Cuban culture prevails in Miami; in fact, it is estimated that one in three of the local population has roots on the island. Nowhere is this culture more obvious than in the restaurant scene. During your visit to Miami, you must try Cuban food and you must try it at a place that caters to those who know good Cuban food when they taste it.
The most iconic Cuban restaurant in Miami is Versailles. Situated in the heart of Little Havana, this restaurant has been serving food for over forty years. Open from early in the morning until very early the next morning, you can pick which meal to eat here. Come by early and join the retired men who sip their coffee and gossip the morning away. Or, grab a quick sandwich at lunch.
For the true experience, however, you must come for dinner. Keep in mind that Cubans eat later than many Americans. Dinner doesn’t really kick off until after 9:00, so find another place to have some cocktails and snacks and come by here for a late dinner. The meals are traditional and delicious, a true introduction to the cuisine.
One of the quintessential tastes of Cuba is Café Cubano. Not for the faint of heart, the coffee is strong and it is served very sweet. Tough to drink on its own, it is delicious when combined with the right breakfast. This the time to try Sergio’s. Who says breakfast must always been eaten first thing? If you’re had a good night at the clubs and are looking for a meal before bed, two of Sergio’s restaurants are open 24 hours on the weekends. You will be sure to run into many of the locals in the early hours.
If you are looking for coffee in South Beach, try David’s Cafe. Situated right on the beach, grab a coffee to go and drink it while looking out over the Atlantic. A nearly perfect way to kick off a day of sightseeing in Miami.
Puerto Sagua Restaurant
Also situated in South Beach is Puerto Sagua. Located only a block from the beach, it tends to fill with more tourists than some of the others and the interior is a bit shabby. Don’t let these quibbles throw you off. The food is among the best in town and it is one of the few places in this part of Miami where kids are welcome to come along.
Bella Cuba Restaurant
It is easy to believe that Cuban food is rustic and not very elegant. Put that idea right out of your head at Bella Cuba. Beautifully prepared and presented Cuban food is served with some of the best cocktails in the area. If you are on a budget, happy hour here is a real bargain. Reduced priced cocktails, beers and appetizers are a great way to sample the food without breaking the bank.
El Palacio de Los Jugos
For a truly unique experience, head to one of the El Palacio de Los Jugos locations. Not a traditional restaurant, the seating area is outside. Always packed with locals, it can get loud and messy as many people eat with their hands. What makes this place so much fun, however, is that it is set up as a giant buffet. You grab a plate and wander around the stalls, choosing what it is you want to eat and then paying for what you have chosen individually. The food is always freshly prepared in the morning and, although there is a lot of standard Cuban fare, some of the dishes are unique to this restaurant. Wash it all down with one of their freshly made juices. This is also a good choice if you are tired and want to spend a quiet night in your hotel room. Stop by here, grab your food to go, and retire to the comfort of your room.
The Best Cuban Food in Miami You Can Find!
Another great way to find true Cuban food is to just wander around Little Havana. As you stroll along the streets, you will find small, family run restaurants filled with locals. Don’t settle on the first one you see, but look into four or five and then choose the one that appeals. You will have some of the best Cuban food in Miami, all for a very reasonable price.
If you are looking for a hotel as well as great Cuban food, click here. Please be sure to comment below on the great Cuban food you have found in Miami, especially if you have found a great place in Little Havana.
Images Credit: commons.wikimedia.org