Like the college kids who drank the neighborhood dry in the aughts, Coconut Grove has done a lot of growing up in the last few decades. Several of the divey Miami sports bars remain but the Grove has come into its own as a sort of gastronomical enclave, boasting some of the best restaurants in Miami in a small, few-block radius. You can literally park your car and spend the day eating and drinking at a different place without setting off your step tracker. The best restaurants in Coconut Grove are special, especially to its residents who patronize their neighbors more than any other area in Miami. For food made and supported by locals, there’s nowhere else to look than the best restaurants in Coconut Grove.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Coconut Grove
Best restaurants in Coconut Grove
What is it? Chef Michael Beltran experiments with Cuban food and draws from all sorts of flavor profiles and cooking methods to yield an innovative menu that’s exciting to navigate. It’s not cuisine whose style you’ll immediately pin down, but letting go of old stereotypes is part of the fun of dining here.
Why go? Beltran’s contributions to Miami’s handheld offerings are unmatched. Whether it’s his famous Chug burger slathered in secret sauce or the Cuban frita covered in just-fried papitas, you’ll want to order something with a bun to get the full Ariete experience.
What is it? A charming neighborhood restaurant with a shabby exterior and a cozy dining room that’s just bursting with Italian charm. Mediterranean seafood is the focus of Sapore’s traditional menu but there’s plenty of cheese, fresh pasta and dessert to go around.
Why go? First-timers should try the pasta served inside a wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. It’s incredibly rich but still tasty and makes for a fun tableside presentation.
What’s it? This casual burger joint takes its food very seriously, sourcing locally grown ingredients for its fresh salads and sandwiches, and partnering with homegrown breweries and small-batch distributors for its thoughtful beer selection.
Why go? Burgers! LoKal’s selection of grass-fed beef burgers includes one between glazed doughnuts, another blended with chorizo and yet another finished off with Miami Smokers’ bacon.
What is it? Green Street is sidewalk dining central. Weather notwithstanding, it’s the Grove’s prime spot for people-watching, drinking Bloody Marys al fresco and tucking into an extra-large omelette after a run.
Why go? Brunch is an experience, beginning with the incredibly long wait you’ll sit out pounding cocktails at the bar. An interesting cast of characters breaks bread here, from college students and families to bachelor parties and pet-toting locals.
What is it? LoKal’s sleek, seafoodcentric sister restaurant takes its culinary cues from the nearby Atlantic, putting out fresh fish fingers, Key West conch salad, shrimp pasta and other tasty options from the sea.
Why go? Spillover stocks a sizeable selection of craft ciders and meads, which you can order as a sample-size pour to try or as a full glass to savor. The outdoor area is pet-friendly and, like LoKal, Spillover puts out homemade biscuits for doggies.
What is it? A restaurant where toddlers are as happy as their parents to go out to dinner. Glass & Vine subs a kids’ menu for a playground, where children can play steps away from where the adults sit and sip craft cocktails and snack on grilled fish and fresh salads.
Why go? The Grove is known for its brunches and Glass & Vine’s is one particularly fun on a sunny day. Nab a table in the courtyard and dig into sensational egg dishes with foams and truffle oil that pair delightfully well with the restaurant’s selection of boozy, fizzy drinks.
What is it? This Italian restaurant, which is owned by the same folks behind Strada across the street, specializes in light antipasti and crispy, wood-fired pizzas. On the shortlist of appetizers, the tender meatballs with ricotta cheese are not to be missed.
Why go? Farinelli's outdoor courtyard fills up on clear nights, while the bar is a prime spot if you're interested in catching a game while you dine.
What is it? The longest-running, most popular Indian restaurant in Miami. The menu isn’t remarkable, just your usual mix of northern Indian standards done well and priced right. Reservations are a must, lest you feel like waiting hours for your beloved curry.
Why go? Bombay is the place you take first-timers to try Indian cuisine—service is friendly, the dining room is inviting and the food isn’t overly spiced.
What is it? The second location of James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz’s neighborhood pizza joint puts out gourmet-style wood oven pies in a laid-back, family-friendly environment.
Why go? Harry’s meatballs with ricotta and polenta fries served with house-made ketchup will be the reason you don’t finish your pizza. Make a valiant effort and order them all, plus a spicy pepperoni to go.
What is it? This modern, Spanish restaurant takes its tapas game to the next level, featuring a selection of deluxe proteins like glazed octopus and sardines as well as high-priced mains, such as lamb and short rib.
Why go? If you’ve ever been curious about Spanish food or wines, Alma’s happy hour is an affordable time to dip your toe. It takes place Tuesday through Sunday from 5 to 7pm and all wine, beer and selected tapas are half price.