Once a destination for power lunches and a bite to eat after a splash in some of Miam’s best pools, Coral Gables is now just as frequented for boozy brunches as it is for its dynamic happy hour scene. Coral Gables’ restaurants are home to a Chopped alum and Top Chef contestant, feature plenty of opportunities for group dining and tasting menus, and have some of the best drink specials in town. (The community is home to some of the best bars in Miami and best Miami coffee shops, too.) Suits are still welcome, but Coral Gables is more than just a place to unwind after a day at the office. Ahead, the 10 must-try Coral Gables restaurants in the City Beautiful.
Best Coral Gables restaurants
Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli puts a fun twist on upscale dining at Eating House with eccentric dishes like pumpkin pie waffle and Cap’n Crunch pancakes—both of which can be washed down with a sublime Tang mimosa. Rapicavoli’s take on eggs Benedict skews swanky thanks to a black truffle topping while the French toast speaks to the city’s Latin influences, subbing in Cuban bread for brioche and guava and Iron Beer for maple syrup.
Multicourse dining has found its way to daytime service at Brasserie Central. Brunch here is a leisurely experience best enjoyed in the outdoor patio, beginning with a bucket of sparkling wine and a carafe of OJ for the table, then sauntering on with generous portions of classic bistro fare like Lyonnaise salad with frisee bacon lardon and a soft-poached egg, and steak frites—hanger steak with shallot sauce and crispy French fries. The ile flotttante, one of six dessert options available, is an airy meringue atop creme anglaise and the perfect French ending.
In Spanish, “piripi” refers to the elation one feels when tipsy—or perhaps after a deliciously decadent meal at Moroccan-Basque chef Najat Kaanache’s new restaurant. Instead of a broad tapas menu, dishes are divided by category and range from “piripikoteos” or small bites to “solid and liquid salads,” such as gazpacho, to heartier fare, including slow-cooked octopus and oversized prawns cooked a la plancha with sliced garlic.
Coral Gables has its share of bars, but the Local is the ultimate neighborhood spot for craft beer, thanks to 18 taps and more than 20 different bottles and cans that change seasonally. Expect frequent tap takeovers and special releases, like Bell’s Hopslam, which only surfaces once a year, and other rare ales. And because beer pairs so beautifully with food, the restaurant hosts a monthly brew-paired brunch series, Roast and Toast, with various guest breweries.
Owner Craig DeWald is serious about vino—he traded a job in corporate America to open his own wine bar—but his approach is wholly playful, as revealed by Uvaggio’s menu. Pick from full-bodied whites in the “Large and In Charge” section, spring for a “Sweety Pie” dessert wine or sample a variety during Saturday’s afternoon tastings. While food comes second, it’s certainly not an afterthought, evidenced by dishes such as handmade gnocchi and roasted cauliflower, which enhance the oenophile experience.
Named after a rare tropical fruit (an ortanique is a hybrid orange native to Jamaica—apparently), this restaurant serves creative Caribbean cooking. The focus here is on cuisine, not scene, and the food, by top chef Cindy Hutson, is outstanding. Dishes such as jerked double pork chop with guava rum sauce and tropical fruit flambé are a blissful orgy of flavor. Reservations are a must on evenings and weekends, when the theater crowds are known to frequent before heading next door for a show.
From the team behind Yardbird Southern Table and Bar comes this pork-centric offshoot, serving up likewise rich and hearty, downhome cooking. You’ll find the menu packed with Southern favorites done up to gourmet standards, elevated, in part, through the use of locally sourced ingredients. Try the Black Angus burnt ends and fried green tomatoes or go for the rib-sticking shrimp and grits, all great complements to the assortment of bourbon-based cocktails on the menu.
It’s rare to see the glass doors of this spacious, corner-facing restaurant closed—on most nights, the crowds around the enormous bar spill out onto the sidewalk. Admittedly, it’s the inventive cocktail menu and drink specials that lure the after-work crowd, but the tantalizing aromas wafting from the open kitchen convince them to stay. Feast on classic tapas such as tortilla and garlicky shrimp as well as the signature huevos Bulla, a modern twist on huevos estrellados—which brings together crispy potato chips, fried eggs, potato foam, truffle oil and jamón Serrano.
Wine angels do exist! And you’ll find them at Cibo, retrieving your chosen bottle from a floor-to-ceiling cellar while suspended via harness. Navigating the 3,000-bottle wall (which includes plenty of Italian and California labels) is no small feat. Feeling fancy? Opt for a taste of the 28 boutique wines dispensed by the innovative Enomatic system, which allows for single pours from high-end bottles while preserving taste and freshness.
Sushisamba’s unique blend of Japanese, Peruvian and Brazilian influences come through in all aspects of the dining experience: from the menu to the cocktails to the music you’ll hear reverberating throughout its iconic Samba Hour, during which a number of drinks and dishes are offered at discounted prices. A variety of small plates and comfy lounge seating make it a popular late-night spot in a part of town that typically winds down after sunset.