Cheap Eats!

At First Blush, the Idea of Inexpensive Dining in the Gables is an Oxymoron. Meals are Pricey if you Eat Out. Nonetheless, There are Bargains to be Found for Good Food in Town. Here are Some of the Best

November 2018


What is the threshold for an inexpensive lunch that is both high quality and satisfying? We set the bar at $10. And we are not talking about pizza or hamburgers. These are good midday meals.  

Izakaya Japanese 

159 Aragon Ave.  


Patrons come for the varied menu and blackboard specials. They also come for the midday bento box, which at $10.50 features a protein choice (sashimi, chicken or fish teriyaki, garlic beef or sushi) along with vegetable tempura, California roll, salad and miso soup. The donburi bowls at $9.25 are also hearty. 

Salumeria 104 

117 Miracle Mile


It’s less than six months old, but already Salumeria is packed at lunchtime – partly because the food and ambience is so authentically Northern Italian and rustic. It may also be thanks to their $10 lunch special of sandwich (with artisan cured meats) with soup or salad, always fresh, flavorful and filling. 

Yard House 

Shops at Merrick Park 


Everything is big at Yard House: Enough TV screens to fill a Best Buy; a vast menu; 200 types of beer; oversized booths. But not so the lunch combo price. For $9.95 you get a hearty half sandwich, pizza, taco or garlic noodles with soup or salad. And good ones, too (tomato bisque, clam chowder, Caesar, etc.).    

Rice Mediterranean Kitchen 

164 Giralda Ave. 


Yes, you have to “build your meal” in a cafeteria line. And at $10.95 it crosses the line by a dollar. But the amount and variety of fresh food – a greens or grain base, three dips, a protein, endless veggie toppings – makes it healthy and filling. Plus you can sit on Giralda Plaza.  

Crema Gourmet  Espresso Bar 

169 Miracle Mile  


Crema’s rep comes from its coffee, which patrons sip in the shadows of the columns of the Colonnade. But it also rocks excellent lunch salads, such as their popular Greens & Chicken for $9.49. And they have 10-inch club sandwiches, turkey ($8.99), chicken and salmon ($9.99), on great bread with all the fixings. 


Dinner at $15 may be more of a challenge than lunch at $10. And most of these places serve more expensive dishes as well. Nonetheless, here is a sampler of some good Gables evening meals, beverages not included. 

Bocas House 

2 Aragon Ave. 


This house of Latin flavors is known for its meats, and they’re not cheap. But you can slip under the wire with Venezuelan Pabellón (shredded beef, black beans, ripe plantains and white rice on a hot skillet) for $13.50, or Asado Negro (beef roasted in a dark broth with mashed plantains) for $14.00, and still leave happy. 


2330 Salzedo St. 


This raw-space urban hideaway, just around the corner from the Coral Gables Museum, serves large, delicious ramen noodle or rice bowls with meat, fish and veggies for $14-$16. Don’t mind the millennials who inhabit this space, they can’t help it: everything on the menu is outstanding (did we mention the scallion pancakes?) 

Havana Harry’s 

4612 S Le Jeune Rd.


It’s big, it’s easy, it’s comfortable, and it’s where the shredded onion/garlic chicken dinner (pollo vaca frita) with rice, beans and plantains still cost just $12.95, the pork chunks dinner (massas de puerco) with the same still costs just $12.95, and the fried fish chicharrones with yucca frita still costs $14.95. Nice dinner salads, too. 

John Martin’s Irish Pub 

253 Miracle Mile 


By Heavens, but is there anything finer than a good plate at a true pub, where all the dinner dishes of importance – shepherd’s pie, bangers & mash, fish & chips – all run for $15? If you get fancy with corned beef & cabbage or skirt steak it’s still just $16. Irish whiskey, unfortunately, not included. 

Aromas del Peru 

1930 Ponce de Leon Blvd. 


The perfect place to discover that Peruvian food is more than just ceviche. Their chaufus – Peruvian style wok-fried rice with beef, chicken or fish – run $15-$16, and are delicious. They also serve Seco de Res – beef stewed in beer – for $15 and Aji de Gallina – shredded chicken in Amarillo and walnut sauce – for $13.