By: Erica Greenfield
Living in Miami has its perks.
We have an abundance of sunshine, blue skies and overall great weather (well, at least from October to May). Our shores are adorned with tropical beaches and are the envy of most of our Northern friends. Miami is also home to Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat. However, the best advantage of living in the 305 is the wealth of fantastic Cuban cuisine.
Cuban culture permeates the Miami dining scene, and with the multitude of cafeterias, bakeries and other Cuban eateries in the Magic City, there is no shortage of authentic (and delicious) Cuban grub to choose from.
Get ready to read up an appetite because what follows is our list of a few must-try Cuban restaurants in town:
ENRIQUETA’S SANDWICH SHOP: Don’t be fooled when passing by this 29th Street dive, because Enriqueta’s is dishing up arguably the best Cuban food this city has to offer. This cozy, family-owned business has been serving breakfast, lunch and daily cafecito to loyal customers for years. Known for their Cuban-style pressed sandwiches, the must-try items include the Pan Con Bistec and their Sandwich Cubano. Don’t be fooled because these are no ordinary sandwiches. These bad boys come fully equipped with papas fritas and croquetas (yes, inside the sandwich!). We guarantee you’ll be leaving satisfied and with leftover cash in your wallet because most of the items on the menu are priced under $10.
SERGIO’S: Originating as a mom and pop sandwich shop in the 70s, Sergio’s has evolved into full-scale family restaurants with multiple locations throughout the Greater Miami Area. With their fusion of traditional Cuban dishes, like Pollo a la Plancha and Vaca Frita, with new flavors and products, it’s no surprise it’s a favorite among locals. If you’re craving Cuban comfort food but watching your waistline, try their “La Flaca” menu (That means “skinny” menu for my fellow Gringos out there).
VERSAILLES RESTAURANT: Located on Calle Ocho in Little Havana, Versailles has been the heart of Cuban cuisine and culture since it opened its doors in 1971. Dubbed “The World’s Most Famous Cuban Restaurant,” it has been a favorite among locals and tourists alike and was recently featured as a Miami foodie staple in Jon Favreau’s latest Indie film, Chef. For an authentic experience, visit “La Ventanita” at Versailles where you can grab a colada and catch up on the latest community gossip.
ISLAS CANARIAS: If you’re craving a home cooked meal in a family-friendly environment, then Islas Canarias is the place to go. Establish in 1977 by Raul and Amelia Garcia, along with their children Nancy and Santiago, Islas Canarias has been serving original family recipes from Cuba like oxtail in wine sauce, tamal en cazuela and ajiac; or you can just go for their croquetas de jamón. which are some of the best in town!
Although these are just a few of our favorites, everyone has their own preference and opinion on who dishes out the best Cuban goodness in town. We hope you’re hungry, Miami, because it’s time to eat up and decide which is your favorite place to chow down (and let us know your thoughts!).