Classic and Historic Coral Gables Restaurants
Caffe Abbracci and John Martin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant are celebrating thirtieth birthdays – yes, three zero! – so we wanted to wish them both a happy birthday! That got us thinking, why not celebrate all the restaurants in Coral Gables that have been serving our community for a few decades?
Miami is a young city, always eager for change, but in Coral Gables, there are historic restaurants who have carved out a niche for themselves by serving quality food with friendly service. Longevity in the restaurant world isn’t easy, especially in a city like ours where so much has changed so fast.
Here is a list of the classic restaurants of Coral Gables from Miracle Mile restaurants to other special spots in the Downtown Coral Gables area.
This Italian restaurant has a signature flair that’s been carefully honed over years under the guidance of owner Nino Pernetti. Ask any regular, they’ll know Nino’s name and he’ll know theirs. This white tablecloth, power-lunch spot on Aragon has seen its fair share of business meetings, family celebrations, and romantic dates. The restaurant’s stained glass windows and wooden bar give it a palpable sense of nostalgia and the menu, comprised of Northern Italian favorites, is full of classic dishes that are best enjoyed with a glass of wine or a stiff martini.
Located on Ponce de Leon Boulevard, Christy’s is a fine-dining steakhouse, established in 1978. Step inside to be transported into a space that is at once classic and glamorous, cozy and elegant. Start with a cocktail in the bar area before being seated in the formal dining room and treated to a menu of established favorites like their famous Caesar salad, potato skins topped with caviar, Oysters Rockefeller, rack of lamb, and, of course, a selection of aged beef. Some swear by the Prime Rib of Beef, but you can’t go wrong with anything from the menu.
Finish off your meal with a Baked Alaska – set on fire tableside, as it should be!
It’s worth mentioning Books & Books in any article about classic Coral Gables spots. Established in 1982 in a building across the street from the current location, this independent bookstore is wildly regarded as one of the finest in the country. Owner Mitchell Kaplan founded the Miami Book Fair International and hosts literary events nearly every night at the beautiful historic bookstore. The onsite cafe is the best way to enjoy the atmosphere and a lovely environment to start your new book. Their new health food-focused menu is even better than previous versions and the beverage list is boosted by local brews and a nice selection of wine to cool you down in their breezy courtyard.
Perhaps Coral Gables’ oldest establishment is, appropriately named, The Bar. The Bar opened in 1946 and has been going strong as a Coral Gables happy hour destination every since. A place where you can kick back and enjoy a beverage and some good music, it’s a favorite place to unwind after work and into the night hours. You may be surprised to hear that this bar-focused spot has an excellent food menu, having been revamped a few years ago along with the interior. Both keep the classic essence of The Bar alive while keeping it a fresh and modern place where patrons of all ages hang out.
While we’re on the topic of thirtieth birthdays, we’d like to wrap up with a very special happy thirty-year anniversary to our local Irish Pub & Restaurant. This Miracle Mile restaurant has long been a favorite for a pint and a plate of bangers and mash. It’s a typical Irish pub in the best way possible. In fact, John Martin’s goes above and beyond for their authentic feel; the mahogany bar and furniture were imported from a church in Ireland. Join them for the famous karaoke on Friday nights to kick off your weekend or happy hour on Monday through Friday from 4 – 7 PM. Here’s a fun fact: owner Martin Lynch worked at fellow Coral Gables establishment Christy’s from 1982-1988 before opening John Martin’s across the way in the City Beautiful.