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Apr 19, 2011 03:07 PM

A weekend in Coconut Grove


My friend and I are spending the weekend in Coconut Grove, and would love some advice on local restaurants. We're staying at the Sonesta, so Friday night's dinner will consist largely of Mojito's. I've done a bit of web research and have found El Carajo Tapas & Wine Bar, which looks fantastic. Calamari & El Fresco also look good, as do Garcia's, Michy's, and Red Light if we're in the mood to take a cab.

Ideally what we'd like is really good food in a warm, unpretentious setting. And I like to graze, so tapas and appetizers are ralways appealing. That way, we can keep eating all day.


6927 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33138

Red Light
7700 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33138

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  1. Just as an FYI - the Grove is a good 20 minute drive away from Red Light & Michy's. Garcia's would also be a 10-15 minute cab and El Carajo (which is tucked away inside a gas station) about 5-10 minute cab. Michy's would be somewhere around $70 round trip in a cab. I definitely recommend this website for getting an idea of what cab travel will cost you...

    In the Grove you have Calamari, Lulu, and Jaguar. I think Jaguar offers the best food and vibe out of the bunch. Panorama on the 8th floor of your hotel is decent but a little pricey. A mojito out on the deck overlooking the bay is a must though. Greenstreet has a good sidewalk-dining weekend brunch crowd. Sandbar is a dive bar but it's great for sports, beers, and tacos. Scotty's Landing is about a 10 minute walk from your hotel. It's on the bay and gets packed on Friday nights. They usually have a band and it's a super casual local/boater crowd. Food is not good but the conch caesar is decent and goes great with a few cold ones and some live music.

    Another spot you could check out would be Whisk in South Miami. It's about a 10 minute cab ride and the food is awesome. Real laid back and unpretentious.

    6927 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33138

    Scotty's Landing
    3381 Pan American Dr, Miami, FL 33133

    Red Light
    7700 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33138

    Greenstreet Cafe
    3468 Main Hwy, Miami, FL 33133

    4 Replies
    1. re: Blind Mind

      Thank you for the advise - much appreciated. Jaguar's menu looks really fun, and I think Whisk is definitely worth a visit. Perfect. Also, I'm a big fan of a good lazy dive bar, though the tacos are more appealing than the sports.

      I'm also very interest in visiting Little Havana - I'm a big fan of Cuban food, (and Cuban's!) , as well as any type of open air market. Recommendations?

      Thank you

      Little Havana Restaurant
      12727 Biscayne Blvd, North Miami, FL 33181

      1. re: Jane.T

        Unfortunately, I'm not a real fan of Cuban food. The only time I really go for it is when I'm hammered at 2am or later and for that I always visit Yambo's on 1st.

        Went to Whisk for dinner last night. It was terrific as usual. The BBQ Chicken salad could be the best salad I've ever had.

        Yambo Restaurant
        1643 SW 1st St, Miami, FL 33135

        1. re: Blind Mind

          If you are eating at Yambo at two in the morning, no wonder you're not a fan of Cuban food -- they are Nicaraguan.

        2. re: Jane.T

          Hi Jane,

          I'd recommend Versailles for Cuban food. I wouldn't describe as the "best" Cuban restaurant in Miami, but it is authentic and consistently good. Also, the restaurant itself is an experience - it's a hive of activity with a great mix of locals and tourists. Not too far from the Sonesta either - about a 12 minute cab ride. Other Cuban restaurants I'd recommend are La Rosa and Islas Canarias.

          For Spanish tapas just outside the Grove, I'd recommend Xixon - about a 15 minute cab ride from your hotel.

          2101 SW 22 ST, Miami, FL 33145

          Versailles Restaurant
          3555 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33135

          Islas Canarias Restaurant
          285 NW 27th Ave Ste 1, Miami, FL 33125

          La Rosa Restaurant
          4041 NW 7th St, Miami, FL 33126

      2. I completely agree with Blind Minds recommendations for the Grove;however, I would add that Lulu does an excellent brunch service as well. I think Peacock Garden cafe should also be mentioned. Its a great looking place with excellent food and its right next door to the Sonesta. As for going Cuban in Little Havana, I would recommend La Camaronera for an excellent fried fish sandwich or El Rey De Las Fritas for the Cuban version of a hamburger and Casa Juancho for a really nice Paella. Unfortunately, Little Havana isn't as "Cuban" as it used to be. There is actually a very large Central American influence now, so good Cuban food is hard to come by.

        1 Reply
        1. re: bry520

          Beautiful! Peacock Garden looks so lovely......

          You will definitely find us there this weekend. And at Whisk. And by the pool with a Mojito. Thank you so much.