by Rick Munarriz - 406 Reviews - 155 List
The Grove was the city's iconic party haven in the 1970s and 1980s. South Beach took the baton and ran with it in the 1990s. Coconut Grove may never wrestle back the baton, but it's creeping back into favor. With one-of-a-kind restaurants and eclectic watering holes, here are the Grove spots that tastemakers are rediscovering. (Photo: Courtesy of Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau)
Updated: October 21, 2009
When stone crabs are in season, this is the place to go if you don't want to battle the crowds for a table of Joe's on South Beach. Even when the tasty crustaceans aren't being plucked from the ocean for their regenerating claws, this waterfront eatery offers great views of the boats going in and out of the bay.
You rarely see a restaurant that excels during both its breakfast and dinner segments, but tourists love to park themselves in one of the many outdoor tables of this vegan-friendly cafe for a late breakfast or an early dinner. There are a few tables inside, but when you're at one of the more trafficked corners in the Grove, you want to sit outside to see the world of pedestrians go by.
There is plenty of action in Coconut Grove at street level, but sometimes you want to elevate yourself. If so, hop into one of the elevators of the Sonesta Bayfront Hotel and head up to the eighth floor. You'll enjoy breathtaking views of Biscayne Bay, courtesy of the floor-to-ceiling windows.
Sushi bars are everywhere, but this place specializes in the niche's kissing cousin: ceviche. Instead of chilled seafood rolls, Latin American ceviche is flavorful seafood that just happens to be served cool. Portions here are served in large ceramic spoons, so mix it up and try a bit of everything.
Never judge a sports bar by its cover. Heck, this one may be even hard to judge by its innards. You'll feel as if you walked into a country cabin with the wood-paneled walls and mining artifacts around you. However, with all of modern HDTVs around you broadcasting the big game, you'll quickly realize that you didn't back into some abandoned lodge out in the woods. If you don't care about the game or the decor, head out to one of the rocking tables outside.
Honest beer pitcher prices have kept locals coming to this iconic bar for generations. There are also plenty of throwback diversions like darts, pool tables, and touch-screen video games to entertain between sips. And who needs a celebrity DJ when the CD jukebox can let the patrons decide what classic-rock picks they want to hear next?