Posted September 29, 2015
By DIANA RODON
The neighborhood of Coconut Grove has become synonymous with late-night partying and drinking. During the day, however, the area offers a uniquely laid back and Bohemian atmosphere.
Downtown Coconut Grove goes largely unexplored despite alternative stores and restaurants being walking distance from each other. Devote an entire Saturday to exploring and you will be surprised what you may find.
We’re going to the Grove.
10 a.m. Panther Coffee
Panther Coffee, a hipster coffee shop made popular in Wynwood, recently opened a location in the heart of Coconut Grove. The interior is industrial chic while being a relaxed environment for sipping a strong cup of coffee to jolt you awake in the morning.
The coffees are priced similarly to Starbucks yet offer specialty drinks that are exclusive to their brand. Customers can read detailed descriptions of the coffee bean they choose and pick the method by which the coffee is hand brewed. Panther Coffee is best known for their Cold Brew, which is an iced coffee brewed for nine hours. Also available are teas and an assortment of pastries, ideal for a good morning’s start.
11 a.m. Glasser Farms Organic Market
After a refreshing Cold Brew and sweet almond croissant take a walk through the Farmer’s Market; you never know what delicacies you might find. The market is predominately operated by Glasser Farms with a few other smaller retailers.
Glasser Farms offers almost anything you can imagine under the organic foods umbrella. Prepared foods and drinks are available for purchase in addition to the raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, teas, and more. The prices on these items can vary drastically, prepared foods generally being more expensive and great deals being had on unique teas and spices.
Sold on site, in pints to take home or individual cups, is Glasser Farms’s unique 100 percent raw and vegan ice cream. Try mixing the Maple Pecan and Cinnamon Vanilla ice creams together. The artificial flavor typical of ice cream is absent in place of strong, natural flavors.
1 p.m. The Last Carrot
With your shopping bag filled with organic foods and goods, walk down Grand Avenue for a nutritious lunch at The Last Carrot. Once you enter the café, the smell of healthy food lingers in the air, the first indication of the kinds of food and juice available at The Last Carrot. The smell is joined by sounds of vegetables being juiced.
The Last Carrot is a small, independent café filled mostly with regulars getting shots of wheatgrass or an açai smoothie. For the first timer, the servers are very knowledgeable and can customize anything, as long as they have the ingredients.
Most of the items are vegan or vegetarian but there are options for everyone, even those who do not find healthy eating appealing. One option is the Grasshopper Juice, although green in appearance, is made from pineapple juice and wheatgrass. It tastes merely of pineapple juice, while maintaining the good nutrients of wheatgrass.
3 p.m. Shopping
There are so many options for shopping in Coconut Grove. At least one consignment or thrift store can be found on every street. Explore Commodore Plaza, Main Highway, and Fuller Street for your best options. Sifting through the piles of clothes, thrifters are usually able to find a few good pieces.
Prices can vary depending on which consignment shop you browse, but it’s worth digging through. Alongside those thrift stores can be found many high-end boutiques, stocking trending yet one of a kind items for steep prices.
Within CocoWalk, Coconut Grove’s mall, are a few chain stores such as Gap and Victoria’s Secret. Beyond the stores, the mall is designed in an interesting shape, encouraging passersby to explore every nook and cranny. Perhaps the most interesting shop in Coconut Grove is The Olfactory Company. It’s one of those all stop shops that sells everything from weird toys to teas and soaps. You could spend hours looking at every product and being amazed by the novelties.
6 p.m. Lokal
Head to Lokal for a burger with beer before the Saturday night crowd arrives. The small restaurant is always buzzing and a waiting list usually forms to accommodate everyone. The wait is worth it. This restaurant is all about being local, specializing in burgers made from Florida grass-fed beef and beers that are sourced locally from breweries such as Funky Buddha and Wynwood Brewing.
The restaurant itself has an urban vibe, with graffiti littering the walls and a bar decorated in cassette tapes. Their image is then sustained by the burgers they sell such as the “Royale with Cheese,” a “Pulp Fiction” reference, and “My Childhood Dream,” which is a burger patty in between two halves of a doughnut.
9 p.m. Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive In
The Blue Starlite Drive In Movie Theater recently reopened in Kennedy Park. Come here for a taste of nostalgia at one of the classic or cult film screenings. The Blue Starlite offers some double features and remixed films, such as “Alice in Wonderland” with an alternative soundtrack of Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.”
The films are projected onto a large screen as moviegoers watch in pedestrian seating outside or in their car by tuning into the appropriate radio station. Be advised, the Blue Starlite Drive In is not open every night and times may vary.
If You Go
- Car: Take U.S. 1 and turn right when you hit Bird Road. Turn right on McDonald Street. Turn left on Grand Avenue.
- Parking: Street Parking accepts cash, card, and offers Pay by Phone (Daytime: $1.50/hour up to four hours, Evening: $0.75/hour up to 4 hours or $2 for four hours through Pay by Phone) or park in CocoWalk (3015 Grand Ave., Coconut Grove, Fla. 33133) Parking Garage (All Day Flat Rate $9)
- Metro: Take Metrorail to Coconut Grove Station. Walk down Virginia Street, which ends at Grand Avenue.
- Once in Coconut Grove, everything on the itinerary is within walking distance from each other.
3407 Main Hwy., Miami, Fla. 33133
Hours: Monday – Saturday 7 a.m. – 9 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Glasser Farms Organic Market
3300 Grand Ave., Miami, Fla. 33133
Hours: Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
The Last Carrot
3133 Grand Ave., Coral Gables, Fla. 33133
Hours: Monday – Saturday 10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The Olfactory Co.
3444 Main Hwy., Miami, Fla. 33133
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
3190 Commodore Plaza, Miami, Fla. 33133
Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Sunday noon – 10 p.m., Wednesday – Saturday noon – 11 p.m.
Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive In
2476 S. Bayshore Drive, Miami, Fla. 33133