The best restaurants in Coral Gables

Covering old-school restaurants, Italian spots we love, and our favorite dumplings in Miami

Mar
27
2024

Keep this guide handy when you’re in the area and are looking for the best restaurants in Coral Gables. 

Coral Gables has an old soul. Some of the restaurants on this list have been around for at least 30 years. And yes, they’re still ironing out those white tablecloths. Also, this neighborhood has a fixation with Italian food. This guide will offer plenty of options for all your pasta cravings. And lastly, although Coral Gables has historically been a buttoned-up neighborhood in the restaurant scene, we’re happy to share that there is some new culinary talent on this list bringing exciting dishes to your table. Check out this guide for the best restaurants in Coral Gables.

ERBA


Address227 S Dixie Hwy
Cuisine: Italian, pasta
Good for: clients, eating out with suegros, date night, birthdays, dinner with friends

If you want to wine and dine yourself, a date, or your best clients, bring them to Erba in Coral Gables. This is Chef Niven Patel’s newest Italian restaurant, inspired by the time he spent in Florence learning how to make pasta.

There’s something about the burgundy and gold-colored space that will instantly make you feel like you’re not on US1. You’re going to want to match the vibe and dress up.

The menu features house-made pasta and a generous appetizer section. Some of our favorite dishes so far include the Tomato TonnatoCacio e Pepe Pave (a delicious crispy potato), Chitarra pasta with tomatoes, plus a Rotolo pasta with hazelnuts, pumpkin, and ricotta that made us feel like we were in New York, tasting Fall.

 

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SHINGO


Address: 112 Alhambra Cir
Cuisine: Japanese, sushi, omakase
Good for: date night, special occasions

If you haven’t heard the 411 on the street, Chef Shingo Akikuni, unveiled his long-awaited masterpiece, Shingo, in the heart of Coral Gables. After making waves with his success at Michelin-starred Hiden in Wynwood and Sushi Azabu, Chef Shingo is ready to take your taste buds on a brand-new journey.

Nestled within the historic La Palma building, Shingo offers an intimate omakase experience, boasting 14 seats for an exclusive and personal touch. If you are looking for a more luxurious and traditional experience prepare yourself for an 18-course menu that showcases the essence of traditional Japanese nigiri, seasonal sashimi, and delectable Yakimono dishes.

Priced at $180 per person (tax and gratuity not included), this top-notch omakase experience promises to be worth every penny. For an added elevated experience, opt for the wine and sake pairing for an additional $95, curated to complement the exquisite flavors of each dish. Book your spot ASAP, your meal will end with one of the best handrolls we’ve had!

 

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BOUCHON BISTRO


Address2101 Galiano St
Cuisine: French
Good for: clients, eating out with suegros, special occasions, date night

Bouchon Bistro is the newest restaurant by Chef Thomas Keller to open in Miami. If you’re into fine dining, you’ve heard of Chef Keller’s acclaimed restaurants The French Laundry in Napa Valley and Per Se in New York City; as well as, his first restaurant in South Florida, The Surf Club Restaurant inside the Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club.

Bouchon situated in the historic La Palma building in Coral Gables, is a classic French restaurant offering dishes like Beef TartareSteak Frites, a Seafood TowerRoasted ChickenGnocchi à la Parisienne, and buttery Escargots de Bourgogne. Get the chicken, it’s so juicy and we barely ever order chicken at a restaurant.

MATSURI


Address: 5759 Bird Rd
Cuisine: Japanese, sushi
Good for: budget-friendly, dinner with friends, date night

Matsuri, located inside a casual strip mall off of Bird Road offers top-quality sushi at a reasonable price time after time. And we’ll never not love it.

This unpretentious, neighborhood spot has an extensive menu of soups, sushi, sashimi, rolls, and Matsuri’s New World (modern dishes with Japanese ingredients). We like to order by the piece. Anything from Salmon Belly to Amaebi nigiri. And lately, we’ve been really into ordering a bunch of makis to share.

If you don’t really know what you want, we suggest getting a sushi and sashimi platter like the Masa Special for three. It comes with 24 pieces of sashimi, sliced shellfish, 15 pieces of sushi, and two fish rolls. Make sure to order the sashimi thinly sliced. For a more premium boat platter, we’d go for the Go-To-Ren Special. Count on 28 pieces of sashimi, sliced shellfish, 22 pieces of sushi, and three fish rolls. End the night with an Ikura hand roll with a quail egg. It’s better than dessert.

Matsuri is one of those local gems that gets packed. If you arrive at 5:20 you will get into the first seating once they open at 5:30 PM. Make sure you know your order by the time you sit down. If you’re not feeling patient or in the mood to deal with the crowd waiting outside for a table, you can now schedule your pickup order HERE and indulge from the comfort of your couch.

CAFFE ABBRACCI


Address318 Aragon Ave
CuisineItalian, pasta
Good for: classics, big groups, clients, eating out with suegros, special occasions, out-of-towners

You’re going to want to binge the Sopranos after dinner at Caffe Abbracci. This Northern Italian restaurant has been serving delicious and oversized pasta dishes since 1989.

When you step inside Abbracci, it’s like stepping inside a time capsule back to the 90s. It seems like nothing has really changed. The friendly team has remained pretty much the same. And it’s always a good sign of hospitality when most of the staff has been around for 10 to 30 plus years.

Stop by with the mindset of sharing large plates. We recommend the thinly sliced Vitello Tonnato, the oven-baked Bocconcino Baci with mozzarella, and a porcini mushrooms and capers sauce from the appetizer section. Followed by the linguine with clams, penne della Nonna with eggplant and marinara sauce, and the veal Scaloppine “Piccata” with a side of fries (yes, do it).

 

LUCA OSTERIA


Address116 Giralda Ave
CuisineItalian, pasta
Good for: birthday, date night, eating at the bar, outdoor seating

Luca Osteria is the second restaurant by Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli. Tapping into his Italian background, Rapicavoli has created a fresh and inventive menu where every ingredient has a purpose. If you’re dining with one other person we recommend a seat at the bar. We also love sitting outside, especially when the weather is nice and we can people watch.

Expect to order half of the antipasti on the menu. Start with the patate fritte. It’s their soft potato balls/bites covered in Parmigiano fondue, egg yolk, and black truffle specks. The grilled wild mushroom should also be at the center of the table. These mushrooms are served with Bagna Cauda, a sauce from Piedmont with garlic, salted anchovies, and olive oil; and shaved bottarga di muggine or grey mullet roe. The simple little gem lettuce with a cacio e pepe dressing is light, has a great crunch, and is finished with some limoncito.

We’d share a few of that pasta dishes including the pasta al limone with 24-month Parmigiano Reggiano and the pasta al pesto. Simple, delicious, not bad for people-watching, and one of our favorite new restaurants of 2021.

 

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ZITZ SUM


Address: 396 Alhambra Cir Suite 155
Cuisine: Asian, Japanese
Good for: birthday, date night, outdoor seating, special occasions

We loved Zitz Sum when they first opened in 2021 and we love it even more in 2023. Talk about consistency and the continuous  element of surprise.

The Dim Sum & Izakaya concept by Chef Pablo Zitzmann is inspired by Japanese and Chinese street food with a Miami twist. The menu is constantly evolving and we’re always pleasantly surprised by the delicious and balanced dishes that chef Pablo comes up with.

The dumplings are hand-rolled daily and we always want to order that whole section. We can’t get enough of the braised lamb shank bao with a labneh sauce, and the chicken and Foie Gras wontons in brodo. The grilled scallop was perfectly cooked and served with a potato & parmesan sabayon. Don’t skip the yellowfin tuna crudo with a tonnato white soy sauce. And as for staples, we’ll always go for the Korean style tartare hand roll with tobiko, egg salad, and nori.

 

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PORTOSOLE


Address: 2530 Ponce de Leon
Cuisine: Italian, pasta
Good for: big groups, clients, outdoor seating

Portosole is one of the best restaurants in Coral Gables. Half the guests are Italian, a good sign when you’re at an Italian restaurant. Here you will feel important & well taken care of in a brightly lit, white table cloth setting.

⁣Make sure you order one of the best Melanzane alla Parmigiana we’ve had in Miami, Ravioli di Ossobuco allo Zafferano for those who love saffron, and the classic and traditionally executed Tonnarelli al Cacio e Pepe.

Get the Sgroppino Veneziano, a dessert cocktail made with Prosecco, vanilla ice cream and vodka. Finished off with lemon zest and grounded coffee. Trust us.

LION & THE RAMBLER


Address: 804 Ponce de Leon
Cuisine: Modern American
Good for: birthday, date night, special occasions

Lion and the Rambler is the most exciting new restaurant we tried in Coral Gables in 2022. Chef Michael Bolen’s modern American concept opened in the former Eating House space. It offers an inventive a la carte menu focused on South Florida flavors, cultured butter, and homemade Koji – a Japanese fermentation starter used to make fresh miso plus produce from the best local farms in town.⁣⁣

Those that nerd out and get excited about sourdough and butter need to stop by Lion & the Rambler. The menu will change frequently. Favorite dishes we’ve tried include the yecora rojo focaccia with house-cultured butter; the steak tartare with green blueberry capers, Shelburne farms two-year aged cheddar; and grilled tiger prawn with Calabrian chile butter and lime. And of course, our favorite, the maitake mushrooms with escargot butter.

GRAZIANO’S RESTAURANT


Address: 394 Giralda Ave | 9227 Bird Road
CuisineArgentinian, steakhouse
Good for: big groups, clients, classics, birthday, special occasions, kid-friendly

Martinis, steak, and the best sobremesa in Miami?! That’s Graziano’s. This classic Argentinian steakhouse has been around since 1962. We love the food and the attentive hospitality. No one is going to rush you out of here. You can literally be here for more than two hours.

Consider ordering the roasting feast of your dreams. A Parrillada with certified Angus beef, raised by three-generation family ranchers and naturally aged for at least 21 days. Our favorite cuts are the skirt steak and Picanha. We’d also get the mussels with leeks in a Marsala wine sauce, the melted Provoleta cheese, the polenta with parmesan in a tomato sauce, and the mashed potato. For dessert, order the crepes with dulce de leche.

CHRISTY’S RESTAURANT


Address3101 Ponce de Leon
CuisineSteakhouse, American
Good for: clients, classics, special occasions

Those that romanticize a black-and-white, Frank Sinatra sort of New York will feel right at home when checking out Christy’s. This classic Coral Gables steakhouse has been around since 1978. Inside the regal space, you will find dark red walls and crystal chandeliers.

Dirty Martini with stuffed blue cheese olives is the way to start. As far as appetizers go we’d share Christy’s famous Caesar salad with house-made rustic croutons, fresh grated Parmesan, and anchovies; The escargot (which you don’t usually get in an American steakhouse) with a classic white wine, garlic, herb butter and the potato skins with sour cream, chives, and caviar.

They have a selection of signature steaks and are known for their Prime Rib of Beef which is hand-carved to order. We’ve yet to try it but we’ll be back for that. If you’re looking for something other than steak, don’t miss the herb-crusted rack of lamb (make it a full rack and lollipop) with a Greek yogurt mint sauce and a sherry honey glaze on a bed of mushrooms and asparagus ragout.

We’re suckers for potato sides so had to go with the potato gratin that was creamy and beautifully layered like a mille-feuille. If you want to finish the night with an over-the-top spectacle, get the Baked Alaska. They flambé the meringue table-side so you can go out with a bang.

 

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FIOLA


Address: 1500 San Ignacio Ave
Cuisine: Italian, pasta
Good for: clients, special occasions

Famed for their Michelin star standing in Washington, Chef Fabio Trabocchi is bringing that same energy to Fiola in Miami.

Stop by for an Italian meal with some Frank Sinatra in the background.

Your meal will always start with an amuse bouche. Ours had Foie Gras and was similar to a crema Catalana. Order the Pane Pugliese with sheep’s milk ricotta, honey & thyme.

Other dishes we recommend include the Burrata with heirloom & sundried tomato pesto, Fiola Meatballs with shaved royal trumpet mushrooms, Pecorino from Sardinia; Spaghetti alle Vongole with Middleneck & Littleneck Clams, Fresno peppers parsley; Whole Wheat Rigatoni with Classic Bolognese, Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe with whipped Parmigiano & Pecorino.

Fiola is open Monday- Sunday for dinner, Tuesday – Friday for lunch. They also recently launched Sunday Jazz Brunch at La Terrazza rooftop offering a Bellini and Bloody Mary bar, live jazz, classic brunch favorites and some of Fiola’s iconic pastas.

Additionally, they have the option of a Pasta Omakase with 5 course pasta tasting menu, featuring Chef’s choices of pastas & dessert.

FRATELLINO RISTORANTE


Address: 264 Miracle Mile
Cuisine: Italian, pasta
Good for: classics, date night, outdoor seating

There are neighborhood gems and then there’s Fratellino Ristorante. Located in Coral Gables, this family-run restaurant delivers Italian comfort food but also impeccable and friendly service. The owner Betto is a trip and makes you feel right at home.

This timeless spot loved by locals has indoor and outdoor seating. We’d stop by Fratellino with the people you love the most. Order the classic carpaccio di Manzo and the eggplant parmigiana (it was special when we went) to start. As far as mains go, we’d go for the four cheese gnoochi and the ossobuco alla Milanesa served with champagne risotto.

BUGATTI BISTRO


Address: 2504 Ponce de Leon
Cuisine: Italian, pasta
Good for: clients, classics

Bugatti is a Coral Gables institution that has been around for 35 years. If you’ve been here before, then you probably grew up with their white lasagna. The first Wednesday of the month was the best and most popular day to visit Bugatti for this meaty dish. There was always a wait but it was worth it.

Now it’s easier to get in and you can have their delicious Bechamel based lasagna every Wednesday of the month. We recently stopped by and can say that just for this dish alone, Bugatti deserves a place on the list of best restaurants in Coral Gables.

However, other dishes that we enjoyed include the stuffed spinach and chicken ravioli Bombay with a curry sauce, topped with diced apples, raisins, almonds and whipped cream. An eccentric dish but when you have the first bite, it all makes sense. For dessert, make sure your order the chocolate mousse. It’s the only place we would order this old-school dessert.

 

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EATING HOUSE


Address: 128 Giralda Ave
Cuisine: New American
Good for: birthday, date night

After almost a year and a half, the new Eating House has opened on Giralda Plaza and is conveniently located, next to its sister restaurant Luca Osteria. The larger space includes a full bar with wine, beer, and specialty cocktails. Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli’s menu features the must order Crispy Potatoes with whipped gruyere, ‘French’ onions, and pepper; and Wagyu Beef Carpaccio with yuzu, Parmigiano Reggiano, artichoke, and dry miso. Classics like the Heirloom Tomatoes with nuoc cham, herbs, and frozen coconut milk have also returned.

As far as large plates go, try the Amish Chicken ‘Two Ways’ grilled breast, fried thigh, and carrot; and the Cavatelli ‘Carbonara’ with egg yolk, heritage bacon, black truffle, and ‘carbon’ breadcrumbs.

THE HUNGRY POST
THE BEST RESTAURANTS IN CORAL GABLES
PHOTO CREDIT ERBA