With a university anchoring this city, you know Coral Gables is bound to have a few decent watering holes. Walk up and down Giralda Avenue in particular, and you’re sure to run into plenty of spots for a beer or a craft cocktail. If you want something a bit more off the beaten path, it’s also home to a gas station that houses a pretty dope wine bar.
It’s a gas station, wine bar, cafe, and dessert shop that also miraculously meets all your convenience store needs. Seriously, this place has it all. From the outside it looks like a standard gas station and convenience store, but inside it is anything but ordinary. You know it made in our “Best gas stations in Miami” list. It’s in our Coral Gables guide, but it’s not technically Coral Gables, but it’s right on the cusp and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take you there.
John Martin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant
This spot is a fun, little Irish pub with pretty good food — but that’s not what you’re here for. You’re here for the drinks, the killer Thursday trivia, and Friday karaoke nights. John Martin’s hosts probably one of the toughest trivia nights in town — and there are a few diehard regular teams you’ll be lucky to get even get close to beating.
Love Is Blind
Whether you’re trying to impress your new girlfriend or want a cocktails night with the girls, Love is Blind is going to do you well. The ambience is rustic, romantic, and classic, so the photo op potential is abundant. They’ve got a large, well-curated wine selection, live music on weekends, and comfortable couches next to the DJ, making for a great experience no matter who you’re catering to. The menu is “world cuisine,” so there’s something to appeal to everyone.
Pasión del Cielo Coffee
This cute corner cafe is a must visit. Pasión is the perfect spot to sip on a cup of coffee from around the world while having a meeting, reading a great book (that you just bought from Books & Books), or working on the next great American novel. We highly recommend that you work with the baristas to develop a coffee blend to match your taste. They’ll grind your beans to order.
Oh Small Tea, how we love you! This well-designed center of tea zen – it describes itself as a place to “let life steep a little” – has tea sourced from around the world. If you want a place where you’ll be inspired while working, holding a meeting, or on a date, this is the spot. Stop in for a educational tea tasting and stay for their thoughtfully crafted menu, featuring a Japanese salmon salad that is beyond refreshing and has us running back for seconds. Fun fact: They have a manifesto on their site ranting against modern-day busyness, big coffee, and a bunch of other things.
The Bar, around since 1942, is something of a Gables staple. It has all the understated charm of a dive bar, but with much better food – the wings here are some of best we’ve ever had. It’s our go-to place in this neighborhood for an affordable meal and good beer and it has that local bar vibe that makes you feel right at home. Friday nights here are a blast, with ladies drinking free until 7 p.m. and Icue, the resident DJ from Purdy Lounge, spinning.
The Local Craft Food & Drink
Locally sourced food, an ambitious rotating craft beer selection, and a laid-back vibe has made The Local something of a legend. The menu boasts southern fare with a unique flair, with offerings like their famous Georgia fried chicken, bone marrow, and blue crab hush puppies. Their signature craft cocktails like the Port of Miami Sour are also certainly something to write home about.
The Mighty is a favorite watering hole for locals. The food is a step up from your typical pub grub and the filet mignon burger is not be missed. They have a well-researched local beer list which turns over often and a great pool table. We love the homey feeling and think you’ll make this a regular post work stop in the Gables. Their happy hour deals get a thumbs up: $2 drafts, wine, and “stiff drinks,” $5 cocktails, and $3 sliders.
Miami’s filled with great microbreweries nowadays, but Titanic Brewery & Restaurant was the first one in the city, so we have to give it some props. It’s been around since 1995 and set the stage for great beer and great food under one roof. In a nod to its Miami location, it’s got a nautical theme going, and naturally the seafood is on point. Titanic has live blues and jazz some nights and karaoke on Sundays. It’s on the edge of the UM campus, so it draws the student crowd. (Photo courtesy of Carl Lender/Flickr Creative Commons)
You might have your own preconceived notions of what a wine tasting class is like. Forget them. Uvaggio is an incredible wine bar with delicious bites, but the magic really happens with self-proclaimed head wine-o Heath Porter’s classes, where he mixes education with humor. You’ll fall in love with this place and learn a ton along the way. Check out their weekend wine tastings.