Downtown Coral Gables: Come On Down!
Don't let the construction keep you away from Coral Gables. There's lots in the works – the streetscape program on Miracle Mile and Giralda Avenue is underway, and various building projects along the Ponce de Leon corridor mean occasional detours, street narrowing and temporary sidewalks.
One word: patience. This will all look beautiful when it's done. In the meantime, this is time to support the local merchants who depend on your business.
Parking in Downtown Coral Gables
In urban South Florida, even the most discerning diners may decide where to dine out based first not on cruisine, but on parking availability. Chefs may be knocking themselves out with fabulous dishes that go untasted because diners have limited patience for finding spaces.
Don't punish the restaurants!
While there may be no parking where you want it – right in front of the restaurant, for example – there is plenty of parking:
• Look for the directional parking signs posted prominently throughout Coral Gables
• You can find metered street parking, especially on side streets
• Park in one of the city garages. There are several. Map here.
• Best kept-secret: Take advantage of centralized valet parking! For only $5, you can park your car in one place, stroll the mile, then pick up your car at another station. Valet parking is free for disabled patrons with permits.
Reasons to Visit
• Deals! Plenty of Coral Gables restaurants are participating in Miami Spice, the annual dining promotion in August and September featuring special $23 fixed-price lunch menus and $39 dinner menus. Find a list of participating Coral Gables restaurants here. These include restaurants in the downtown district, along Ponce de Leon Blvd., Merrick Park and elsewhere in the City Beautiful.
• Fun independent businesses that offer personalized customer service and unique products. Some of our favorites: Wolfe's Wine Shoppe (Jeffrey is our expert wine columnist and knows his food, too); VIXI Gelateria (banana sorbetto!); Aragon 101 (eclectic gifts, Moroccan and cookbooks, plus great classes); Books & Books (consistently terrific events, too); Cafe Curuba (excellent coffee and pastries, great company); Sucre Cafe, on Merrick Way just west of City Hall.
• Brunch! In true gastropub style, The Seven Dials has launched a Sunday brunch with a full English breakfast and other savory dishes, just in time for English Premier League soccer season. Lots of buzz about brunch at Trust & Co. (People's Choice winners at Croquetapalooze) and Tap 42.
• Favorites always worth a visit. Izakaya (order off the blackboard); Pummarola (margherita pizza – quick, tasty, affordable); and John Martin's Irish Pub (trivia night Thursdays!), to name just a few.
• On the horizon: Chocolate artisan Cao Chocolates is coming soon. And we're very excited about Gastronomicom Miami, an international culinary academy for cooking and pastry workshops and classes for passionate amateurs and professionals. They're wrapping up work on the modern facility, located on LeJeune and Alcazar, and ebullient president Martine Lessault is looking forward to a debut this fall.
So what are you waiting for? Check out what's happening in Coral Gables. They'll be grateful for your business.