The perfect cup of cappuccino with quite possibly the best croissant on the Beach, that's what Pinocchio Italian Deli & Caffe is all about.
The limited seating at this tiny café doesn't deter hordes of people from stopping in for a quick bite of gelato or plum cake and some chitchat.
Pinocchio is packed with mostly Italian speakers, but tourists occasionally wander in from the beach to see what all the fuss is about.
Owners Lorenzo Gigli and Addys Ancheta arrived in Miami eight years ago and opened Pinocchio in this space. Why the name Pinocchio? The tale of the wooden puppet who would become a boy was created by the Italian author Carlo Collodi in 1883. "The old history of the story makes everyone remember the name of my deli," Lorenzo says. Hundreds of wooden figurines decorate the small café, just as they did in the woodcarver Gepetto's shop from the tale. "Then he took the fine piece of wood and began to cut and shape it" into the puppet. The name Pinocchio is supposed to bring good fortune.
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It seems Lorenzo has hit gold. He makes up to nine flavors of gelato daily, and his sister-in-law Annabel makes the plum cake in lemon, banana, marble, carrot, chocolate, and other flavors. The café also offers bruschetta, a typical midday snack in Italty, but the panini and salads here have the masses coming back, Lorenzo says. Any items made with Nutella are also popular because the Italian hazelnut chocolate spread goes well with many sweet treats.