Erba Miami
Photograph: Courtesy Erba Miami/Evan Sung

The best restaurants in Coral Gables: a complete guide

The best Coral Gables restaurants include classic steakhouses, quaint cafes, modern fine dining and so much more.

Ashley BrozicFalyn Wood
Contributors: Virginia Gil & Eric Barton
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We call Coral Gables the “City Beautiful,” but we could easily call it the “City Delicious.” Along its manicured, terracotta-hued streets, you can enjoy croissants at Jazz Age-era cafes, close deals at a business power lunch, gather for a Miami happy hour at an independent bookshop or get cozy and catered to at a James Beard-nominated restaurant—all within minutes of each other.

Seemingly out of nowhere, this historic neighborhood has become one of Miami's most exciting foodie destinations, home to numerous Michelin-recognized spots (with even more on the way, if our suspicions are correct). Here are the best restaurants to enjoy in Coral Gables right now, from neighborhood stalwarts to entirely fresh concepts.

RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in Coral Gables

Best restaurants in Coral Gables

  • Contemporary Asian
  • Coral Gables
  • price 2 of 4

Zitz Sum is so good, the New York Times just named it one of 2022’s top 50 restaurants. And this is just one of its many recognitions. What started as a pandemic project has now earned a Michelin Bib Gourmand, a James Beard nomination and tons of local mentions. It’s a beautiful marriage of global flavors including Japanese, Italian, Colombian, American and whatever Chef Pablo Zitzmann can conjure that week. It’s an unconventional approach to dim sum you haven’t tried before, so make a reservation and enjoy the ride. 

  • Italian
  • Coral Gables
  • price 3 of 4

With an impeccable menu of Italian cuisine, fine wine and cocktails, this Michelin-starred Italian restaurant is just as popular in the Gables as it is with the celebrity set on Capitol Hill.  It’s the kind of place you’d book for an anniversary, birthday or any kind of special occasion, though there are some specials throughout the week that will entice you to become a regular. During the work week there’s a $42 three-course pre-fixe lunch menu and aperitivo happy hour from 4pm to 7pm, and on Sundays, there’s a bottomless champagne brunch.

Order this: Caviar “Carbonara”

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  • Eating

Reservations are now open to book a table at Bouchon Bistro, famed chef Thomas Keller’s newest culinary endeavor inside the historic La Palma building in Coral Gables. The French bistro marks Chef Keller’s second Miami restaurant to date—the first being The Surf Club Restaurant, which opened in 2018 and earned a Michelin star from the prestigious dining guide when it began rating Florida restaurants in 2022. Here, Keller collaborates with chef Thomas Castelleon, an alumnus of The Surf Club Restaurant, to execute the seasonal menu, comprising Bouchon’s signature raw bar items as well as specialty dishes like escargots de Bourgogne and steak frites.

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Falyn Wood
Editor, Time Out Miami
  • Eating

The proliferation of Omakase across Miami continues with Shingo, a 14-seat omakase restaurant from Michelin-starred Chef Shingo Akikuni. For its apparent simplicity, Shingo’s aesthetic took years to conceive and come together—the 850-square-foot space was entirely designed and constructed by expert woodworkers in Kyto, who then deconstructed it and reassembled it in Miami. Shingo’s 18-course menu comprises a seasonal variety of fresh sushi and Yakimono dishes made with imported from Japan as well as sourced locally in Florida. The full dining experience takes around 2.5 hours.

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Virginia Gil
USA Editor
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  • Contemporary American
  • Coral Gables
  • price 3 of 4

Beauty and the Butcher is the second restaurant in the metro from Jeremy Ford, who made a name for himself in 2015 by winning Top Chef (and dropping a hard f-bomb when he did so). His Miami Beach restaurant Stubborn Seed now has a Michelin star. More spacious than its predecessor, Beauty and the Butcher boasts a similarly classic steakhouse aesthetic but with an eclectic menu of dishes that seem aimed to deliberately test you (like chicken liver mousse or dry-aged crudo). But even when Ford is challenging us to try things we wouldn’t normally order, it’s still clear that everything here is done with great command over flavors and ingredients.

Order this: The beef rib

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Eric Barton
Contributor
  • Contemporary American
  • Coral Gables
  • price 2 of 4

Wine, both natural and not, is best enjoyed with friends and food. At Vinya you’ll find all three. This wine shop and restaurant has made its way from Key Biscayne to Coral Gables and even touts an outpost at Time Out Miami Market. Grab a bottle from the market and enjoy it with dinner for a small corkage fee or let the staff help you find what you like with their extensive by-the-glass offerings. They’re friendly and knowledgeable and can make a connoisseur out of anyone who will lend an ear or glass. Vinya hosts tons of events throughout the month and every week, they offer a discounted wine from their vault, so be sure to sign up for their emails (or join the VDC wine club) to never miss a pour.

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  • French
  • Coral Gables
  • price 2 of 4

Run by a cheerful husband-and-wife duo— he serves while she cooks— this tiny French bistro features a simple chalkboard menu with a healthy mix of daily specials and approachable classics like moules frites, steak tartare and french onion soup. Because it’s so small, it’s ideal for a romantic evening, and if you find yourself waiting because you didn’t make a reservation, a complimentary glass of bubbly will be waiting for you.

  • Italian
  • Coral Gables
  • price 3 of 4

Luca Osteria is Chef Giorgio Rapiocavoli’s beautiful expression of classic, albeit slightly reimagined, Italian cuisine. The trappings of a dimly lit traditional Italian restaurant have been eschewed for a bright, white and modern atmosphere that’s both spacious and cozy, perfect for a date night where classic Italian spritzes and cocktails can flow. It’s been said that Luca whips out one of the best dishes in town, the patate fritte, though the same can be said about every homemade pasta dish, whether it's the bucatini made with 600-day-cured prosciutto or the rich short rib bolognese, seasoned with nutmeg and 24-month-aged parmigiano.

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  • Coffee shops
  • Little Gables
  • price 1 of 4

Consider Tinta y Café Miami’s counter-culture Cuban coffee house (say that five times fast). Come for the cafecito, artisanal pastelitos and gourmet Cuban sandwiches and stay for a while, not because you're taking Zoom calls between bites (laptops are strictly banned), but because you’re having deep philosophical debates on things like whether or not free will exists. This is a go-to café for leisurely mornings and afternoons, so pull a book from Tinta’s bookshelf and enjoy an intellectually indulgent afternoon.

  • Caribbean
  • Coral Gables
  • price 2 of 4

Like Zitz Sum, Mamey was also named one of the New York Times' top 50 restaurants in 2022. Here, Chef Nivan Patel shows us the extent to which his creativity stretches. As he did with Ghee and Indian food, he demonstrates how playful, fresh and elevated Caribbean cuisine can be. Since opening, it’s become a vibrant thread within the neighborhood’s culinary fabric thanks to its lively, inviting atmosphere, whether in the main dining room or rooftop. Drop by for the daily happy hour, weekend brunch or dinner.

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  • Japanese
  • Coral Gables
  • price 2 of 4

This Coral Gables ramen shop churns out fresh noodles daily from a sinister-looking metal machine guests can see from the dining room. The finished product is used in three iterations of ramen, including a Miami-appropriate cold version mixed with veggies. But Ichimi isn't just for ramen lovers. Izakaya favorites such as fried pig ears and pillow bao buns will keep your belly full too. Lines are particularly long on weekends, so plan ahead.

Niven Patel, the decorated Miami chef behind Ghee, Orno and Mamey, launched this pasta concept as a pop-up back in 2019. Now, nestled inside the Life Time building (adjacent to the Metrorail tracks) at Merrick Park, Erba feels a world away, impeccably designed with elaborate wall coverings, textural mosaic tiles, luxe upholstery and dim, moody lighting for a distinctly Florence-meets-Miami vibe. Meanwhile, the seasonal menu (complete with a six-course pasta tasting for $45) is comprised of ingredients sourced from Rancho Patel, Chef’s farm in Homestead.

Order this: The mafaldine, a creative take on linguine al vongole made with braised Bahamian conch instead of clams 

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Falyn Wood
Editor, Time Out Miami
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  • Coral Gables
  • price 3 of 4

If you want to really feel like you’re in Eth-paña, come to Bulla during daily happy hour. The crowd spills out into the sidewalk for half-priced wines, $7 cocktails and crowd-pleasing tapas. Speaking of spilling, the convivial atmosphere from the Gables location has spilled all the way to North Carolina, as Bulla now has nine locations including a rooftop lounge in Tampa. It’s a popular spot among locals to gather with family and friends of all ages. 

  • Mediterranean
  • Coral Gables
  • price 4 of 4

Helmed by Michelin-trained Executive Chef Christian Chirino, TUR Kitchen offers a more refined Mediterranean dining experience in Miami, where Med-inspired restaurants have proliferated in recent years. Beautifully plated dishes draw from all over the region (think Turkish manti topped with silky labneh, roasted squid with Medjool dates and chorizo, and succulent, dukkah-spiced braised leg of lamb). TUR takes a decidedly elegant and subdued approach to its ambiance, complete with white tablecloths, a crystal chandelier and an impressive glass wine case dividing the room. It’s not stuffy, though: Friendly waitstaff, plenty of live greenery, outdoor seating and a massive open kitchen ensure the space feels intimate and welcoming.

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Falyn Wood
Editor, Time Out Miami
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This is one of those old-school Gables restaurants where everyone inside seems to be a regular. Though owner Nino Perreti passed away this year, you can still feel his welcoming spirit within Caffe Abracci’s dimly lit walls, and his cookbook captures not just recipes, but a bygone era of Miami’s glamorous past. And it's not just customers who love this place. Caffe Abbracci has 16 employees who have been with the restaurant since it first opened in 1989. 318 Aragon Ave, Coral Gables

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  • Steakhouse
  • Coral Gables
  • price 3 of 4

The Gables may as well be the steakhouse capital of Miami. Chains like Ruth Chris, Morton’s and Texas de Brazil are all within walking distance of each other, but none has the charm and old-schoolness of Christy’s. Opened in 1978, this crimson-hued dining room is as classic as steakhouse experiences get. You’re sipping an old-fashioned or a martini, following it up with Christy’s famous caesar salad, massacring a filet mignon and capping it all off with a billowing baked Alaska. And when you get home, because there’s no salvation after this, you’re popping on Scarface and settling into a nice food coma. 

  • American
  • Coral Gables
  • price 2 of 4

Melbourne transplants Teresa and Nick Sharp’s attempt to bring true Aussie eats to Miami is everyone’s gain. You might even say they introduced us to the smashed avo toast. This is a go-to brunch and lunch joint for Gable-ites looking for fresh, local fare. Plus, it’s one of the most kid-friendly places in town;  little ones can play games or read a book in a dedicated nook while you sip coffee and relax.

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19. Café Demetrio

Café Demetrio has all the charms of a Viennese coffee house in the heart of Coral Gables. It’s the kind of place where you post up for hours reading a book or the paper (do people still read the paper?) as you enjoy decadent caffeinated offerings like a dark cacao latte or espresso con panna. It’s also a great spot for a casual breakfast or lunch, with a bountiful menu of gourmet sandwiches and classic brunch offerings.

  • Contemporary American
  • Little Gables
  • price 2 of 4

Tasting experiences don’t have to be cold. They can be inviting, fun and family-friendly, too. At Lion & The Rambler, the focus is on California cuisine. That means fresh, seasonal and, while creatively made, simple and familiar to enjoy. Chef and owner Michael Bolen changes the menu frequently based on what's been caught, sourced or picked that morning. Opt for the six-course tasting menu. At $85 it’s deliciously reasonable, so splurge on a bottle of fine wine.

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  • Cuban
  • Little Gables

Miami cried when Caja Caliente shuttered its food truck, but we all know good things never truly die. Chef Mika Leon brought her Cuban tacos, nachos, burritos and talents to Coral Gables, this time in a brick-and-mortar spot with even more for your tastebuds to explore. You’ve got the tamal Cubanao, topped with crispy lechon and housemade aioli. You’ve got healthy vaca frita bowls. And name another trendy Miami restaurant that serves a Cuban volador, a sealed disc-like sandwich filled with ingredients like croquetas or ropa vieja?

  • Coral Gables
  • price 2 of 4

You want tapas. You also want izakaya. At MKT Kitchen, you can have both! During the day, MKT Kitchen is a great place for a fresh breakfast or lunch, either in-house or on the go. After hours, QP Tapas by Chef Josh Elliott takes over, a Spanish and Japanese concept with dishes like uni risotto and o cool ranch shishitos. And because MKT Kitchen is also a market, you can find fine wines, artisanal products and premium meats to cook at home. It’s also one of the best restaurants in Miami for delicious and sustainably-sourced stone crabs, so drop by to crack some open. 

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  • Shopping
  • Bookstores
  • Coral Gables

Some people like a side of chips with their sandwich, others like a side of literature. The Café at Books & Books boasts a beautiful courtyard where you can flip pages as you toss back a glass of malbec, dig into a fresh salad, or slurp down the soup of the day. This is not a place for power lunching, but for leisurely grazing. Check the schedule to see what they’ve got going on at night.

A rooftop bar in the gables? It was about damn time! Cebada is a great spot for casual first dates and medium sized groups. It touts an approachable and ample menu of shareable dishes to satisfy both picky and adventurous eaters, and even gives you the option of supersizing your draft drink to accommodate the entire table. 124 Giralda Ave, Coral Gables

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  • Steakhouse
  • Miami

If you’re a meat-eating local, then you know Graziano’s. The restaurant group now touts 12 locations, but they got their start in America on Coral Way. That makes both Coral Gables locations special, whether you’re picking up wine and meat at the market or you want the full Graziano’s parrilla experience at their restaurant on Galliano Street. You can’t go wrong with any of their grass-fed selections, especially when paired with a full-bodied red.

The best places to eat in Miami—period.

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