The Best Restaurants In Coconut Grove
These are our favorite places to eat in Coconut Grove.
Coconut Grove always feels like it just got a very good massage. There’s a strange bubble around this historic neighborhood that blocks out the city’s usual chaos, and coming here is like a warm bath Miami can slide into after a long day. This is also why the Grove is a perfect place for a carefree, lazy meal—which is exactly what you’ll see people enjoying here on any given Saturday, from brunch till dinner.
Ariete recently shifted its menu from a la carte to only tasting menu options (a three-course or a seven-course prix fixe menu). But luckily you can still get the canard a la presse, a dish that involves this medieval-looking machine that compresses various parts of the duck into a deep, rich sauce. They then use that sauce to smother the absolute best duck you’ll ever taste in your life. And it all happens tableside. But just about every dish at Ariete gets us this excited, and that's why it's one of our favorite Big Night Out restaurants in town. It's the perfect place to engage in some classic Miami indulgence while still feeling like a classy adult.
photo credit: Cleveland Jennings
The list of things we love about Krüs is longer than the spiral staircase you take to get to the dining room. On that list is a crudo so beautiful you’ll be nervous to make eye contact with it, an atmosphere that does for date nights what gamma radiation did for Bruce Banner, and glass block windows that face west and make the entire restaurant feel like one big flickering candle during sunset. We find ourselves recommending Krüs so much, because this combination of incredible food, welcoming service, and an interior so comforting it gives one the urge to take off their shoes is incredibly rare in Miami.
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Los Félix is the sister restaurant to Krüs, located directly underneath it. And they feel like siblings in the best way possible—connected, yet each with their own distinct personality. Los Félix has more of a dinner party energy, especially on the weekends when a DJ spins vinyl in the dining room. But the big difference is the food. Los Félix serves Mexican dishes, most of which use the house speciality: fresh milled masa. It’s deployed in just about every excellent rotating dish. Come here with a small group (ideally just two of you), because those dishes aren't huge. Or come for one of Miami's best brunches, especially if you're a chilaquiles enthusiast.
Le Bouchon du Grove
Le Bouchon can trick your brain into thinking you’re in France for an hour and a half. For one, they give you free champagne when you sit down, which is just plain lovely and so un-Miami. Also, the interior has the look and personality of a lively Parisian bistro. The menu features comforting French dishes served in generous portions. Start with the garlicky escargots (and remember to save some of the free bread for mopping up the sauce). The foie gras with crispy slices of toast is another starter worth getting on the table. And the mussels are great. They easily feed two or three and come in a massive cast iron pot with a big pile of crispy french fries.
photo credit: Courtesy Midorie
Midorie is a casual sushi spot by the Wabi Sabi folks, and the two menus are nearly identical. This simple sushi counter is hidden in the little courtyard on Main Highway. Inside, there’s white oak furniture, a school of tiny ceramic fish on the green wall, and a couple of tables outside. But what you really need to know about Midorie is that you can come here for high-quality sushi and not spend more than $25 on a filling donburi bowl. If you’re willing to spend a bit more, we love the chirashi omakase that comes with twelve pieces of sashimi, salmon roe, seaweed salad, and sweet pickled mushrooms over sticky sushi rice. But the handrolls—each with a perfect ratio of rice, fish, and wasabi—are our favorite.
Loretta & The Butcher
This great Argentinian restaurant is small—with the exception of its portions. And if you're really hungry, you're coming here for the meat parrillada, which comes with two tender skirt steaks, two perfectly grilled short ribs, two chorrizos, two morcillas, two juicy chicken thighs, and could easily feed four. The dining room looks like a Buenos Aires bistro—but the best seats are outside on a tiny deck elevated about a foot off the ground. Sit there and you might feel like royalty as you watch everyone else eat at normal height. They also have the earliest weekday happy hour in the Grove, which goes from 3pm-6pm.
Shore To Door Fish Market
Shore to Door is a fish market that also operates as a restaurant on the weekend. There’s no menu here. Instead, the cook—who might be in the middle of cleaning a fish—will tell you what came in off the boat that morning. It could be fried grouper bites, whole yellowtail snapper, wahoo fish dip, or a dozen other sea creatures. But it will be delicious, and you can eat it in their fantastic backyard, which has a bunch of mismatched furniture and an atmosphere that feels very Key West. If you want a beer, just pop open the cooler and help yourself. Keep tabs on how many you drink, because you'll pay at the end of your meal.
photo credit: Emily Schindler
If you’re looking for a casual burger in or around Coconut Grove, the answer is just about always Lokal. But even if you’re not craving their version of a frita—with potato stix, bacon, and guava jelly that acts as a condiment—it’s still worth coming here for the fried alligator and a beer. You can also stare at all the dogs people bring here while you consume both. Also, check out the vermouth bar next door after you're done, which Lokal also runs.
El Carajo Tapas and Wine
Most Miami gas station food consists of shriveled hotdogs and sketchy Jamaican beef patties, but El Carajo is a gas station where you’ll actually want to eat. Past the pumps, candy, and cigarettes, there’s a really great Spanish restaurant in the back, where you can order tons of tapas and drink a bottle of wine (there arer hundreds of options). They have a pulpo al ajillo you’ll absolutely finish, bacon-wrapped dates, and fluffy Spanish tortillas. There are also walls full of wine for sale here, which you can buy for your meal at retail price plus a $10 corkage fee.
photo credit: Cleveland Jennings
Chug’s may not have the price point of your average diner, but it has the DNA of one. Inside there are booths, counter seating, and laminated menus you can flip through on each table. We like this place best for breakfast or brunch. The menu has a great mix of straightforward Cuban classics—like a hefty la completa—and creative versions of classics, including a frita patty melt and a huge cast iron pancake. Like any great diner, dessert is a good idea. Chug’s rotating pie selection has never disappointed—nor have their rotating tres leches, especially the Yoo-hoo tres leches with housemade chocolate milk they occasionally serve. If you’re in a rush, their ventanita is perfect for a quick cafecito and a pastelito.
A.C.’s Icees is one of the last remaining bits of old Coconut Grove and an essential hot summer day pit stop. The cash-only food truck serves the best frozen lemonade in Miami and has been run by longtime Grove resident Allan Cohen since 1978. It's usually parked right outside Kennedy Park. There is truly nothing better when it feels like 174 degrees outside than one of Cohen's frosty frozen lemonades (maybe a hotdog too). After you've secured yours, take a walk through Kennedy Park and enjoy a perfect afternoon in the Grove.
The Original Daily Bread Marketplace
This place is part restaurant, part market and specializes in very good Middle Eastern food. Once you claim your spot in the cafeteria-style line, you can pick a salad, platter, or pita wrap, which you can order with things like falafel, kafta, shawarma, and sides including stuffed grape leaves and za’atar fries. It might be tough to get a table during the lunch rush, but you can always kill time browsing the market, where you’ll find some oils, tea, and other things you definitely will not see at Publix.
This historic bar is one of the best places to drink in Coconut Grove, but it's also a solid place to sit down for a meal too. There’s some comfortable outdoor seating for nice days and inside you can sip a bunch of different whiskeys inside walls that feel and look like they’ve been here since 1920 (which they have). Taurus’ bar food game is incredibly strong since they share a kitchen with their fantastic neighbors Ariete (who also own and operate Taurus). The menu rotates a lot, but has currently been taken over by a pop-up called Uncle's Pizza, who serve thick pies with crispy edges and big subs.
Bombay Darbar is a great place to have a big Indian meal. It’s not a very subtle aesthetic inside, and the blue-and-purple neon lighting makes you feel like you’re about to see David Guetta, not eat some very tasty lamb vindaloo. The menu is a massive greatest hits of basmati rice dishes, chicken, lamb, and things from the tandoor oven. The only hard ordering rule is to make sure you’ve got some naan on the table.