The best restaurants in Coconut Grove

Covering Indian, Thai and the best corn tortillas in Miami

Jan
03
2024

Coconut Grove has evolved in the last few years yet its charm is still intact. To this day, it remains one of our favorite neighborhoods in Miami. We don’t even mind the tourists that have made their way to the Grove. There are enough restaurants that provide a variety of cuisines and ambiances when dining out.

Sure, parking gives us a little bit of anxiety but if we are strategic and get there with time, we usually find a spot. Our list includes Thai, a veggie-friendly dim sum experience, Indian comfort, and seafood dishes we love.

Check out our local guide covering the best restaurants in Coconut Grove.

KOKO BY BAKAN


Address2856 Tigertail Ave
CuisineMexican

There’s a fairly new spot that we just revisited and had to bring to your attention. It’s mom-friendly. For those moms that say, “Vamos a donde quieran.” This in mom’s language means, “I’m actually really picky and we should probably go to a restaurant I want to go to so family fights are avoided.”

Koko is a super cool new Mexican spot by Grupo Bakan, which opened this year in Coconut Grove. The warm interior design is sleek and inspired by the natural landscapes and colors of Mexico.

They make their tacos with fresh tortillas from organic corn, and their meat and seafood come straight from the wood-fired grill. They also have an insane selection of over 400 mezcals and tequilas. It’s a nice balance between a chic Mexican restaurant and comida caserita. Make sure to score a seat on their covered outdoor patio surrounded by a cacti backdrop.

Their menu has options. Some of the dishes we recently tried and loved include the Zucchini Flower Quesadillas with epazote; Enchiladas de Pato en Pipian Rojo made with crispy duck carnitas, peanuts, almonds, dried chiles, spices, white onion, goat cheese, and cream; and the “Al Pastor” Cherry Wood Organic Chicken Rotisserie served with a grilled poblano chile stuffed with Oaxaca cheese, refried black beans, grilled corn, guacamole, and grilled knob onion.

 

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MIDORIE


Address3444 Main Hwy
CuisineJapanese, sushi

Midorie, a Japanese restaurant in Coconut Grove from the creators of Wabi Sabi and Hiyakawa is now open from Wednesday – Sunday for lunch and dinner from 12 PM – 9 PM. The all-day menu includes fast-casual donburi (Japanese bowls), omakase platters, and sushi a la carte.

Think seasonal seafood that is flown in from Tokyo’s famed Toyosu fish market four times a week. Sushi will include golden Japanese sea bream, fluke, otoro, and hard-to-find offerings. Make sure to ask if there are any fish specials of the day. Our favorite nigiri when we stopped by was the Kinmedai, which was an off-menu fish.

Come with one other person that you want to catch up with or by yourself for a solo dine. If you want to make it a group outing then we recommend a table for 4 in their small outdoor seating area. It’s also a great spot for takeout.

We would stop by for a quick lunch and get a miso soup, which is slow-cooked for 12 hours, and a Midorie donburi that comes with salmon, tuna, blue crab, and shiitake mushrooms. As for a base, we’d go with the cha soba noodles flavored with green tea and made with buckwheat flour. Make sure to pour the spicy miso and sesame ginger sauces into your donuburi.

If it’s dinner you’re looking for, get their omakase platter that comes with 12 pieces and one maki roll. This isn’t an omakase experience where each piece is served at once. This is an informal dinner with amazing quality sushi where all nigiris are presented at once.

No reservations are accepted but you can call 30 minutes before you want to come in and ask how the wait is looking.

QP TAPAS


Address: 3000 Florida Ave
Cuisine: Spanish, Izakaya, tapas

Technically not new, but new in the heart of Coconut Grove. QP was just so good we had to include it again.

QP Tapas is a pop-up serving Izakaya-style Spanish tapas. We first tried it at MKT Kitchen in Coral Gables in 2022. After taking a little hiatus, Chef Josh Elliot is back with his menu of crudos, yakitori, paella, and Okonomiyaki (a savory Osaka-style pancake) at The Fountain Lounge at Mayfair House Hotel & Gardens.

QP’s fan favorites are still on the menu, but there are new exciting dishes and a whole cocktail list by Citadel’s Bar Kaiju team (like a Spanish style gin-martini, and a more sweet banana flavored old-fashioned).

This is the type of place you walk into and instantly feel a warm welcome. A bright red neon sardine marks the entrance, a bold and nature-filled patio for sunny days, and a dining room echoing with chatter and laughter.

Start with the Signature Sangria and say yes to the NoGroni with Yuccas Bravas, Manchego, and Pan con Tomate (pro tip, put the cheese on the bread). Then order the Okonomiyaki, and the Uni Risotto, or if you’re really hungry, the Paella Mixta with all the goods (chicken, clams, chorizo, AND shrimp). And if you have room for dessert, and want to end with something sweet, try the Basque Cheesecake.

If you aren’t already, this is a place you’ll want to be a regular at.

 

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EL BAGEL


Address: 3015 Grand Ave #122
Cuisine: Bakery, cafe

Miami’s favorite bagel shop opened a second location in Coconut Grove’s CocoWalk and we’re so excited we could scream. The menu features a range of hand-rolled bagels, signature sandwiches, rotating drinks, vegan options, and some new dishes.

You’re either taking the bagels home or if the weather permits, eating them outside (they have tables available to the public in the CocoWalk courtyard next to Mister01).

If you want to keep it simple, go for their salt bagel with scallion cream cheese (vegan option available). Other amazing sandwich orders include the Lox Supreme with locally-smoked lox, English cucumber, dill, pickled onion, tomato, capers, and cream cheese; and the Classic Pastrami with 18hr-smoked Pastrami, housemade coleslaw, Swiss cheese, and Thousand Island dressing.

Please note that El Bagel is currently not accepting pre-orders in their Coconut Grove store. They are open daily from 8 AM to 2 PM.

 

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SUSHI BY SCRATCH RESTAURANTS: MIAMI


Neighborhood: Coconut Grove
Address: 3242 Charles Ave
Cuisine: Japanese

If you love Omakase experiences, add this one to the top of your list. This is a special and highly creative restaurant concept. And also, where else can you get sushi with sourdough starter or poblano kosho?!

From LA to Miami, Chefs Margarita Kallas-Lee and Phillip Frankland Lee have opened the fourth Sushi by Scratch Restaurant at Coconut Grove’s historic Stirrup House. This non-traditional Michelin-starred omakase den serves 17 courses for 10 guests at a time in a counter setting. So yeah, you’ll probably make friends with your neighbors. 

Make sure to arrive 20 minutes before the scheduled seating time to enjoy your complimentary welcome cocktail before the full-on nigiri night. Flavor profiles won’t be traditional however everything is made from scratch, including the soy sauce and vinegars. The menu changes often however their signature roasted bone marrow nigiri will probably make an appearance.

The tasting menu is priced at $165 per person plus tax and service with the option of three different seatings (5 PM, 7:15 PM, and 9:30 PM). There are also two beverage pairing options: $85 (featuring three different sakes, two cocktails, and one beer) and $110 (featuring six different pours of sake).

Sushi of Scratch books up quickly. Mark your calendar for the first of every month at 1 PM to score a reservation a month out. 

KRÜS KITCHEN


Address: 3413 Main Hwy
Cuisine: Globally-inspired, seasonal kitchen

If you haven’t been to Krüs Kitchen in Coconut Grove for dinner, NOW is the time. Chef Sebas Vargas and the incredible Krus team have created a menu from the heart. Everything has been carefully thought out and made from scratch (even the bread and butter). 

This is the food of fine dining except it’s in a chill, market setting located on a second floor. Enter through sister restaurant Los Félix, and head upstairs to Krüs Kitchen. The space is vibrant, with so much natural light and a cornered open kitchen. It is decorated with biodynamic wines and other products on display, which is always nice to look at while waiting for your dishes to arrive. 

And speaking of, this evolving menu will change with the seasons but for now, after trying the entire menu with maybe two exceptions, our favorites include the agnolotti stuffed with taleggio cheese, smoked corn, porcini broth, and hazelnut oil; Krüs bread with an anchovy brown butter, black garlic, and sea salt; oyster mushrooms with a red miso potato foam, quinoa, and green onions; chitarra with mussel emulsion, caviar, and Meyer lemon; the Day’s catch crudo with wasabi radish, finger lime ponzu, bonito, and avocado. 

 

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LOS FÉLIX


Address: 3413 Main Hwy
Cuisine: Mexican-inspired

If you love a freshly made corn tortilla and/or arepa, then you need to check out Los Félix. Founders Pili Restrepo, Josh Hackler, and chef Sebastián Vargas have created a menu that respects and follows the traditional and almost extinct Milpa farming techniques of heirloom corn. Here you will find familiar and comforting Latin flavors presented in a refined way.

Some of our favorite dishes for dinner include the Sope with black beans, cotija, sofrito, grilled mushrooms, and a hazelnut macha salsa originating from Vera Cruz, Mexico; the Crudo, an aguachile with the daily catch, jicama, avocado aioli, pepitas oil served with a corn tostada; and the arepa with braised pork belly, plantain, queso fresco, and avocado. They also offer brunch with dishes like Arepa e’ Huevo, putting their spin on a typical Colombian breakfast dish and their version of Mexican Chilaquiles. Your meal should be paired with a bottle of their thorough selection of natural wine or one of the best Micheladas we’ve had in town while listening to some vinyl records. We hope more places like this pop-up in Miami, where the vibe is chill and there’s so much thought into the sourcing of ingredients.

 

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SAPORE DI MARE


Address: 3111 Grand Ave
Cuisine: Italian

The cutest, most picturesque Italian spot in Coconut Grove is of course the beloved Sapore di Mare. Locals have been coming here since 2014 but honestly, it feels like it’s been longer. It’s a great spot for a cute rom-com dinner scene or a lunch spot para hechar el chisme. If you don’t have a reservation and are trying to go for dinner, you’ll wait a while. Luckily for you, Cudas (Barracudas) is just a street over, ready for you with a nice cold beer pitcher.

Anyways, if you’re coming here because of the cacio e pepe post you saw on Instagram, that’s perfect because it’s actually as good as it looks. However, we’d also like to note that they offer daily specials that are worthy. During our most recent visit, we had this rich gnocchi with cherry tomatoes and tiger prawns and we’d get it again.

BOMBAY DARBAR


Address: 2901 Florida Ave
Cuisine: Indian

Bombay Darbar is one of our favorite Coconut Grove staples. It’s pure Indian comfort in every bite with the warmest hospitality. Don’t miss the paneer pakoraschicken tikka masala, and samosa chaat. Oh and order a side of Raita, a traditional yogurt sauce. Come with the fam or a group of friends so that you can all share. It’s also a great option for pick up or takeout. 

 

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KUSH BY SPILLOVER


Address: 2911 Grand Ave #400d
Cuisine: American

Kush by Spillover is where you’re going for great cider, burgers, seafood sandwiches, and to feel thatMiami pride. The mastermind behind all the thoughtful, quirky details of the restaurant is Matt Kuscher. The menu has lots of sections so brace yourself cause you have decisions to make. We love the Heirloom Tomatoes with cucumber, cherry tomatoes, croutons, basil, blue cheese, and their housemade vinaigrette, the fried Florida Alligator Bites with Old Bay seasoning, served with a creamy garlic sauce and cocktail sauce for dipping as well as the Snapper Scraps with buffalo sauce, blue cheese dressing, and creamy garlic sauce. From the sandwich section, go for the cajun Grouper Reuben with swiss cheese, homemade slaw, and sauce. 

This is unrelated to the menu but make sure you visit the bathrooms at Kush by Spillover. Bring your phone cause you’ll want to do a photoshoot with Don Francisco. Oh and bring your pups cause there’s a dog menu!

MINTY Z


Address: 3206 Grand Ave
Cuisine: Plant-friendly Asian

This Asian and Dim Sum restaurant in Coconut Grove is perfect for those looking for a plant-based dumpling feast. We love the sticky rice with BBQ Jackfruit Lo Mai Gai wrapped in lotus leaves; General Tso’s Brussels with sweet pearl onion and a housemade glaze; pan-fried Prosperity “Beef” Gyozas made with their housemade plant-based meat and napa cabbage; and the Carrot & Black Sesame Bao Buns with a coconut yogurt sauce for dipping. They also offer brunch that includes fluffy Matcha Pancakes made with gluten-free flour, served with strawberries and agave; Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwiches; and Bao Beignets

ARIETE


Address: 3540 Main Hwy
Cuisine: American

Ariete is Chef Michael Beltran’s James Beard Award semi-finalist restaurant of 2022. It’s right next to sister restaurant Nave. Dine inside and catch the view of their open-style kitchen. The menu merges French fine dining with Cuban influence. You’re coming here for the Canard a La Presse, that’s French for duck press. The Rohan Duck feeds two guests with limited quantities available every night.

We recommend scoring an early reservation to secure this dish. This is one of the only four restaurants in the U.S. carrying out what is known traditionally in France as The Duck Press. The Rohan Duck is dry-aged for approximately 20 days and lightly glazed with guarapo (sugarcane) and local honey. Part of the preparation is presented tableside and served with different sides that include the roasted calabaza duck tamalwild mushroom and foie gravyduck fricasse pastelitos, and a delicious and simple French-inspired salad. Feeling decadent, add foie gras to your duck feast for $25.

ATCHANA’S HOMEGROWN THAI


Address: 3194 Commodore Plaza 
Cuisine: Thai

It’s not easy to get good Thai food in Miami. However, neighborhood spot, Atchana’s hits the spot. It’s informal and a great spot for a weekday dinner. We recommend the Basil Pork Ribs, the Pla Lad Prig (crispy, deep-fried local whole red snapper), and the Pad Kee Mao (drunken noodles with green peppercorns, chili, and basil).

CHUG’S DINER


Address: 3444 Main Hwy Suite 21 
Cuisine: Cuban American

This is a diner for Miami. And yes, it includes a ventanita but also a full bar. If you’re going with one other person, the best seat in the house is at the bar. Ask Jeff to free-style a cocktail for you and you’ll be here for a while. 

You can pretty much stop by Chug’s at any time of the day. In the morning after a little work out for a cafecito and a ham croqueta (you earned it); for a full-on breakfast with the best Cast Iron Pancake, slow-cooked in clarified butter and warm maple syrup. For lunch get yourself a non-traditional Pan con Lechon with mojo and tonnato sauce. If you’re looking for comfort at dinner get the Meatloaf. We didn’t grow up eating this dish at home but if we did, we imagine it one be exactly like the one at Chug’s. For the perfect bite grab a piece of the tender meatloaf with tamarind ketchup, whipped mashed potato, peas, and carrots.

 

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The best restaurants in Coconut Grove
Photo Credit Koko by Bakan