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Coconut Grove: Where to Take Visiting Friends to Eat and Drink

In a new weekly series, Summer in Miami, Eater is highlighting places to eat and drink—sometimes lesser-known spots—in different neighborhoods for when your out-of-town friends come to visit. This week: Coconut Grove.

'Tis the season for soupy temps, muggy mornings and the as-if-on-cue afternoon down pour. Yes, our tropical metropolis knows a good rain storm, but also, how to chow down. So every week, Eater will provide a list of the different places throughout each neighborhood and break it down into categories—the famous, the hidden gems and more—to guide your summer culinary journeys and arm you with a escape from the steamy days (and nights) outside.

Famous: Monty's
Address: 2550 S Bayshore Dr
The low-down: Whether or not you're a fan of their signature Pain Relievers and fried dolphin fingers, there's no denying this venerable Grove institution's two-decade reign on South Bayshore. The Friday happy hour packs in the young (and young at heart) with half off cocktails, live music and a killer sunset on the bay.

Under the Radar: Neighborhood Bistro
Address: 2779 Bird Ave
The low-down: Even though it's been in around for years, Neighborhood Bistro, a cozy Cuban/French spot, still flies under the radar. Pop in for home cooked meals of cornish game hen, salmon in leek sauce and ropa vieja with plantains. Finish it all off with the guava pudding. It won't disappoint. Stop in for their daily lunch specials (all under $10) that include an entree and a side.

Breakfast: Coral Bagels
Address: 2750 SW 26 Ave
The low-down: They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and really, you can't go wrong here. The walls of this greasy spoon are loaded with vintage Grove posters and memorabilia, but your plate's more likely to be brimming with hearty, gut-busting omelets, corned beef hash, potato bagels and endless cups of coffee for less than a ten spot.

The Casual Lunch: LoKal Burgers
Address: 3190 Commodore Plaza
The low-down: This small, eclectic burger joint prides itself on its sustainable and locally-sourced menu. The burgers are the stars here (go for the Frita burger topped with guava jelly, gruyere and potato sticks), but the guacamole made from Florida avocados and the stellar list of local craft brews are not to be overlooked.

Dinner: Jaguar
Address: 3067 Grand Ave
The low-down: Whether people-watching on the cozy outdoor patio or settled into a seat one of the tropically-outfitted banquettes, one thing's certain: the ceviche here is tops. Go for the spoon sampler – it brings six different options like the Los Cabos with Pacific swordfish or the Peruano with white fish and roccoto chile.

The French Bistro: Le Bouchon du Grove
Address: 3430 Main Hwy
The low-down: A cozy little slice of France in the middle of the Grove. All of the French classics – escargot (snails with garlic, parsley and pastis butter), les moules marinieres pommes frites (mussels steamed in white wine with french fries) and homemade duck leg confit – housed in a charmingly rustic enclave. C'est magnifique!

A Spicy Indian Affair: Bombay Darbar
Address: 3195 Commodore Plaza
The low-down: If you're looking to mix things up, stop by Bombay Darbar for some of the best Indian fare in the city. Try the crab samosas, lamb vindaloo and tandoori chicken. And to cool down the spice, nothing beats a sweet glass of the yogurt-based mango lassi.

Brunch: Peacock Garden Cafe
Address: 2889 McFarlane Rd
The low-down: Sure, you could hunker down at Greenstreet or Lulu's with the crowd. But some meals are meant to be shared in the quiet splendor of a garden. From brioche French toast to pecan waffles with bananas and maple syrup, the Peacock Garden Cafe serves some of the neighborhood's best food in a truly intimate atmosphere. Whether sitting outside under the canopied shade or in the quaint indoor cottage, order up a pitcher of the white wine basil sangria.

Pub and Grub: Scotty's Landing
Address: 3381 Pan American Dr
The low-down: A long-time local favorite. This rustic watering hole (with arguably the best unobstructed view of Biscayne Bay) has been slinging cheap bottles of brew and dishing up grilled dolphin sandwiches to hungry patrons and their four-legged friends. Bonus: you can come by boat and dock there for free.

Wine Bar: Happy Wine
Address: 2833 Bird Ave
The low-down: If you're in the mood for a great glass of wine in a down-to-earth, unpretentious spot, Happy Wine is the place. Just pick a bottle from the shelves (it doubles as a retail shop), plunk it down on a wine barrel/table and order up some of their award-winning paella. Depending on the night, you just might be treated to live music from a 20-member Spanish band.

Jackie Gutierrez-Jones