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Go Your Own Way: Build Your Own Lunch Experiences in Downtown Coral Gables

Whether you’re out for a quick bite with co-workers, catching up with a friend for lunch near you, or taking the family out for an outside dining experience – we all know the challenges of finding a lunch menu that meets everyone’s preferences, taste and allergies. We have a simple solution: the “build your own” concept.

We’ve seen a smattering of build your own concepts pop up throughout the past few years and it’s easy to understand why. These eateries, typically fast-casual, meet the needs of many, letting everyone put their spin on their dish. Another perk? You can come back over and over again and keep experimenting with new flavor combinations, perfect for those of you who eat every day right here in Downtown Coral Gables. So enjoy the fresh air in Coral Gables and try these lunch spots near you. All of these locations are implementing health and safety protocols while preparing your food so you can enjoy a safe dining experience. We recommend calling your favorites to ask about their specific methods.

Here’s a rundown of places that specialize in customizable meals:

Rice Mediterranean Kitchen

Rice Mediterranean Kitchen, 164 Giralda Ave, focuses on serving fresh food, with an Eastern Mediterranean twist, that you can create to suit your tastes.

You’ll go down the line adding or omitting whatever you like. Chose from a base of basmati rice, brown rice, lentils or greens and pick your greens, chose a protein (options include falafel braised beef, braised lamb, spicy roasted chicken) and then you’ll move onto a delicious array of flavorful add-ons like Green yogurt sumac, Sriracha tomato hummus, honey nut feta and top it off with veggies and dressing (the lemon tahini will keep you coming back again and again!). Scoop on a whole bunch or keep it nice and simple, either way, you’ll feel great as you dig into your custom fresh, housemate bowl. Sit outside on Giralda Plaza and call it a perfect day!

P.Pole Pizza 

A familiar scene: You’re a party of four, everyone wants different pizza toppings. What do you do? Go to P.Pole Pizza, 279 Miracle Mile, where you get to pick everything from the dough to the sauce (tomato sauce, spicy tomato sauce, alfredo sauce, pesto, BBQ sauce) and, of course, everything that goes on top. Your toppings range from the classic (pepperoni, olives, mozzarella) to the more unusual (artichokes, eggs, spicy sausage). Finish it off with arugula, olives, goat cheese or more to make it totally your own. The best part? Your pizza, with unlimited toppings, is just $9. P.Pole Pizza also has a great outdoor patio to enjoy your lunch!

Giardino Gourmet Salads

Don’t think of the salad as sub-par. The salad, especially at Giardino Gourmet Salads, is just a vehicle for all your favorite things in one bowl. Giardino Gourmet Salads, 2346 Ponce de Leon Blvd, offers endless combinations of greens, grains and mix-ins. Their salads, wraps and bowls are so customizable they even let you pick from seven kinds of croutons! If you aren’t feeling like putting together your creative combination, no worries, you can fall back on one of their tried and true combinations. You can take these delicious salads to go or order delivery through Giardino’s user-friendly app, or sit outside!

Here are a few more ideas for places where it’s easy to swap out ingredients or add on your favorite flavors:

Spritz Pizzeria & Ristorante, 2305 Ponce de Leon Blvd, and Pummerola,141 Aragon Aveare two more pizza joints where you can come up with your favorite combinations. They can make these pizzas for you in their onsite pizza ovens and you can enjoy while eating outside.