A Breakdown of Miami’s Most Magical Courtyards

Must See Finds
/ 08/07/2018

Regardless of the temperature, there’s nothing quite as cozy as a charming courtyard. We’re so used to Miami’s eight months of amazing weather that we forget it’s poised for outdoor lounging. Because of this, we have a wonderful selection of courtyards sprinkled around the city waiting for your next date or intimate chat. From historical landmarks and go-to coffee shops to trendy eateries and popular bars, check out our round up favorite courtyards:

The Classics

Books & Books – There’s a slim chance any local wouldn’t have heard of the game-changer that is Books & Books. Aside from leading the charge for independent bookstores, their original Coral Gables location boasts one of the best courtyards around. Day or night, you can come here to munch, read, or jam to live music and it’s as low-key as they come.

The Broken Shaker – Same goes for this Miami Beach gem. When The Freehand and its magical bar opened a few years ago, everyone knew that this would become an instant classic. Not only does The Shaker serve some of the most solid drinks in Miami, its poolside, tropical oasis of a courtyard is always the vibe you’re looking for. Even if you didn’t know it.

Photo by WhereTraveler

The Alchemist – Whether it’s the original Wilton Manors location or their new Aventura branch, The Alchemist has courtyard vibes galore. The northern spot is always what we pine over when we’re looking for an eclectic escape. Ponds, luscious gardens, and hand-written welcomes are the norm over there and it’s perfectly paired with their famous coffee.

Café Demetrio – This one’s an another absolute Coral Gables staple. It was the first coffee house in the neighborhood and is modeled after classic European cafés. But it’s their back courtyard we’re talking about here, which gets packed throughout the day with locals who know best.

Vizcaya Museum & Gardens – Rounding out the classics with, well, a little bit of history. There really isn’t anything like the breathtaking Italian-revival, turn of the century historical landmark. If the renaissance gardens and epic views of Biscayne Bay don’t get you, head into the Villa to see what architectural beauty is with your own eyes. That courtyard is one of a kind and we’re glad it’s been preserved for all to fawn over.

Photo by Asaf Kliger

Romantic Escapes

The Biltmore Hotel – Urban myths, record-sized pools, and world-famous golf courses aside, The Biltmore Hotel is a defining space for the city. It has played an essential role in both Miami’s and Coral Gables’ histories. Withstanding the test of time, we urge you to explore the historical landmark when you can. And whether it’s steamy outside or not, the indoor courtyard is a year-round favorite escape.

Photo by Miami and the Beaches

Mandolin Aegean Bistro – Although all of these can be qualified in every category, Mandolin really is a romantic spot for many reasons. The consistently delicious fare, the authentic atmosphere, and its intimately charming courtyard have made it one of the most highly suggested spots in town.

Photo by Refinery29

Rouge – If you’re one of the lucky ones who know this French Moroccan spot, you know you’ve landed on a treasure. This North Miami Beach restaurant boasts tons of live music, namely jazz, but also a sweeping back courtyard that inspired European getaways. You’re transported to luxurious times here, whether inside or outside.

Photo by Tripadvisor UK

Miami Ironside – Another huge local favorite. If you know it, you come here multiple times a week. If you don’t get there ASAP. You have Italian coffee and food so authentic the servers pronounce every dish in their native tongue with ease. The courtyard opens up to a mix of ateliers, mini shops, and parlors for a true escape. And in its center? A piece of the Berlin Wall on display. Just go.

Photo by Culture Trip

The Bookstore & Kitchen – The beautiful bookstore that could has now easily welcomed itself into Coconut Grove’s landscape and we can’t imagine the neighborhood without it. Their incredible menu of flavorful eats might be a draw, or even it’s highly curated selection of reads. But we come back to take a seat in their outdoor courtyard overlooking Main Highway for some serious people watching.

Hidden Gems

Peacock Garden Bistro – Another gorgeous Coconut Grove treasure. This café and bistro is tucked away along Main Highway across from none other than Peacock Park. The indoor bar and seating are filled with historical anecdotes on the neighborhood, but it’s the outdoor courtyard that’ll bring you back. Luscious, intimate, and filled with vintage furnishings, it’s a place your mom would die to see.

Photo from Flickr

Gardenia – Not many people, locals or otherwise, know about this Miami Beach gem. It’s almost hidden off of Alton & 12th, and is filled to the brim with pastel beauty. The healthy and vegan-friendly outpost has a quaint courtyard with pink walls, white bistro seating, and tons of trimmed plants.

Photo by Gardenia Miami Beach

Mina’s Mediterraneo – Few spots in town are as welcoming as this one, located off of the busy 79th ST. From the outside, the large space doesn’t seem to be holding the magical garden courtyard you’ll discover out back. We suggest hunkering down for a while and eating everything off the menu enjoying the night breeze.

Photo by Event Up

Doce Provisions – We recently mentioned this place as a key Little Havana treasure and with good reason. Not only is it a delicious stop on any tour of the vibrant neighborhood, but it’s hiding something truly special: a secret courtyard. The outdoor hang is a shared space with the surrounding galleries and small studios occassionally the location for celebrations. When it’s not a special event, it’s open for enjoying their mouth-watering bites surrounding by some great local art.

Photo by Doce Provisions

Café Roval – This last place on our list can fall in every category, but we think this one fits it best. It’s off the beaten MiMo path, and situated in a historical building fitted with stone, vintage decor, and dimly lit corners. The hideaway serves upscale Mediterranean eats in an atmosphere you have to see to believe. Swanky and magical, the outdoor courtyard is near water and opens up to the evening sky.

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