, Kae is one of the top Coral Gables restaurants to splurge at! On Giralda avenue, this spot might seem simple, but the sushi creations are anything but that. There are over a dozen rolls to choose from, in addition to ceviche, salads and appetizers.
We ordered multiple rolls, ceviche and edamame and had an all-around delicious meal. Our favorite roll was the Butter and Lobster roll, which was a unique take on sushi and a lobster roll. We also loved the use of mamenori (soybean paper) instead of seaweed with many of the rolls. Sushi rolls range from $12 to $20, although they are on the small side, so you will want to get at least two per person. Lunch specials and happy hour deals are available as well, but regardless of when you go, it is worth the splurge!
Zucca – Italian
If you are looking for a restaurant with stylish food in an even more stylish setting, Zucca is my pick for Italian fare. Located at Hotel St. Michel, there is glamorous seating both indoors and out, with a focus on florals. This Coral Gables restaurant offers authentic and elegant Italian cuisine for lunch and dinner.
Though we usually go for wine with Italian food, I saw the cocktails were raved about, so we each ordered one. These were truly some of the best cocktails I have had, with the Hard to be a Saint being especially amazing. For food, we went with a variety, including the acclaimed fried zucchini flowers, the antipasto and the lobster paccheri di gragnano. Everything was rich and flavorful. The antipasto especially was a stand out, as it was a huge portion for the price. Though there are also steak and seafood dishes here, I think pasta and cocktails lovers will especially be entranced by Zucca.
Planta Queen – Plant Based-Asian
Another excellent spot for cocktails and fine dining is Planta Queen. This upscale restaurant in the Grove will appeal to both plant and meat eaters! It is an entirely vegan restaurant with mainly share plates, but don’t let that deter you from trying their incredible creations!
The menu offers a variety of traditionally vegetarian dishes, as well as plant-based takes on meat and fish dishes. This is the first time I have had ahi watermelon sushi and I found it to be a wonderfully umami substitute. We also enjoyed the fried rice with pineapple and cashews and the “crab” rangoon. The cocktails are can’t miss as well, with specially infused gin and tequila and even alcohol free cocktails. Planta Queen is such a welcoming place for people of all lifestyles and a great way to try something new!
Bulla Gastrobar – Tapas
Though Bulla Gastrobar is now a chain with nine locations, it got its start in Coral Gables, so I had to include it! We came here for their special New Years Eve menu and had a meal that transported us back to our trip to Spain. This artsy spot is perfect for a celebratory family meal where you can try all sorts of new flavors around the table.
Ideally, you will want to order at least three small plates per person and everyone can get a taste. The New Year’s Eve menu was designed with four-courses of all their specialties. We loved the croqeutas de jamon, paella and the gamas al ajillo (shrimp in garlic). You can dine at Bulla for brunch, lunch, dinner or sit at the bar and order their tasty drinks, but don’t be surprised if you want to keep ordered small plates!
Mamey Miami – Caribbean
For a meal unlike any other, I highly recommend checking out Mamey at the Thesis Hotel. This is a Caribbean fusion restaurant with influences from Asia and Polynesia. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and features a variety of unique dishes to choose from, like Mishima ranch currasco with yucca or ghee roasted plantains.
We were delighted to dine downstairs among the airy and plant filled ambiance. Everything was fantastic from the coconut shrimp to the Trini spiced cauliflower. However, even better was going upstairs to the rooftop bar after dinner for some mai tais and music. This outdoor area is so delightful and perfect for relaxing. They do offer light bites on the rooftop, but if you can, check out both upstairs and downstairs for the full experience.
Coral Gables Cafes for Drinks and Dessert
Lastly, I have to mention these five cafes I recommend for coffee, breakfast or dessert. We walked from our hotel each morning for coffee and found two places that well exceeded Starbucks. In addition, we found a cute café for bagels and also tried a couple of ice cream places at night that I could not exclude. If you are looking for a caffeinated drink or a sweet treat, here are some of the top Coral Gable restaurants and cafes to find it!
Café Grumpy – Coffee and Light Bites
For a suburb selection of coffee and tea, we loved Café Grumpy. This New York chain opened its first Florida location here and has been quickly embraced by the locals. The cold brew was my favorite I had all week and we even bought some beans to enjoy at home.
Café Grumpy is open daily, just off Miracle Mile in Coral Gables. There is a small selection of food, like pastries and toasts, but coffee is the main attraction. Be sure to look out for specials like the Ombre cold brew and the dulce de leche latte.
Salt & Straw – Ice Cream Cones
I have been to Salt & Straw in both San Diego and Seattle, and was overjoyed to find out there are two in Miami! We visited the one at The Grove (there is also one in Wynwood) and waited in the half an hour line to get a delicious cone. The lines are usually pretty long for this famous ice cream, but always worth it!
My favorite flavor is roasted strawberry and toasted white chocolate, but you can’t go wrong with any! They have both dairy and vegan ice cream and I have found them to be equally tasty! Sometimes, they even have crazy flavors with ingredients like blue cheese or black pepper. You are in for a treat with this ice cream spot!
Pasion del Cielo – Coffee and Pastries
Another coffee shop we loved on this trip was Pasion del Cielo. This café has locations all over South Florida that all serve coffee made from single origin, arabica beans grown over 4,000 feet above sea level. That is where the name Passion from the Sky comes from!
We are usually more cold brew people, but the hot coffee here was flavorful and balanced. We simply got cups of Kenyan coffee, but they also serve lattes, expresso, and tea. If you are hungry, there are pastries and breakfast sandwiches as well. No matter where you are staying in Miami, this is one of the best coffee spots to try!
Toasted Bagelry & Deli – Bagels and Sandwiches
Our second choice for the top Coral Gables restaurants for breakfast would have to be Toasted Bagelry. It is more of a deli, as you order at the counter and they have both breakfast and lunch sandwiches. Whatever sandwich you want, make sure you get it on a bagel, because they are some of the best in town!
As an everything bagel enthusiast, I was very satisfied with my bagel and scallion cream cheese from here. This is as close as you can get to New York bagels in South Florida and they make fresh dough for everyone to see! Currently there are five locations in South Florida, and I urge bagel lovers from up north to visit.
Morelia Gourmet Paletas – Ice Cream Pops
Last, but not least, I recommend Morelia for an ice cream treat you cannot find anywhere else! With ten locations in Miami, this shop specializes in gourmet ice cream pops you can customize with your own toppings.
We visited the one in Coral Gables and tried a couple flavors. I had the dulce de leche bar topped with dark chocolate and pistachios. The result was heavenly! They have so many different flavors and toppings that I could have easily gone back daily to try more if I hadn’t been so busy eating at these Coral Gables restaurants all week.
Know Before You Go: The Top Coral Gables Restaurants
If you are looking for where to eat in Coral Gables, I hope this post helps you decide. We ate at all these places during the holidays in 2021 and thoroughly enjoyed every experience! There were a couple places that I don’t recommend, so I left them off the list and only included what I think are the top Coral Gables restaurants. Here are some things to keep in mind before you go.
- It is customary to tip 20% in Coral Gables. Many places include 18% gratuity in the bill, so be sure to check.
- Many restaurants here take reservations, often on Open Table. Check out the restaurants webpage before going to avoid a wait, especially with a large party!
- The best way to save money in Coral Gables when going out to eat is to go during Happy Hour, when many restaurants have deals on drinks and appetizers.
- The dress code is casual for most of the top Coral Gables restaurants. However, if you are dining at any options in the splurge category, I recommend refraining from beach attire at a minimum.
- Parking can be a challenge in Coral Gables, and most places require you to pay for street parking or a parking garage. If you are visiting the area, taking an Uber can often be easier.
Have you been to Coral Gables before? Let me know if your favorite restaurant made the list! For more dining recommendations in the area check out my guide to Miami Beach!