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25 Old-School Miami Restaurants, Bars and Markets Still Worth Visiting

Because Miami has history too

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Miami might be a young city in the grand scheme of things — it was only incorporated in 1896 — but we still have plenty of spots that have some history behind them that also serve solid food and drink. We’ve rounded up the top 25 places in the Magic City worthy of checking out where you can can get a heaping side of nostalgia along with a delicious meal and beverage.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Arbetter Hot Dogs

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While it might not look like much from the outside, Arbetter’s has been serving up some of Miami’s best hot dogs for more than 50 years. Make sure not to miss out on the corn dogs and chili cheese fries as well — and if you tell the cashier you love Larry Bird your drink refill is on the house.

Captain's Tavern

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This local seafood spot has been drawing large crowds for more than 40 years. While it may be slightly hidden off US1, locals know this is one of top spots in town for fresh seafood. It even has a market in the back where you can pick it up to-go if you’re in the mood to cook at home.

Churchills Pub

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Live music lovers have been flocking to this pub since 1979. It has since grown in size since it’s humble beginnings in the 70s, but is still known for bringing in live music acts and airing plenty of sporting events no matter the time of day.

Club Deuce

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Whether your looking for a quick beer or looking to get into some after-hours trouble, the Deuce has been that bar to go to for more than 100 years — an absolute eternity by South Beach standards. Complete with all the dive bar essentials including a jukebox, tables that have seen better days and a 12-hour-long daily happy hour.

Duffy's Tavern

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The building that houses Duffy’s has had many lives since it first opened its doors more than 75 years ago but the one that stuck was Duffy’s. Since 1955 this watering hole has attracted some of country’s most notable musicians, athletes and even politicians, who have walked through its doors to sip on a brew or two.

El Exquisito

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What started as a small 20-seat restaurant in 1974 on Miami’s Calle Ocho has grown to a 100-seat staple in the area. This Cuban restaurant is filled with breakfast, lunch and dinner items to help satisfy any craving you may have.

Frankie's Pizza

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Serving up its famous “half baked” pizzas on Bird Road for more than 55 years, its pizza has grown such a fan base that it is now delivered around the country to those craving a half baked pie.

Islas Canarias

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Where to get the best croqueta in town Miami will be a debate for the ages but we always know a major contender will be Islas. The restaurant has been around for over 35 years and has menu filled with classic Spanish and Cuban dishes.

Joe's Stone Crab

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Did you know Joe Weiss of Joe’s Stone Crab actually discovered the stone crab? Then in 1921 his small stand on Miami Beach began to sell them and the rest is history. The landmark space still brings people in by the droves for its famous claws and sides.

Keg South

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Located in an alleyway off US1 in Pinecrest, Keg South is the epitome of a dive bar. But what has kept it going for over 50 years isn’t its cheap beer (which we admit is a nice bonus) but its grilled burgers and wings that have won numerous accolades over the many decades.

Mainzer's Delicatessen

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This old school German deli has been serving up signature sandwiches, German sausages, cold cuts, coleslaw and a variety of salads for decades, and it’s still owned and operated by the same couple who opened it up in 1972.

Rio Cristal

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This 40-year-old Cuban diner serves up classic Cuban comfort food in Westchester. Expect items like Pan Con Bistec, Flan and Cafecitos at throwback (read: inexpensive) prices.

Robert Is Here

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Established in 1959 by a then 11-year-old Robert who set up a stand to sell his father’s cucumber crop. To encourage buyers he put up a sign saying “Robert Is Here” and he quickly sold out. Soon more and more produce was added and the Homestead fruit stand was born. To this day you can still visit to pick up tropical fruit, smoothies and other Florida-only bites.

Royal Castle Burgers

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As the last-standing Royal Castle in Miami (there used to be around 180 in its 1960s heyday) this quick service spot in North Miami serves up a heavy dose of nostalgia along with slider burgers, birch beer and plenty of breakfast specials.

S & S Diner

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This blast-from-the-past diner in Downtown Miami has been serving hungry breakfast goers since 1938. Grab a seat at its U shaped counter, order a 2-2-2-2 special and listen to stories from waitresses who have been working there for decades.

Shorty's Bar-B-Q

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This has been one of Miami’s top barbecue spots since 1951. While it has seen its fair share of ups and downs, including a fire that almost destroyed the place, you can still find its classic dishes like ribs and pork sandwiches daily on its menu.

Steve's Pizza

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A pizza staple since the 1970s, this pizza parlor is known for its authentic NY slices, graffiti covered booths and arcade games to accompany its delicious pies.

The Bar

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The oldest bar in Coral Gables, established in 1946, this place has something for everyone. During the week it serves up plenty of bar food and cheap drinks and on the weekends you can find the UM crowd dancing away to live music. The antique booze bottles and vintage posters found throughout The Bar are a nod to its long history in Miami.

The Forge

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This classic restaurant on Miami Beach has seen many reincarnations since originally opening as a forge for Miami’s elite in the 1920s. Most notably serving as a steakhouse since 1968, its been known to be a favorite amongst movie stars, presidents and socialites during their visits to South Florida.

Uncle Tom's Barbeque

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Serving up BBQ to Miami for 65 years, this outpost has seen it’s fair share of change. But throughout its several owners and even a fire, it still has remained a go-to spot for Miamians to get their bbq on.

Versailles Restaurant

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When you ask someone about Cuban food in Miami, this restaurant will probably top their list. This mainstay Cuban restaurant has been serving South Florida since 1971 and has been a prominent meeting point in Miami when social issues arise, celebrations are in order and when politicians want to meet with the people.
Versailles Restaurant

Vicky Bakery

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Growing up you know that when it was time for your quinceañera there was only one place to get your cake: Vicky’s Bakery. The Cuban bakery has been around for 42 years and has grown to over 13 locations since its humble beginnings in Hialeah in the early 70s.

Wayside Market

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A place that’s been around since 1948, well before its Pinecrest neighborhood was established, has been the spot for families to visit after school for to load up on goods like fruits, salads and its “famous strawberry shake.”

Athens Juice Bar

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This is the original Miami juice bar. Established in 1942 — well before the green juice trend hit South Florida — its been producing some of freshest juices (and bites) in town. No trend needed.
Florida Gold Coast

La Camaronera

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For almost 40 years, La Camaronera Restaurant & Fish Market has been a go-to, no-frills spot for locals and non-locals alike to grab a fresh seafood at inexpensive prices. Located in the heart of Little Havana, it has gained a loyal following for its "Pan con Minuta" snapper sandwich and along with other seafood specialities that are still some of the most competitively priced in town.
Giovanny Gutierrez

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Arbetter Hot Dogs

While it might not look like much from the outside, Arbetter’s has been serving up some of Miami’s best hot dogs for more than 50 years. Make sure not to miss out on the corn dogs and chili cheese fries as well — and if you tell the cashier you love Larry Bird your drink refill is on the house.

Captain's Tavern

This local seafood spot has been drawing large crowds for more than 40 years. While it may be slightly hidden off US1, locals know this is one of top spots in town for fresh seafood. It even has a market in the back where you can pick it up to-go if you’re in the mood to cook at home.

Churchills Pub

Live music lovers have been flocking to this pub since 1979. It has since grown in size since it’s humble beginnings in the 70s, but is still known for bringing in live music acts and airing plenty of sporting events no matter the time of day.

Club Deuce

Whether your looking for a quick beer or looking to get into some after-hours trouble, the Deuce has been that bar to go to for more than 100 years — an absolute eternity by South Beach standards. Complete with all the dive bar essentials including a jukebox, tables that have seen better days and a 12-hour-long daily happy hour.

Duffy's Tavern

The building that houses Duffy’s has had many lives since it first opened its doors more than 75 years ago but the one that stuck was Duffy’s. Since 1955 this watering hole has attracted some of country’s most notable musicians, athletes and even politicians, who have walked through its doors to sip on a brew or two.

El Exquisito

What started as a small 20-seat restaurant in 1974 on Miami’s Calle Ocho has grown to a 100-seat staple in the area. This Cuban restaurant is filled with breakfast, lunch and dinner items to help satisfy any craving you may have.

Frankie's Pizza

Serving up its famous “half baked” pizzas on Bird Road for more than 55 years, its pizza has grown such a fan base that it is now delivered around the country to those craving a half baked pie.

Islas Canarias

Where to get the best croqueta in town Miami will be a debate for the ages but we always know a major contender will be Islas. The restaurant has been around for over 35 years and has menu filled with classic Spanish and Cuban dishes.

Joe's Stone Crab

Did you know Joe Weiss of Joe’s Stone Crab actually discovered the stone crab? Then in 1921 his small stand on Miami Beach began to sell them and the rest is history. The landmark space still brings people in by the droves for its famous claws and sides.