Pura Vida, but not Costa Rica

Updated: Apr 12

Tucked away in a corner of the University of Miami’s campus comes a little café that looks like a piece of Wynwood planted itself next to the Toppel Career Center and just gives out free coffee. Welcome to Pura Vida.

It’s easy to forget you’re in the middle of a university campus here.


I went early in the morning around 7 a.m. (doesn’t having a job in the adult world kind of suck?) and wasn’t full until about 1 p.m. Even then, I had to force myself to have lunch because I knew my body would eventually need it.


This little café is next to Toppel Career Center and doesn’t have an inch of orange and green, so don’t think it’s a university’s café. Pura Vida is a spot on Miami Beach that has found its second location on the grounds of the University of Miami.

I ordered the Egg White Basil and was mad at myself for not being able to finish it.


Pura Vida is aesthetically pleasing enough to want to go in more than once a day, or just remain there studying or reading. Without any bright colors and plenty of natural lighting, it makes you forget where you are for a bit. The waiters are some of the nicest people you’ll meet – they even offered me free coffee since I went so early in the morning.

Ah, the downsides.


1. It’s tucked away pretty well, so good luck finding it. You can park at the Toppel Career Center and walk right over, or just follow the GPS yellow brick road.

2. Remember it’s a Miami Beach place so, you guessed it! It’s a little bit expensive! I paid like $12 for my breakfast, which I normally wouldn’t. But if you’re looking for an upgrade from Starbucks, then treat yo ‘self.

3. It’ll get crowded with students because it has become a popular place. Avoid rush hour to get a spot on the couches and some Instagram worthy shots.

The little details at Pura Vida are what make it so special.


However, if you need somewhere new to try, are willing to spend the money for it, and want a filling meal, Pura Vida is your answer. It’s actually a ton of food that won’t make you feel bloated or gross after eating it because it’s all pretty healthy. The employees are also one of the main reasons you might keep coming back – they really were that nice!


So the next time you go, forget about your stress and enjoy that coffee. You earned the Pura Vida lifestyle.


P.S. If you bring your dog, there’s a water bowl right outside for them!


1100 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables FL 33146

305-535-4142

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