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You can dine on closed streets in these Miami neighborhoods

Take it to the streets thanks to road and lane closures for al fresco eating.

Virginia Gil
Written by
Virginia Gil

Before outdoor dining was the only kind of eating out that was allowed in Miami, the idea of enjoying a meal al fresco only crossed people's minds between the months of January through March. (It’s much too hot otherwise.) But now it seems restaurants are running out of space to accommodate diners wishing to eat outdoors.

The solution to this very 2020 problem: close down streets! Yes, neighborhoods across Miami have blocked off thoroughfares for restaurants to use for outdoor dining. Some strips are long and breezy like Ocean Drive, who’s pedestrian strip extends from 5th to 15th Streets, while others are abbreviated stretches that give folks just enough room to enjoy food and drink adjacent to their favorite restaurant. Below, find the Miami streets ready to welcome you for outdoor dining. Keep in mind that these closures are temporary. Be sure to contact the restaurant before heading out to dine.

Coconut Grove

Fuller Street, the narrow one-way street between Grand Avenue and Main Highway, has closed to cars, allowing longtime beer spot Barracuda Taphouse & Grill to reopen for dine-in service. Without a patio area of its own, Barracuda relied on street closures to welcome back customers. Now, Fuller is dotted with fuchsia picnic tables to match Barracuda’s brightly colored awning and more restaurants are expected to join. Around the corner, petit bistro Le Bouchon du Grove is making use of Unika’s outdoor space by setting up several four-tops for folks to enjoy.

Commodore Plaza is Coconut Grove’s busiest restaurant row, with nearly a dozen sidewalk cafés lining the narrow street. Soon, LoKal and Atchana’s Homegrown Thai will be repurposing the parking spots near their entrances for more outdoor seating. The “parklets,” as they’re being dubbed, will have barricades adorned with greenery to preserve the vibe and integrity of each venue.

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South Beach

Ocean Drive was the first major street in Miami to shut down to cars and open solely for diners and pedestrians. From Fifth Street to 16th Street, the two-lane road is packed with people walking, rollerblading and enjoying the outdoors while social distancing. Spilling out from the sidewalk are tables and chairs belonging to all the major restaurants on the strip, too. Some eateries have even added coverings to shade diners from the brutal summer heat.

Lincoln Road and Española Way were always pedestrian-only and have continued to flourish during the lockdown. On Española, restaurants frequently offer discounts on cocktails and food specials, making it easy to safely hop from eatery to eatery. Up the road on Lincoln, hot spots like Doraku are still thriving thanks to cool, al-fresco vibes.

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Downtown Miami

The neighborhood’s sidewalk café program allows the restaurants to turn their street parking into outdoor dining. Italian hot spot Soya y Pomodoro, French bistro Café Bastille and Latin cafeteria La Palmas have already taken advantage of this limited-time program setting up tables, chairs and umbrellas, which the Miami Downtown Development Authority is funding.

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Coral Gables

Giralda Plaza was ahead of its time with its string lights and corridor of outdoor cafes. Restaurants have made great use of their ample spaces, moving happy hour outdoors, springing for entertainment and working with neighbors on weekend activations folks in the neighborhood can safely enjoy.

Now, thanks to the city’s temporary outdoor dining program, restaurants like Havana Harry’s and Houston’s, whose dining rooms were always brimming with customers, have made space with tables along the streets and inside parking lots. The initiative will go on through mid-January 2021, though it might be extended even further.

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Stroll past Zak the Baker, KYU, Butcher Shop and a number of other restaurants to find tables and chairs where parked cars stood before. At KYU, diners can make use of tables shaded by umbrellas and a new, semi-enclosed covering. Full service is available. While at Zak the Baker, outdoor tables are sanitized but there won’t be servers to take your order. Instead, customers can walk up to the window, purchase food and drink to stay and enjoy it outside. Like the Grove and Downtown, the Wynwood BID footed the bill for all the necessary furnishings and helped facilitate permits for the restaurants.

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