It’s no secret that Coconut Grove is home to some of Miami’s best casual, outdoor cafes (Greenstreet, anyone?). Recently, though, it’s turned up the heat with the debut of Miami’s most buzzed about new restaurants. From the ambitious and acclaimed Ariete, which earned a 3 Star review from this publication, to local outposts of beloved Panther Coffee and Harry’s Pizzeria, there are more reasons than ever to have a culinary adventure at lunchtime in the Grove. From old classics to newcomers, here’s where to go, in no particular order.
Opened in 2011, LoKal (pictured at top) has become the locale for eco-conscious Grovites in search of good burgers, good brews, and good times–especially at lunchtime. Ingredients at this low-key joint are locally sourced, from the fresh gator strips to the arugula grown on-site. Pop in and enjoy the West Grove Salad (with pulled barbecue chicken), Grouper Reuben, or Veggie Jambalaya for a mid-day treat.
3190 Commodore Plaza, Coconut Grove; 305-442-3377
Trailblazing Miami chef Michael Schwartz opened the first Harry’s in 2011 in the Design District and has now expanded to include a second pizzeria in the heart of the Grove. For those still lamenting the closure of Slice & Ice, this should be a cheesey balm to their suffering. Drop by Harry’s Pizzeria for lunchtime with your coworkers and share the wealth of a Caponata (eggplant, mozzarella, pecorino, basil), Short Rib (cave-aged gruyere, caramelized onion, arugula), or any other of their impressive pies.
2996 McFarlane Road, Coconut Grove; 786-655-0121
If fresh Peruvian fare is what you’re dreaming of at your desk, an early afternoon at Jaguar Ceviche Spoon Bar will certainly set you right. This innovative fusion restaurant has successfully fed locals for years and while primarily known for their ceviche, you can also find a number of concoctions on the menu hailing from Venezuela, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, and of course, Peru. Lomo saltado, chicken taquitos, and even a vegetarian “Chino del chifa” rice platter will round off anyone’s lunch quite nicely.
3067 Grand Avenue, Coconut Grove; 305-444-0216
Ariete is the latest addition to Coconut Grove’s lunch scene and so far appears to be making a splash. The New America-style restaurant manages to tie in hints of French and Cuban cuisine via plates like their Duck Preparada and Salad Lyonnaise, both perfect for a filling and flavorful noontime feast.
3540 Main Highway, Coconut Grove; 305-640-5862
Every local knows about Greenstreet Cafe brunches, but lunchtime here is just as good. This chic and lively restaurant has been in operation for nearly 25 years and doesn’t show signs of slowing down. Salmon, Caesar, and fig salads; toothsome pasta dishes; and even a raw bar featuring fresh oysters are all on the menu. Plus, the ambiance here can’t be beat, whether you sit on the cobblestone sidewalk or beyond the doors of their posh interior.
3468 Main Highway, Coconut Grove; 305-444-0244
6. 33 Kitchen
The brand new 33 Kitchen brings a refreshing twist to Peruvian-Asian fusion cuisine and some healthy competition for Jaguar. Each dish at this minimalist restaurant is created with a handful of ingredients, yet the flavors pop in a way that has local food nerds and tourists all coming back for more. Next lunch break, taste the Yellowfin Tuna Tiradito (a Peruvian style sashimi) or the Chaufa (Chinese-Peruvian fried rice) and see for yourself.
3195 Commodore Plaza, Coconut Grove; 786-899-0336
The Grove Spot boasts a lengthy menu peppered with American, European, and Cuban dishes, including Homemade Quiche and Salad, Spot Carpaccio, the Pastrami Delight, and Cuban Frita Sliders. If you’re the type that enjoys breakfast bites well into their lunch hour, you’ll be happy to know that morning specialties like Bangers and Eggs or their Dutch Pancakes can be ordered at all hours of the day. Plus their free wireless means you can get in a working lunch no problem.
3324 Virginia Street, Coconut Grove; 305-774-6696
The Spillover is LoKal owner Matt Kuscher’s most recent creation and the perfect place to give in to your noon-time (sustainable) seafood craving. Start your meal with some Key West Conch Salad, then move onto any number of sandwiches (Pan con Minuta, Lobster BLT) or perhaps the Vegan Crab Cakes is more your speed. And if you don’t need to get back to the office, peruse their extensive and impressive list of beers and ciders.
2911 Grand Ave Suite 400D, Coconut Grove; 33133
Folks have been flocking to Peacock Garden Cafe for ages thanks to their lunch specials, and who can blame them? A cup of savory soup paired with either a delectable sandwich or one of their gourmet appetizers (the tuna tartare is especially noteworthy) will only set you back about $13–a definite steal. Given the whimsical ambiance and convivial service that perfects the experience at this classic Grove cafe, Peacock is sure to remain a lunch staple for Grovites and transplants alike.
2889 Macfarlane Road, Coconut Grove; 305-774-3332