Que bola? So many Cuban restaurants in Miami, so little time. Here’s a rundown of the best five haute Cuban spots.
1 Larios on the Beach
Gloria and Emilio Estefan's award winning restaurant, Larios on the Beach serves up delicious Latin dishes. Located on famed Ocean Drive, Larios offers creative latin flavors by executive chef, Torres and libations. We suggest starting off with the bacon wrapped maduros (sweet plantains wrapped in applewood smoked bacon) and some cod fish croquettes served with a sweet Caribbean sauce. The famous criollo seafood combo isn't famous for nothing; Lobster, shrimp, scallops, calamari, fish, baby clams and mussels in a Cuban criollo sauce. For those looking for healthier options, Gloria herself created a list of personal suggestions for guilt-free Cuban staples under the Triple C: “Calorie Conscious Cuban” section of the menu.
820 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Versailles restaurant claims to be the world's most famous Cuban restaurant and it very well may be so. Located on the famed Calle Ocho in Miami, this Cuban spot has been opened since 1971. The name of the restaurant and decor may be French, but the cooking is as Cuban as it gets. Mariquitas (green plantain chips) with mojo sauce to start things off, a cream of malanga to follow, and ropa vieja for main dish (shredded beef cooked with garlic, onions, bell peppers, wine and tomato sauce, served with white rice and sweet plantains). Wrap it all up with a cheese flan or three milk cake... Or both.
3555 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33135
3 El Palacio de Los Jugos
Reinaldo and Apolonia Bermudez started this gem on the corner of Flagler Street and 57th avenue back in 1977. The business grew steadily and quickly became a local favorite. There are now eight Palacio de Los Jugos spread across Miami. Since 1977, they have served the South Florida community, offering traditional Cuban cuisine, cuban treats and pastries, freshly squeezed juices, and fruit. This open-air restaurant's specialties include: relish, lechon, paticas pork, Cuban ham, rabo power, and breakfast Cubano. Don't forget to sip on some cool coconut water chopped on-site by a man with a machete.
5721 W Flagler St Miami, FL 33144
4 Bread + Butter
Bread + Butter, the brainchild of chef Alberto Cabrera is located right in the heart of Coral Gables. This spot fuses Cuban favorites with modern American gastropub, resulting in unique and tasty dishes. Exposed ceilings, DIY lightbulbs, and subway tiles give Bread + Butter an urban vintage Little Havana feel with a touch of Brooklyn swank. "It was important to create something inspired by family because Cubans are very family oriented," says Cabrera. And so it's no surprise that the bone marrow meets ropa vieja, the fried smelt, and even the traditional Cuban 'frita' burger are all hits. Wash all that deliciousness down with a liquid nitrogen shake. Say what?
2330 Salzedo St, Miami, FL 33134
5 Havana 1957
Those who pay Havana 1957 a visit relive the 1950's Cuban glamour through the food, music, and vintage memorabilia. Havana 1957 serves up authentic Cuban cuisine and the meanest mojitos in the magic city (the Mojito Bar stocks over 120 varieties of rum from around the world). Renowned chef Juan Luis Rosales is responsible for creating genuine Cuban flavors with the use of only the freshest ingredients. The menu here covers every Cuban favorite, ranging from Pollo Havana 1957 (family traditional roasted chicken in a savory Cuban gravy served with white rice, black beans, salad and sweet plantains), to an extensive selection of seafood plates, sandwiches, salads, soups, and appetizers such as croquetas and tostones rellenos (stuffed green plantains with beef or shrimp). For those on a diet, no worries. Havana 1957 offers El Habanero Delgado Menu with dishes that are just as delicious, but with fewer calories. Don't forget to order the guava cheesecake, yum.
405 Española Way Miami Beach, FL 33139