Miami's Top Ten Cuban Restaurants

Categories: Best of Miami
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el-palacio-de-los-jugos-photo-by-billwisserphoto-com-1.5705502.131.jpeg
billwisserphoto.com
Now, that's a meal. To-go platter from West Flagler's El Palacio de los Jugos.
Miami is a city of exceptional things. It's where early-morning coladas are delivered through a ventanita. It's where birthday parties are incomplete without a platter of croquetas de jamón and empanadas de queso. It's where drivers cut each other off by rolling down their car windows and signaling with their hands. Because then, and only then, do Miamians think it's OK to creep up on somebody else's lane.

In other cities, folks are repeating the old adage: Don't discuss religion or politics. In Miami, it's best to keep your thoughts about the best frita to yourself. And if you ever feel like starting a heated argument over a game of dominos, just ask who serves the best moro in town. Or the creamiest batido de trigo.

We don't mind squabbling over preferences for the best pan con bistec. What follows is our list of Miami's top ten Cuban restaurants. (This list includes only restaurants. Joints serving only sandwiches, such as Papo Llega y Pon, El Mago de Las Fritas, and others, did not qualify.) If you take offense to our omissions -- or dislike our inclusions -- let us know. We can always discuss it over a cafecito.

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Fernanda Torcida
Inside Coral Way's Villa Habana
10. Villa Habana. Located on Coral Way, Villa Habana has many respectable attributes. Consider, for example, its fast service, cheap lunch specials, rowdy regulars, and classic Cuban dishes. The menu features old standbys, like ropa vieja, vaca frita, and chicharrón de pollo. So what if they aren't doing anything too special? This mom-and-pop eatery makes the list because it's just downright charming, affordable, and all-around consistent.
croquetas chicos.jpg
Chico's Restaurant via Facebook
Croquetitas at Chico's: 25 for $4.50. Believe it.
9. Chico's Restaurant. Chico's gets a spot in the top ten for several reasons. First, the Hialeah joint sells 25 croquetitas for $4.50. That alone deserves some serious recognition. Then there are other factors. For more than 30 years, this eatery has served chuletas, lechón asado, and, on the weekends, rabo encendido. It also serves a damn good arroz frito. Think a Cuban version of fried rice. It works. Trust us.


Location Info

Venue

Map

Villa Habana

3398 Coral Way, Coral Gables, FL

Category: Restaurant

Chic's

4070 W. 12th Ave., Hialeah, FL

Category: Restaurant

La Rosa Restaurant

4041 NW 7th St., Doral, FL

Category: Restaurant

Exquisito Restaurant

1510 SW 8th St., Miami, FL

Category: Restaurant

Morro Castle

1201 W. 44th Place, Hialeah, FL

Category: Restaurant

Puerto Sagua

700 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL

Category: Restaurant

Little Havana Restaurant

12727 Biscayne Blvd., North Miami, FL

Category: Restaurant

Islas Canarias

285 NW 27th Ave., Miami, FL

Category: Restaurant

El Palacio De Los Jugos

5721 W. Flagler St., Miami, FL

Category: Restaurant

Enriqueta's Sandwich Shop

186 NE 29th St., Miami, FL

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
43 comments
Foodie1
Foodie1

While I agree with Las Islas Canarias (which has 3 great locations) being one of the top Cuban restaurants in Miami, and a few of the places named here, you didn't mention how lousy the service is at La Rosa. Even when the place is empty, the service is lousy. 

I dine at Villa Habana all the time and have never ever seen a rowdy customer there. Most of the diners are either middle or upper middle class professionals and families. In fact, on several occasions I have seen singer Enrique Iglesias dining there.  

Another point I wanted to add is that you omitted one if not two of the best Cuban restaurants in Miami, which are La Carreta and Versailles. These two combined are also one of the biggest Cuban-American success stories, which is that of Felipe Valls, Sr.  Always packed (customers are always right) the Cuban food here is delicious. La Carreta also has many locations. You are right about Puerto Sagua and Islas Canarias being some of the best in Cuban cuisine.  

Brian Sierra
Brian Sierra

what a bunch of fake ass Cubans! non of the places mentioned come even close to "La Perla del Sur" 5762 West Flagler

j.pollo
j.pollo topcommenter

Oy! Arroz con gris? Give us a break!

Jason Samayoa
Jason Samayoa

morro castle, versailles, las vegas, la carreta

Ferny Prego
Ferny Prego

Only problem I have with this list is that there is no mention of the croquetas at Islas Canarias... That's the absolute best thing they have at that restaurant!! Other than that, great job lol.

Joshua Greg Osorio
Joshua Greg Osorio

anybody know what happened to Lila's? i remember when i was a kid used to go there with the fam and get steak covered in a mountain of french fries.

Mercy Suarez
Mercy Suarez

All I have to say is....I wish Lila's in Westchester was still around!!

Felix L Ricardo
Felix L Ricardo

Sergio's only weakness is their tostones and mariquitas, other than that they're good. Casavana is also good. El Rinconcito Latino (most of the food is Cuban, while staff isn't) has great food at low prices. Rancho Luna is good. El Pub is so-so. El Rey de la Fritas has one of the best fritas in town.

Jorge B. de Cárdenas
Jorge B. de Cárdenas

"Enriqueta's has the best Cuban food in Miami!" - said by no Cuban in Miami, ever.

Felix L Ricardo
Felix L Ricardo

I agree with the comments. And what about La Palma? Isn't good enough either?

Ryan Johnny Thayil
Ryan Johnny Thayil

The Latin American Cafeteria #2 on Coral Way and 107th is under new management, open 24 hours, and has awesome food

Dulce Maria
Dulce Maria

what happened to latin america?! :-\

Alex Brummitt
Alex Brummitt

Sergio's and La Carretta should be on the list. Havana Vieja too. Idk who wept this list but they are off.

Maria Perez
Maria Perez

I can't believe Havana Harry's on le jeune didn't make it. I have the best Cuban food available everyday at my moms house but if I'm ever going out for Havana Harry's is it. Las 3 vacas dish is amazing and IMO they have the best Cuban desserts

Christine Karaki
Christine Karaki

It looks to me like Miami New Times was looking for the best "dumpy and old as hell" Cuban restaurants in Miami.

Raul Mas Jr.
Raul Mas Jr.

No Sergio's. No La Carreta. No Versailes and No Marin's! This list is bogus

Christine Karaki
Christine Karaki

They have the best flan, vaca frita, steaks, everything! The only truly good places on that list are Morro Castle and Islas Canarias.

Christine Karaki
Christine Karaki

I know where Havana Harry's is! lol What I meant was why it isn't on the list!?

Albert Gomez
Albert Gomez

You have the best on the list, but you need to have a cucaracha coefficient on it. When you factor moldy drop ceilings and how many times the health department has given them violations, it will change the your list. My vote is La Rosa.

Cari Garcia
Cari Garcia

Chico's is horrible, only good thing about that place is that it's open 24 hours. Don't know how many times I've seen roaches there.

David Alejandro
David Alejandro

there is this small place in Hialeah Gardens. Cuban Cafe, the food there is awesome.

Sean Levisman
Sean Levisman

Glad to see Enriqueta's getting some love -- definitely deserves the #1 placement you gave it. I need to check out some of the other spots.

David Alejandro
David Alejandro

Havana Harry's 4612 S Le Jeune Rd, Coral Gables, FL 33146

Alex Muriel
Alex Muriel

Puerto Sagua is an embarrassment. Its popular because of its location. The food and service blow. Las Olas is the best Cuban spot on the beach.

jgcamp99
jgcamp99

@J Jess Jessi Abalos LOL, then you're missing out on Sergios. What do folks think about 5 Cuban Guys in Hialeah, FL ?

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