While abuela’s cooking will always be the comparison, Miami is the home to the best Cuban food available outside of Cuba. There’s no resisting the smell of fresh garlic, onions, peppers, and tomatoes sizzling — and that’s just the sofrito. Cuban food is readily available and affordable around here. Most restaurants offer daily specials and catering for all meals, including cantinas. Now, in quinceañera style, here are the top 16 best bets for Cuban food listed in geographical order from north to south.Read More
Miami’s 16 Top Cuban Restaurants
Where to find the best of the best
Molina's Ranch Restaurant
Molina’s Ranch has proudly served its customers for more than 30 years. Begin with appetizer selections of bacalao (codfish) fritters or shrimp stuffed tostones (fried plantains) and continue on to mains, including a whole fried snapper with fries or masitas de puerco (fried pork chunks) with moros and yuca. Don’t leave without trying a flan for dessert.
Enriqueta's Sandwich Shop
The modest restaurant has a fan following that rivals all other restaurants due to its no-nonsense menu offering big flavors and generous portions at small prices. While Cuban sandwiches are the popular choice here, those with heartier appetites can opt for house special bistec a caballo (steak, ham, two eggs, and choice of fries or salad) or one of the daily specials, which alternate with one or two dishes each day. (Enriqueta’s is open for breakfast and lunch daily but closed on Sundays.)
South Beach’s resident Cuban restaurant since 1968, Puerto Saguafeatures a variety of well-priced dishes. Start with the house combo, which offers a tamale, two croquetas, two tostones, and plantain chips for a taste of its most popular starters. The house specialty is seafood, so make sure to try the paella, but all the traditional Cuban dishes are available along with daily specials and desserts.
El Palacio de los Jugos
On any given day, those craving Cuban food will find whatever is desired at this Miami go-to with several locations throughout the Magic City. The unconventional restaurant is reminiscent of a buffet offering a vast selection of soups, rices, beans, mains, and side dishes sold by the pound — or portion thereof. Make sure to grab one of its freshly made fruit juices, such as mamey, papaya, or sugarcane, to wash down the meal.
Old's Havana Cuban Bar & Cocina
A standout in a sea of Cuban restaurants on Calle Ocho, Miami’s main Cuban hub, start the meal with items to share, like yucca fries, pork tamales, and empanadas. Move on to the ropa vieja, which translates to “dirty clothes” but is actually braised and shredded flank steak stewed in a sofrito and tomato base served over white rice with plantains on the side. Compliment the meal with dessert or a cocktail from the full-service bar.
Versailles Restaurant Cuban Cuisine
A popular destination for tourists, politicians, and locals alike, Versailles is an institution of Cuban food. Since opening its doors in 1971, this landmark has served patrons Cuban dishes inside its restaurant and through its signature ventanita (walk-up coffee counter). The restaurant also houses its bakery serving Cuban bread, croquetas, pastelitos, empanadas, and desserts.
La Casita Restaurant
Brought to you by the Vilariño family behind Las Vegas Cuban Cuisine, La Casita is a Little Coral Gables favorite for Cuban food. Enjoy daily specials such as arroz imperial (think chicken and rice plus ham, mayo, and cheese) with maduros (sweet plantains), and fish fillet cooked to order with a choice of sides for under $10. Go ahead and splurge on a carafe of sangria or the popular Cuban sodas: Materva, Jupiña, and Ironbeer.
Chef Monica Leon’s much-loved Cuban tacos might be a Miami-only specialty. Not only does the restaurant serve its Cuban tacos filled with everything from chicken to gator, but it also offers croquetas, bowls, quesadillas, and empanadas — all of which pair perfectly with its herby green sauce, so make sure to order extra.
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Combining traditional Cuban food with modern American touches, Sergio’s has created a niche for itself in the community. On the menu, patrons will find the expected breakfast dishes, sandwiches, appetizers, entrees, and desserts, including the La Flaca (skinny girl) menu for those who want to sacrifice calories but not flavor. Sergio’s currently has seven locations throughout South Florida from Pembroke Pines to West Kendall.
Islas Canarias Restaurant
This Miami staple has been serving Cuban food since 1977, and is best known for its croquetas — but it offers up much more. Start the meal with mariquitas (fried plantain strips) served with garlic mojo or malanga fritters and continue on to mains such as the vaca frita (shredded and flash-fried flank steak) or bistec empanizado (breaded beef steak) served with choice of two sides. Make sure to leave room for the bunuelos (rolled, twisted and deep fried root mash). For those with limited time, the neighboring sister cafe and bakery will have guests in and out in less than an hour.
Finka Table & Tap
Dine on modern Cuban dishes with Asian influences at chef Eileen Andrades’ Finka. The adventurous menu features dishes such as the arroz con pollo fritters, Cuban fried rice, Islas Canarias ham croqueta pizza, and the guajiro tray featuring pork chunks, rice, beans, and sweet plantains. Compliment the meal with one of its quirky named craft cocktails or a selection of local draft and bottled beers.
With roots from Guines, Cuba, the more than 40-year-old Cuban restaurant on Bird Road is probably best known for its palomilla steak (steak marinated in garlic, and lime juice, and then pan-fried) topped with a mountain of crispy fries and its black beans. Other highlights include grouper fingers, tasajo (jerked beef), roasted pork, and milanesas (breaded steak or chicken with tomato sauce and melted cheese). Dessert selections include traditional flans, dulces con queso (preserves with cream cheese), and guava shells.
Since opening in 1995, Havana Harry’s has offered Cuban food with a contemporary flair. Open for every meal of the day, from breakfast to dinner, with plenty of daily specials. Feast on various stuffed tostones, sandwiches, mains, and Harry’s combination entrees like the Havana trio featuring churrasco, lobster, and shrimp. If there’s still room, order one of its over-the-top desserts like the tres leches overload.
Coconut Grove’s destination for Cuban food features some old-school classics and updated favorites. Menu highlights include Chug’s breakfast with Cuban favorite white rice and fried eggs, the duck medianoche, the Big Phil frita (Cuban Burger) with bacon, barbecue sauce, and fried onions, and “abuela’s plates” served with white rice, black beans, bananas, and choice of protein like rabo encendido (oxtail).
La Carreta Restaurant
This old-school restaurant is easily recognizable with its giant, wooden-wheel signature decor. With the original restaurant on Calle Ocho, La Carreta has expanded to nine locations throughout South Florida, including Miami International Airport, for those who need that Cuban food fix before leaving Miami.
El Rinconcito Latino Cafe
A popular destination in West Kendall for Cuban food, Rinconito is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It has daily specials such as arroz con pollo, ajiaco, vaca frita, tamal en cazuela, and ropa vieja to name a few. It also serves a variety of Cuban sandwiches, including the Miami Sandwich with ham, turkey, lettuce, tomato, bacon, and mayo on pressed Cuban bread.