Doral, Florida: Your Complete Neighborhood Guide
Doral, FL is a 15-square-mile area in Miami-Dade County. It’s considered one of the primary neighborhoods in the Miami area, which is easy to understand since it’s only 13 miles from the vibrant center of downtown Miami.
The name “Doral” comes from the original owners of the land, real estate investors Doris and Al Kaskel. Doris and Al were planning on building a hotel and golf course in the late 1950s, but little did they know they’d be priming Doral to become one of the nation’s first hotspots for golf.
Doris and Al built the Doral Hotel and Country Club and by their second year in business, they hosted the Doral Open Invitational with an enormous prize for the winner. That big prize succeeded in bringing in pro golfers from all over to compete.
Since then, the City of Doral has been known as a golf mecca, but it has also evolved into one of the best cities in the U.S. for entrepreneurs and lovers of the good life. Its proximity to both a port and airport makes it the perfect spot for importers/exporters and other small businesses to take root.
Since it’s close to Miami, Doral shares a close connection with all things Latin, providing locals with first-rate cuisine, colorful art, and access to events and activities that span cultures.
With such a rich history, it’s no wonder that Doral is chock-full of opportunities to shop, eat, play, and stretch your imagination. Just so you don’t miss a thing, here are a few suggestions to get you started exploring the delights of this jewel of a city.
Doral Food and Dining
Being so close to Miami, you know there’s got to be some authentic Latin choices to tickle your taste buds in this town.
But Doral is not a culinary one-trick pony.
This little city is full of surprises and she can give you a taste of many cultures—from classic American to Japanese with a twist.
Come hungry, because you’ll want to try all of the incredible edibles Doral can serve up!
- City Works Eatery & Pour House — This upbeat and energetic establishment offers entertainment and classic American food all in one spot. With 16 flat screen TVs under one 9,000 square foot roof, you may be so distracted by the game that you’ll miss the fact that there are 90 — yes, 90 — great craft beers on tap. Add American classics with a twist — like the rigatoni with Roma tomatoes, peas, goat cheese, and tomato cream — and you have a recipe for success!
- Pisco y Nazca — This top-notch eatery offers traditional Peruvian cuisine with a non-traditional twist. Pisco y Nazca at the Shops in Downtown Doral is brimming with authentic flavors you can share amid the upscale ambience. The highlight of this establishment is an incredible ceviche bar, but they have all kinds of delectable offerings from lamb shank tacos to a delicious lomo saltado.
- Dragonfly Izakaya and Fish Market — This over-the-top Japanese eatery is all about quality. The fish is flown in from Japan. Produce is fresh from the farm. Dragonfly is Japan’s answer to the American gastropub. Besides an incredible selection of Japanese whiskey, they offer a selection of cold, hot, crispy, and fresh dishes with a Japanese flair. After dinner, stop by the fish market and take something home to cook tomorrow.
- Sloan’s Ice Cream — You can’t have dining without dessert! And there’s no dessert like the luxury ice cream from Sloan’s. When the first store opened in Palm Beach in 1999, they had loyal fans that kept coming back for more. With exotic flavors like Almond Joy and Black & White Malt, Sloan’s aims to satisfy and surprise. One step into their whimsical pink eatery will make you smile. One lick of their ice cream will make you a fan forever!
- Nahuen — There’s so much Latin flavor in Doral that we had to mention at least one more restaurant. Nahuen is a go-to for authentic Argentine dishes like parrillada patagonia and a variety of hot and cold sandwiches. But save room for the exquisite flavors of their out-of-this-world tortas and tartas — this place is famous for them. Pair your sweet treat with some gourmet coffee for a perfect finish, or stop into the attached South American market and get some authentic chorizo to for tomorrow’s dinner!
- Pepito’s Plaza — A local secret, this lunch hot-spot is hidden inside an unassuming Doral Exxon station. Seriously, if you didn’t know it was there — you wouldn’t know it was there! But Pepito’s is a local favorite, serving up delicious parrilladas, salchipapas, and a tummy-tempting chicken-and-beef mixta to local businessmen, visitors in the know, and anyone who wants a delicious, authentic Latin lunch.
Attractions Near Doral
You might be tempted to head into Miami for something to do, but you’d be missing out on the incredible array of activities Doral has for you right at home. With so many things to choose from, you and your family will never have a day of doldrums again.
It would take a book to list all the things you can get up to if you’re living in Doral, but here are a few that you might want to check out first.
- Trump National Doral Miami — Considered a “bucket list” golf course, the Trump National is designed for the serious golfer in mind. Experience the LED practice facility, the state-of-the-art True Spec Golf fitting lab, or one of the four custom-created courses. It’s a golfer’s dream come true. With names like Blue Monster, Red Tiger, Silver Fox, and Golden Palm it would be hard not to play one of these championship courses just to have bragging rights!
- Frost Art Museum — If you need a bit of art and creativity, you must see the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum on the Florida International University Campus. Recognized as one of the largest free-standing museums of art in South Florida, the Frost gives visitors a taste of art from across the globe. Its Smithsonian Institution affiliation allows it to incorporate the Institution’s wide range of artefacts and treasures into its own collection, so you’ll have access to some of the most stunning and eclectic exhibits in the world.
- Planet Air Sports — Want to run, jump, play — and maybe bounce? Then Planet Air is a must-see. Features ropes courses, a climbing wall, and glow-in-the-dark trampolines, this indoor park is fun for the whole family. If that’s not enough to keep you busy, try your hand on the Ninja Course, ski and snowboard on the indoor ski simulator, or bowl a strike at the air-conditioned bowling alley.
- Kings Bowl America — This all-in-one dining/entertainment venue will keep you and the family busy for hours. At Kings Bowl Doral, you can bowl a game, play Superspin Ping Pong, Regulation Shuffleboard, Dynamo Foosball, and even Bocce Ball. If you work up an appetite, just tuck into one of their scratch-made favorites like Brauhaus Pretzels, Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich, or a classic burger. Have a soft drink, beer, or cocktail – the choice is yours!
- Airboat in Everglades — Technically not in Doral, but just right down the road, Airboat in Everglades is too good not to mention. Only an airboat can take you deep into the wild tangle of the Florida Everglades. See alligators in their natural habitat, turtles, fish, Great Blue Herons and all the gorgeous wildlife that teems in this pristine wilderness.
- Movies at the Park — Enjoy the natural beauty of Downtown Doral Park while you watch a movie from the comfort of your picnic blanket or lawn chair. Shown on a giant inflatable screen, the movies feature family-friendly picks for your entertainment every Friday at 8. Best of all, drinks and food are sold on-site, so you don’t have to worry about packing in a heavy cooler full of food.
- Downtown Doral Art Walk — Bring family and friends and come see the colorful array of works from local artists every April. Tour the booths, grab a bite from the food trucks, listen to some live music, or even make your own art.
Lights, colors, music, and food—grab a friend (or two!) and head out into the balmy breeze for a night of fun and entertainment. Doral living includes a nice slice of nightlife!
- Doral Billiards and Sports Bar — If billiards is your game this place is absolute heaven. With 24 tables in two styles that are used in official Pro Championships around the world, Doral Billiards is a pool player’s paradise. If you get bored shooting pool, one of the 16 flat screen TVs or giant projectors is sure to be playing something interesting. They’ve got food, craft and bottled beer, liquor, and desserts to round out your evening.
- Baru Latin Bar — More than just a restaurant, Baru Latin Bar provides yummy food and drink in an eclectic, Latin-inspired setting. Eat, dance, or chill with friends. Be sure to check out their webpage for events like karaoke and live performances by local artists.
- La Taberna de San Roman Restaurant — Known for its creative Spanish inspired dishes, La Taberna also offers authentic Flamenco dance shows to round out your evening. Watch the professional dancers as they twirl and stamp their way through a passionate display of this intricate dance technique. An experience of culture as well as entertainment, these shows are a must-see for anyone visiting or living in the Doral area.
Shopping in the Doral Area
You already know Doral is a great place for aspiring entrepreneurs to live and work. Now you can enjoy the diverse array of shopping malls and plazas where some of these entrepreneurs have set up shop. Of all the things to do in Doral, shopping is the most abundant.
For being only 15 square miles large, Doral has more than its share of shopping opportunities. Believe it or not, there are even more shopping venues than the ones listed here!
So don’t worry if you haven’t found that perfect gift for your mother-in-law’s birthday. It’s waiting here, at one of these shopping centers jam-packed with goodies.
- CityPlace Doral — An amazing, all-inclusive shopping/dining/entertainment venue, CityPlace has something for everyone. There’s trendy clothing, fashion accessories, and jewelry to browse through. Catch a movie at the CineBistro and eat while you enjoy the film or catch a bite at one of the many fine restaurants on-site.
- The Shops at Downtown Doral — This trendy area features posh boutiques snuggled up to first-rate restaurants in a gorgeous, walkable outdoor plaza. Lavish landscaping and an upscale vibe make The Shops a great place to spend an afternoon shopping or an evening on the town.
- The Miami International Mall — Located in Doral, FL the Miami International Mall has over 140 stores to cater to your need for retail therapy. With dining and entertainment spanning all 1 million feet of space, this Mall hosts more than 12 million visitors every year — be sure to be one of them!
- Dolphin Mall — Close to Doral in Sweetwater, FL, the Dolphin Mall is an enormous shopping center with over 240 stores to whet your appetite for all things retail. Whether you’re looking for home décor, electronics, or your next cute outfit, the Dolphin has something that will fit you — and your wallet. It’s worth mentioning that the Dolphin has a unique eatery that caters to families with children. It’s called Cool de Sac, an organic eatery with interactive play stations. The Cool de Sac staff will guide kids of all ages through activities at the many interactive stations, so you can enjoy your meal while the kids are entertained. There are also several movie theaters on site, a Dave and Busters, and the always fun Bowlero, where you can tackle a ropes course, bowl a few games, or immerse yourself in Laser-tag for a few hours.