LOCAL GUIDES

Island Flavor: Miami’s 5 Best Cuban Restaurants

Nearly 70% of all Cuban Americans live in Florida. Of that number, a large percentage resides in Miami, so it should come as no surprise that the city’s culinary scene is rich with Cuban influences, flavors, and traditional styles of cooking. From arroz con pollo to ropa vieja (shredded beef) to ice cold mojitos, there is no shortage of excellent island flavors to whet your appetite. Here are a few iconic spots that hungry visitors and locals alike won’t want to miss.

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Islas Canarias

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This mom and pop shop was founded in 1977 by Raul and Amelia Garcia, and has been serving consistently delicious, authentic lunches and dinners ever since. Try the Camarones en Creme de Ajo (shrimp in garlic sauce), oxtail in wine sauce, or one of the many tempting appetizers like sautéed chick peas with sausage or cornmeal tamales.
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Puerto Sagua

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If your idea of bliss is enjoying a Cuban sandwich while sunbathing in the heart of South Beach, look no further than Puerto Sagua and grab an authentic meal to go. Or grab a seat among the many tourists and locals and stay a while to enjoy the varied flavors this old-school spot offers. Feast on the rope vieja with rice, smoky black beans and fried plantains, and don't forget to enjoy it with the house sangria…it's never too early.
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The Bazaar by José Andrés

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For authentic Caribbean-inspired cocktails, The Bazaar by José Andrés and the outside Bar Centro at SLS South Beach serves mouthwatering updates on the classics. The James Beard award-winning chef incorporates local ingredients for an otherworldly Cuba Libre, Hemingway's Mistress (a daiquiri with an interesting twist) or a Magic Mojito (with a magical twist of course). With an outdoor area rich with palm trees, and an ocean breeze, one sip of these drink specials and you'll be transported to Cuba in no time. Then there's the food. José Andrés pays homage to Cuba in several dishes, including the 'Colada Cubana' (coffee with foie gras) and the Cuban Escabeche (hamachi, pickled onions, sour orange). Finally, there's the not-to-be missed savory 'Cubano' sandwich, made with ibérico ham, Swiss cheese, mustard and pickles, topped with sweet pineapple chunks and garden greens.
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Versailles Restaurant

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Since 1971, Versailles has been operating as "The world's most famous Cuban restaurant".  Don't let the kitsch decor fool you, this hot spot is rich with sophisticated flavors and visitors.This is where politicians meet to gain support from local emigres, exiles share stories over cortaditos (Cuban coffee) and both tourists and residents come to taste authentic Latin dishes. This place is so iconic, movies have even centered around Versaille's Cubano sandwich: a generous helping of ham, melted Swiss chefs and fresh baked bread.
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YUCA

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An acronym for "Young Urban Cuban Americans," YUCA was one of Miami's first upscale "nuevo Latino" restaurants. In the heart of South Beach on Lincoln Road, the innovative dishes here include everything from truffle croquets, sugar cane shrimp, plantain coated mahi-mahi and corvina with avocado-coconut rice—yum. Come by on a Wednesday or Friday for a side of salsa dancing and live music to go with your delicious dinner.
Islas Canarias
285 NW 27th Ave #1, Galaxy Shopping Center
Miami, FL 33125-5119, United States
(305) 649-0440
Puerto Sagua
700 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139, United States
(305) 673-1115
The Bazaar by José Andrés
1701 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139, United States
(305) 674-1701
Versailles Restaurant
3555 SW 8th St
Miami, FL 33135, United States
(305) 444-0240
YUCA
Lincoln Road Mall, 501 Lincoln Rd
Miami Beach, FL 33139, United States
(305) 532-9822