In the past few years, Miami’s dining scene has grown in the best way possible especially among Cuban Restaurants in Miami. With this growth, world-renowned chefs and hopeful entrepreneurs have taken to putting their upscale spin on traditional regional food. There’s no cuisine more regional in Miami than Cuban food, and it is evident that even this humble cuisine has been getting a makeover the past few years. Since locals don’t always have the opportunity (or money) to dine at the more upscale restaurants on a consistent basis, we like to recognize mom and pop small Cuban restaurants as well as the more upscale ones. Below, we listed where you should go to dine, whether your budget is small or large.
Mom and pop Cuban Restaurants in Miami:
Enriquetas Sandwich Shop
This little hole-in-the-wall is a popular contender for best Cuban Sandwich in Miami amongst locals, but you truly can’t go wrong with anything you get. A few years back, it went down due to a fire, and there was an outpouring of public support to rebuild. Rebuild they did, and this makes Enriqueta’s that much more special.
Palacio De Los Jugos
“Palace of the Juices” is popular amongst celebrity chefs for a reason. Miami heroes such as Michelle Bernstein (from Michy’s fame) frequent this spot for it’s delicious juices and hearty chicharrones, and you should too.
Croquetas, croquetas, croquetas! That should be your one thought when walking into this restaurant. Although everything at this West Kendall legend is spectacular, true locals know that you come here for the best croquetas in Miami.
When the weather in Miami drops below 65 degrees, you see people walking around in layers, boots, hoodies, and gloves. Although this may seem a bit exaggerated, this weather also means frequent stops at Morro Castle for churros and hot chocolate. Moments like this make me wish it was colder more often.
This no-frills restaurant is one that does absolutely everything well. Whether you go for Vaca Frita, a Media Noche, Moros, or Flan, you can’t go wrong as Exquisito. Although their menu seems like a typical Cuban restaurant, very few places in the city can execute just like Exquisito can.
Upscale Cuban Restaurants in Miami:
Bread and Butter
Alberto Cabreras, owner and chef of Bread and Butter, was one of the first people in the city to tinker with Cuban food to make it a bit more refined. By combining the Cuban dining experience with that of the gastropub, Alberto manages to make dishes such as Media Noche Croquetas and Pato Frito.
Led by the younger generation of the Islas Canarias (see above) family, Finka puts a unique twist on Cuban Food. By creating a fusion of Cuban and Korean food, Eileen has single-handedly managed to make West Kendall a place people are willing to drive to for food.
Larios On The Beach
Located in South Beach, Larios is a restaurant by Gloria and Emilio Estefan, two of the most prolific Cuban singers that Miami has known. We wouldn’t call the food necessarily fancy, but the upscale ambiance and location make this a place to see and to be seen. With a menu packed with slight twists on Cuban food, such as bacon-wrapped maduros ( sweet plantains) and black bean hummus, Larios is a place that you cannot miss.
The restaurant is located in the cool comfort of the Sanctuary Hotel, Horacio Rivadero has brought flavors of Cuba to Miami Beach. Although not strictly Cuban, OLA Restaurant served unique takes on Cuban food such as Roast Cuban Pork, served with garlic yucca mash, black bean broth, creole style pepper salad, and mustard mojo. You can’t leave without having the Chocolate Cigar for dessert, and homage to Cuban culture’s affinity for hand-rolled Cigars.
Being an acronym for Young Urban Cuban-Americans, YUCA is known as being South Florida’s upscale Cuban restaurant featuring Innovative Nuevo Latino Cuisine. Goat cheese croquetas, guava burrata Caprese, and guava bbq baby back ribs overtake the menu, and it’s hard to say no to dishes as delicious as these.
By Food Writer Amber Love