You don't have to look hard to find great Cuban food in Miami—and local chefs and bartenders are taking advantage. Here, five pro-recommended spots, from iconic restaurants to off-the-beaten-path eateries, via our friends at Find. Eat. Drink.
El Mago de las Fritas
This Flagami Cuban restaurant is "not to be missed" according to Regent Cocktail Club bartender Danny Valdez, who swears on the "very tasty" fritas. Who else is a fan? The president. El Mago de las Fritas had its brush with fame when Barack Obama stopped in for fritas with cheese. 5828 S.W. Eighth St., Miami, 305-266-8486
Enriqueta’s Sandwich Shop
Chef Roel Alcudia of The Cypress Room can't get enough of this Wynwood café. “It's essentially a Cuban diner, but they have daily lunch specials, which I thoroughly enjoy—especially the fried steak on Mondays and the lechon asado (pork) on Fridays.” 186 N.E. 29th St., Miami, 305-573-4681
Las Olas Café
Chef Michael Pirolo of Macchialina Taverna Rustica frequents this "gem on South Beach" where he says "the croquettas, empanadas, media noches, café con leche, [and] braised oxtail [are] all amazing." Bartender Gabe Orta of The Broken Shaker also likes to eat here: “It's a small place and it’s been here for a long time. It’s just counter food, cafeteria style, and filled with regulars. They have great appetizers to start with, like the chicken empanada or a Cuban sandwich.” 644 Sixth St., Miami Beach, 305-534-9333
Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith visits this "throwback" spot for its simple staples like chicken or steak a la plancha, grilled beef or chicken, and ropa vieja. “It’s really a greasy spoon, but it has a lot of fun things about it. It’s a great place to go at night, because it's kind of stick-to-your-ribs food after you’ve had one too many glasses of Champagne." Goldsmith adds: "I try not to eat Cuban food so much—just for the calories alone I’ll get my cardiologist going—but what wonderful food. Really simple and really consistent.” 700 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-673-1115
This iconic Little Havana restaurant opened in 1971 and is still packed morning, noon, and night. Bartender Ben Potts (Blackbird Ordinary) always brings friends from out of town here. “It’s classic Cuban food. They’ve been around forever and for a good reason: they're very consistent." He'll order anything with pork, but the ropa vieja is Potts' go-to dish. 3555 S.W. Eighth St., Miami, 305-444-0240
PHOTOGRAPHY VIA FIND. EAT. DRINK. (LAS OLAS; PUERTO SAGUA)
Want More? Download the Find. Eat. Drink. App
Find. Eat.Drink. is the first travel guide app curated by the world’s top chefs, bartenders, sommeliers, and food stars passing along their favorite places to eat, drink, and food shop around the globe.