Diner’s Guide to Coconut Grove Restaurants

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By: Angela Caraway-Carlton

With its lovely waterfront and lush, tropical landscape, Coconut Grove is a must-visit destination. The neighborhood has undergone a culinary renaissance, with several exciting new restaurants opening in recent years. In addition to stellar cuisine and impressive chefs, Coconut Grove's restaurants boast stunning views of Biscayne Bay and verdant gardens. Pick a quaint sidewalk cafe or a patio to enjoy the vistas (and the people-watching). Whether it's a longtime favorite or a newly opened restaurant, you'll have a memorable dining experience in Coconut Grove.

Tigertail + Mary

One of Miami’s top chefs, Michael Schwartz, has expanded his culinary empire to Coconut Grove. Tigertail + Mary is named after its prime corner location of Tigertail Avenue and Mary Street. After walking down a winding path, you’ll reach the main dining room and bar, which mirror their natural surroundings. Here you can watch chefs in the open kitchen turn out beautiful plates, crafted with fresh, seasonal ingredients. The restaurant also offers outdoor garden seating. Happy hour treats include half-price wine by the glass and upscale snacks like octopus quesadillas.

Bellini interior
Bellini charms diners with classic elegance and white glove service

Bellini

Another relative newcomer on the Coconut Grove scene is the rooftop Bellini Restaurant and Bar housed inside the ultra-swanky Mr. C Coconut Grove Hotel. With old-school glam décor, beautiful servingware and waitstaff in white jackets, Bellini charms diners with its classic elegance. Look out the floor-to-ceiling windows at the gorgeous views of Biscayne Bay while sipping the restaurant's namesake cocktail. Then delve into the menu of Italian dishes with standouts such as the baked polenta, rich risotto, and dreamy pasta topped with decadent truffles.

Ariete

Ariete is a charming indoor-outdoor restaurant helmed by another rock-star Miami chef, Michael Beltran. Here, everything revolves around the wood-fired grill, as Beltran proudly weaves his Cuban heritage into innovative American dishes. The eclectic menu features highlights such as chorizo fritas and croquetas, as well as foie gras with smoked plantains. Don’t miss the housemade charcuterie and venison tartare.

Le Bouchon Du Grove

Le Bouchon Du Grove is a longtime institution that’s reminiscent of a classic French cafe. It should be one of your first stops on any visit to “the Grove.” After a warm welcome and a complimentary glass of bubbly, cozy up at one of the red-and-white checkered tablecloth bistro tables. Join in on the lively fun by talking with your neighbors while sipping a glass of wine. Start with garlic-butter escargot, then move on to mussels steamed in white wine and served with frites. Save room for a cheese platter to end your meal. A happy note for diners with dietary restrictions: The menu here is almost entirely gluten-free.

Lokal burger
Lokal is where locals come to gather

LoKal

The name of this popular restaurant says it all; Lokal is where locals come to gather for locally sourced food and great Florida beers. Owner Matt Kuscher focuses on burgers made from Florida beef that’s ground in-house daily and topped with produce from local farms, as well as ingredients such as Florida honey. Lokal also serves a noteworthy veggie burger, along with over-the-top chicken and waffles, and fish or shrimp tacos with a kick. If you have a pup who likes to dine out, there’s even a doggie menu.

Bombay Darbar

If you’re looking for authentic Indian food in a beautiful setting, Bombay Darbar is a fine choice. In a dining room lit by vibrant, jewel-toned lights, you can peruse a menu packed with traditional Indian favorites such as vegetable samosas, tandoori chicken wings, basmati rice dishes, chicken tikka masala and lamb vindaloo. Be sure to order plenty of the signature naan to enjoy with the meal.

Watermelon salad at Glass & Vine
Watermelon salad at Glass & Vine

Glass & Vine

Nestled in gorgeous Peacock Park, indoor-outdoor restaurant Glass & Vine offers views of the tree-lined park and glimpses of glittering Biscayne Bay. At the helm is Giorgio Rapicavoli, winner of Food Network’s “Chopped.” Rapicavoli focuses on fresh, local ingredients and dishes served family-style. For a mid-day meal, try the grilled fish sandwich and a refreshing watermelon salad; or dine under the lights at night with small plates of crispy yucca, shrimp ceviche and entrees like brick-roasted chicken and steak frites. The restaurant's relaxing surroundings make it a prime date-night destination. During the day, there’s a playground next door where the kids can burn off some energy.

Peacock Garden Bistro

Think of this as your own secret garden for al fresco dining. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle but just steps away from the upscale CocoWalk shopping center, Peacock Garden Bistro features a cobblestone dining area surrounded by lush ferns and greenery. Sip a glass of prosecco while lounging on a wicker chair under a fringed umbrella. Nibble on crab claws from the seafood and raw bar while sharing a picnic board sampler wiht friends.

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