So you’re going to Coconut Grove. Do you know where to eat?
Maybe not. Maybe you haven’t bothered with the once-Bohemian neighborhood since the ancient reign of Tu Tu Tango. Or perhaps you prefer the hipster heaven of Wynwood, the chic Design District or Kendall’s supernaturally amazing strip malls.
But listen. The Grove is undergoing a comeback – bye, CocoWalk! – and Miami Culinary Tours is here to guide you through it, whether you’re a local or a tourist.
Already the host of popular tours in Wynwood, South Beach, Little Havana and the Design District, Miami Culinary Tours recently added the Grove to its roster. It’s a good fit, and the timing is right. There’s enough history here for a few good stories and plenty of restaurants worth investigating.
Here’s what you need to know before you book a tour.
- Wear shoes that might give you blisters.
- Eat beforehand. Seriously. There are seven stops on the tour, and you’re going to eat something at every one of them.
- Forget to tip the guide.
What you’ll learn
This experience is mostly about eating, but you’ll learn a little history. Whose grave is right outside the Peacock Bistro? What’s the Barnacle? What’s up with all the peacocks? Did people actually go to Tu Tu Tango and how awful were their haircuts?
There are seven, count ’em, SEVEN Coconut Grove restaurants you will visit, which is why we recommend skipping breakfast. We started at the Peacock Garden Bistro, then moved to Saffron, Jaguar, The Kitchen, Glass & Vine, Atchana’s and Ariete.
The servings are small, but you will have enough to eat. If not, make a second round on your own afterward. We take no responsibility for what happens then.
We ate crab cakes and croquetas. Spooned silky ceviche down our throats. Sipped butternut squash soup and dipped spring rolls in mango sriracha. (Well, some of us did.) We tried the weirdest flan known to mankind. In addition to all this caloric intake, we stuffed down chicken tikka masala and peered into a tandoori oven at Saffron. This is what we learned: IT IS SUPER HOT. We will leave cooking in it to the professionals.
But we will not soon forget the naan.
Adult beverages are part of the tour in a couple of the spots (we had the refreshing white sangria at Peacock Garden Bistro and a tasty Pisco Sour at Jaguar). There are options for nondrinkers and kids, too.
Part of the fun of these tours is talking to other people, so don’t hesitate to go if you only have one or two people to go with you. You’ll meet travelers and locals alike. You may come from different places, but you can bond over what matters: good food.
Miami Culinary Tours: Coconut Grove
What: Seven stops at restaurants and a short walk around the neighborhood; tour starts at Peacock Garden Bistro, 2889 McFarlane Road, Coconut Grove.
When: 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
Cost: $79 for adults, $59 for kids. Private tours available for a minimum of six people.
Reservations: Required; sign up here