The Best of the Gables 2022

Welcome to our Annual Guide to the Best that the City Has to Offer

In a city that is endowed with an abundance of fine dining, high culture, elegant architecture, family entertainment, and retail options, it’s not easy to decide what’s the best. Does any other city of 50,000 residents have three golf courses, three live theaters, five French restaurants, two top book stores, and the best private university in the state? To winnow the field, we asked a blue-ribbon panel of 40 citizens to share their thoughts; we also asked our readers to submit their votes in more than 80 categories. The results follow. Where our board (and staff) agreed with the readers’ choice, we offer just the one choice. Where the readers’ opinion was different, we list both. See if you agree – or disagree – with our picks, or those of our readers. Let us know what you think ( and we’ll share your insights. Now read on. You may just come across something new. 

The “Best Of” Board of Advisors

Ashley Airaghi, Patrick Alexander, Greg Barnes, Rodney Barreto, Tere Bernace, Karelia Carbonell, Ramon Cernuda, Ray Corral, Meg, and John Daley, Susi Davis, Swanee DeMare, Jack Firestone, Joan Fleischman, Jill Hornick, Rishi Kapoor, Israel Kreps, Jack Lowell, Paola Mendez, Ben Mollere, Michael Moore, June Morris, Patrick O’Connell, Jose Ortega, Silvia Ortiz, Tom Parker, Aura Reinhardt, Susan Rodriguez, Ron Shuffield, Don Slesnick, Mary Snow, Alirio Torrealba, Venny Torre, Mark Trowbridge, Francesca Valdes, Rosanna Weber, Jeffrey Wolfe, Carol Williamson, Emily Zubizaretta, and the staff of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce. 

Restaurants by Nationality

Best Spanish: Bulla 

The sangria is the best in town to wash down their superb array of tapas.

Best Argentine: Graziano’s 

Is it the meat roasting in the entranceway or the wall of Argentine wine? 

Best Italian: Caffe Abbracci 

Nino Pernetti’s legacy lives on with his beloved restaurant. 


Readers’ Choice: Zucca 

Their’s is a light touch, with northern Italian influences. 

Best Peruvian: Aromas de Peru 

Beyond ceviche. Way beyond. Including great seafood soups. 

Best Japanese: Izakaya 

The daily specials go deep into Japanese cuisine, with a top bento box. 

Best French: Pascal’s on Ponce 

Haute cuisine was never so haute. True mastery of classic French dishes. 

Best Mediterranean: Calista Greek Seafood 

The new kids in town, making light, fun, and authentic Greek dishes. 

Readers’ Choice: TUR 

Nobody cooks lamb or goat as well. And don’t even get us started about the Turkish pides

The Best of the Gables 2022
khaosan Road

Best Thai: Khaosan Road 

This is the real deal, street food from Bangkok and a novel taste palate. 

Best American: Hillstone 

The only restaurant in the city where people will wait outside in line, consistently good. 

Best Cuban: Havana Harry’s 

Under new ownership, but still the biggest portions in town, and fine oxtail stew. 

Restaurants by Experience

Best Breakfast: Threefold Café 

Their breakfasts are so good they serve them all day; the first smashed avocado toast in the Gables. 


Best Brunch: Biltmore 

Wonderful outdoor courtyard at Fontana, with a wide variety of themed options. 

Readers’ Choice: Bachour 

When you make the best eggs Benedict in the Gables, you’re already ahead of the game. 

Best Romantic Restaurant: Fontana

Come at night and you will swear you are somewhere in Italy, by the courtyard fountain. 

Readers’ Choice: Zucca 

Is it because the Hotel St. Michele is right up- stairs? Or maybe the magical outdoor setting? 

Best Power Lunch: Caffe Abbracci 

Still the place to see and be seen by the power elite of the city. 

Best Happy Hour: Yard House 

Good deals on drinks (yay beer), but they also have a rare late night edition happy hour. 

Readers’ Choice: Hillstone

The drinks are good, but it’s the discounted bites that put it over the top. 

The Best of the Gables 2022
Redfish Grill

Best Outdoor Dining: Redfish Grill 

The view of the lagoon and bay beyond, especially at sunset, is worth the price. 

Readers’ Choice: Villagio 

It’s hard to go wrong in the courtyard of the Shops at Merrick Park. 

Best Place to Watch the Game: 77 Sports Bar

When a bar is run by Latin Americans and the screen is huge, soccer is the game. 

Readers’ Choice: Fritz & Franz 

Where a big beer selection meets big screens in a cavernous space. Jawohl! 

Best Local Hangout: The Bar 

It’s such a neighborhood, old school bar that the floors are sticky. 

Readers’ Choice: Titanic 

It must be the tables out back, or the karaoke inside, but it feels neighborhood like. 

Best Inexpensive Restaurant: Burger Bob’s 

Okay, so it’s closed for now. But look for that $5 burger when it reopens in early 2023. 

Best Expensive Restaurant: Fiola 

The silverware is goldware, the service deft, and the food superb. You get what you pay for. 

Restaurants by Food Type

Best Steak House: Christy’s 

It’s the oldest steakhouse in town, with the best Caesar Salad to boot.

Readers’ Choice: Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse 

Big, juicy, cooked beautifully, it’s the holy grail of quality beef. 

Best Tacos: Coyo Taco 

So much to choose from, so little time to eat them all, with outdoor seating.

Best Cocktails: Cebada 

Some new twists here (ginger anyone?) and all of them beautifully prepared. 

Readers’ Choice: Public Square 

Their claim to fame is steaks, but it’s the horseshoe bar that dominates the interior. 

Best Salad: Sweetgreen 

In a world of meat, greens rule here, almost good enough to go vegan. 

Best Sandwich: La Sandwicherie 

The best way to soak up booze late at night finally came to the Gables. 

Best Smoothie: Banana Berry  

The groovy, natural wood ambience just adds to the feeling you are among health hippies. 

Readers’ Choice: Smoothie King 


Best Seafood: MesaMar 

How can you resist a place where you can pick your own fresh fish? 

Best Pasta: Luca Osteria  

Try the pasta limone once and you will become a follower of Chef Georgio. 

Readers’ Choice: Buggati 

It was once a pasta maker, so it figures; the white lasagna has a cult following. 

Best Sushi: Sushi Maki 

The ambience feels like someone’s kitchen, but the sushi is as good as it gets. 

Readers’ Choice: Izakaya 

Sliced before your eyes, and you can buy it as part of the lunch bento box. 

Best Deli: Bagel Emporium 

Wondering where you can get a good pastrami on rye? Wonder no more. 

Readers’ Choice: Publix 

Good sandwiches, good sides, good service; Just don’t ask for half-sour pickles. 

The Best of the Gables 2022 - Bay 13
Bay 13

Best Beer: Bay 13 

It’s brewed in massive tankards on premise – and the setting can’t be beat. 

Best Coffee House: Café Demetrio

The old Italian coffee machine says it all, with a lovely courtyard and skilled baristas. 

Readers’ Choice: Pasion del Cielo 

So many choices from so many countries, plus ratings for flavor and strength. 

Best Fried Chicken: Cebada 

They call it Spanish fried chicken; it’s not Southern, but so sweet and tasty. 

Readers’ Choice: Doc B’s 

It comes boneless, but it’s got the perfect crunch outside and moist inside. 

Bulla Gastro Bar

Best Tapas: Bulla 

The whole idea of a good tapas bar is that it’s also a good bar, or at least a gastropub. 

Best Pizza: Forno 

Thin of crust, rich of cheese and sauce, and cooked in a well-tempered oven. 

Readers’ Choice: Anthony’s 

It must be the coal-fired way they cook it which gives an added smoke taste. 

Best Desserts: Bachour 

Antonio Bachour is a master at creating desserts that are also works of art. 

Best Hamburgers: Clutch Burger 

You’ll have to unhinge your jaw to eat one of their burgers, with superb beef. 

Best Ice Cream: La Glace 

La Glace

It’s all natural, with refreshing flavors and some delicious soft serve. 

Best Ramen: Ichimi 

The place to discover why a bowl of noodles can satisfy all your food needs. 

Shopping and Retail

Best Place to Get Your Hair Done: Avant Garde

The name of the game here is balayage, for natural looking hair color. 

The Best of the Gables 2022- Galiano Cigar Room
Galiano Cigar Room

Best Cigar Shop: Galiano Cigar Room 

Besides a walk-in humidor, it has a bar, lockers and incredibly good ventilation. 

Best Wine Shop: Wolfe’s Wine Shoppe 

Jeffrey Wolfe knows his stuff, and visiting him makes you feel like you live in a village. 

Best Women’s Clothing Store: Neiman Marcus 

Maybe it’s because a high-end department store carries so many styles, and smells so good. 

Readers’ Choice: Anthropologie  

As the name suggests, the selection here delves into the artisanal and unique. 

Best Bakery: Madruga Bakery 

Madruga is what you call a real bakery, where the loaves of bread are biblically good. 

Readers’ Choice: Chocolate Fashion 

For all things chocolate, there’s no other choice; great baguettes and croissants, too. 

Best Furniture Store: Luminaire 

The store is a shrine to edgy, brilliant design in all types of furnishings, priced to match. 

Readers’ Choice: Artefacto 

Even without their new showrooms, their Brazilian made furniture is elegant and well built. 

Best Shoe Store: Nordstrom 

Ladies, this is the place when it’s time to dump the pumps in favor of high heels. 

Best Massage: Biltmore Spa 

The music is soothing, and you overlook the city as the professionals melt your stress away. 

Best Place for Water: Miami Alkaline 

If you are going to buy it (or have it delivered), why not get it PH balanced and on the Mile? 

Best Dog Walkers: Equipaws 

Flavia & Frankie Berti know that pets are family. Count on them when you’re away. 

The Best of the Gables 2022 - Pepi Bertini
Pepi Bertini

Best Men’s Clothing Store: Pepi Bertini 

If clothes make the man, then Bertini’s customers are true gentlemen of the cloth. 

Readers’ Choice: Artigiano 

For the finest suits, they take your measurements here and make them in Italy. 

Best Florist: Belle Fleur 

Beyond his beautiful bouquets, Mario makes you feel like you are living in a village. 

Books & Books

Best Bookstore: Books & Books 

It’s not just a bookstore, but a community center with lectures, food, wine, and sometimes music. 

Best Manicure: Gloss 

As long as you’re getting your nails done, why not go to an organic, eco-chic nail spa? 

Readers’ Choice: My Time Nail Bar 

Anywhere that can also do a good mani/pedi, along with eyebrow hair waxing, is a winner. 

Best Laundry & Dry Cleaning Pick-Up Service: WAFSO

New rules. Take “do the laundry” off your list. From now on, just schedule a free pickup on the WAFSO app or website. 

Best Facial: Biltmore Spa 

Yes, they have traditional facials, but it’s their new mask with an electric current that has us wanting more. 

Readers’ Choice: Flawless by Melissa 

Melissa was once the apprentice to celebrity skin guru Dr. Brandt, and she carries the skills forward. 

Best Neighborhood Haircut: Phula 

Why do we feel like we’re in a hair shop in Brooklyn at Phula? The raw walls or the chatter? 

Arts and Entertainment

Jazz at the Globe

Best Live Music: The Globe 

On Saturday night, nothing beats the Afro- Cuban jazz at The Globe, and now they’ve expanded to Wednesdays. 

Best Live Theater Experience: Miracle Theater

Whether it’s a Broadway musical or an Agatha Christie mystery, the professional quality is superb. 

The Best of the Gables 2022
Coral Gables Art Cinema

Best Movie Theater: Coral Gables Art Cinema

Foreign films, indie flicks, family favorites, and some mainstreamers, all in a theater that has no bad seats. 

Readers’ Choice: Landmark Theater 

On the top level of the Shops at Merrick Park, it’s got big lounge chairs for the latest action blockbusters. 

Best Place to Dance: Copper 29 

It might be the high-octane fuel, or the ladies’ nights, but either way you can let go on the dance floor here. 

Best Dance Studio: Fred Astaire 

Fear not – an atmosphere of warmth and kindness awaits you as you learn Latin and Ballroom dancing. 

The Best of the Gables 2022
Coral Gables Museum

Best Museum: Coral Gables Museum 

The building itself is part of the city’s history it portrays, along with a new tilt toward visual arts. 

Best Art Gallery: Cernuda 

Light and bright, it feels more like a multi- floor museum than a gallery, with a hyper focus on Cuban art. 

Readers’ Choice: Americas Collection 

An excellent open space to see the latest and greatest art from Central and South America. 

Lowe Art Museum

Readers’ Choice: Lowe Art Museum 

Those who have not gone to this museum on the UM campus will be stunned by its art collection. 

Best Art Classes: Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Lovely watercolor classes in a setting that is rich with floral subjects. 

Readers’ Choice: Peace Love Art Yoga 

It’s all about expressing yourself in a loving environment where you can also do a few stretches. 

The Best of the Gables 2022

Best Return of a Cultural Institution: GableStage 

With the passing of Joe Adler, a light went out. Now it’s back with director Bari Newport. 

Sports and Recreation 

Best Place to Swim: Venetian Pool 

Merrick had it right when he turned this stone quarry into a pool of fresh, chilly groundwater. 

Best Gym: LifeTime 

It’s new, it’s vast, it’s state of the art, it’s loaded with classes, and Trader Joe’s is next door. 

Readers’ Choice: Equinox  

It’s about positive attitude, plus a good juice bar and location above the Merrick Park courtyard. 

Yoga at @revete

Best Yoga Studio: @revete 

Yoga to a curated soundtrack in a cool urban setting with mistress Revete. 

Readers’ Choice: Prana Yoga 

Traditional yoga on a floor above Giralda, with the focus on Hindi icons. 

Best Golf Course: Biltmore Hotel 

Already stunning, the course was recently redone to lengthen key holes. 

Best Picnic Spot: Matheson Hammock 

Nothing beats a breeze coming in from the bay and being surrounded by natural hammocks. 

The Best of the Gables 2022
Old Cutler Bike Trail

Best Place to Bike or Jog: Old Cutler Bike Trail 

One of the luxuries of the South Gables, with abundant natural beauty (shade!). 

Best Tennis Courts: Salvadore Park 

Good courts, nice service, and all in a quiet leafy neighborhood. 

Public Places

Best Historic Landmark: Biltmore Hotel 

Until the hurricane hit, 1926 was a good year, and its opulent elegance lives on at the hotel. 

Best View: Redfish Grill 

At sunset it’s a perfect postcard as the golden light fades behind a horizon of palms. 

Readers’ Choice: Biltmore Hotel 

What we are talking about here is the view OF the Biltmore, as a thing of skyline beauty. 

The Best of the Gables 2022
Giralda Plaza

Best People Watching Spot: Giralda Plaza 

If for no other reason than volume of passing humanity, this is people-watching central. 

Best Place to Walk Your Dog: Country Club Prado 

What else would you use that great, green swath of commons for? 

Readers’ Choice: West Matheson Hammock 

There is literally nowhere else in the city where you can let a dog off the leash. 

Best Music in a Restaurant Restroom: Seasons 52

Not that we go around listening to bathroom soundtracks, but this one is the best. 

Best Public Art: A Midsummer Nights Dream 

A giant stone bench under a massive Ficus tree to make children of us all. 

Readers’ Choice: Giralda Plaza 

Well, we haven’t seen anything as good as the umbrellas, but keep it hanging. 

Best Place We Miss the Most: Tarpon Bend 

With walls that opened onto the Mile, the happy hours would spill into the street. 

Readers’ Choice: John Martin’s 

It was the real deal Irish pub, right down to the bar and woodwork from the old country. 

The Best of the Gables 2022
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Best Place to Take Out-Of-Towners: Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden 

Recently voted the best attraction in the country, it’s a unique marvel of tropical flora. 

Best Park: Salvadore Park 

Besides tennis, it has the coolest playground, including for kids cognitively challenged. 

Best Place to Meet Men (Under 35): Hillstone 

At least you know they have good taste and make a good income. 

Best Place to Meet Men (Over 35): Books & Books 

At least you know they have good taste and are well-educated. 

The Best of the Gables 2022

Best Place to Meet Women (Under 35): Soul Cycle

At least you know they are fit, fun, and firmly in control of their lives. 

Best Place to Meet Women (Over 35): Perry’s 

At least you know they have that je-ne-sais-quois appreciation for a piano bar. 

Best Parking Place: Andalusia Garage 

It’s old and funky, but there’s always a parking space there, perfect for the Theater and the Mile.