image description January 14, 2014

Miami’s Ethnic Eats

Miami, Florida, USA
Miami’s Ethnic Eats

A Few Latin Favorites

Miami’s population has seen a radical shift in recent years. With an influx of Caribbean, Central American, South American, and other Latino communities in the city, it’s  become the unofficial capital of the Latin world. You should expect in a city where nearly 70 percent of the population is Latin American to find some really great ethnic restaurants. When you walk the streets of Little Havana, it can feel like you’re in a different country. For an authentic Cuban experience, put El Palacio de los Jugos on your list. I made this happy discovery a few years ago and can’t get enough of it. The no-frills spot is known for fresh-squeezed sugarcane, fruit shakes, cheap Cuban food, and my favorite, the deep-fried, salty chicharrónes cut to order. They’re nothing short of divine.

Part fish-fry, part fresh seafood market, La Camaronera is a small, family-owned joint that’s been around for more than 40 years. It’s worth fighting the crowds for the minuta sandwich: a butterflied snapper fillet with lemon, garlic and cumin on a Cuban-style bun. Speaking of sandwiches, your next pitstop should be Enriqueta’s Sandwich Shop. At this restaurant you’ll find fresh, affordable food and the ultimate hand-pressed sandwich with the traditional Cubano fixings: sweet ham, léchon, swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, and mayo.

For Nicaraguan chow, I always head to Fritanga Montelimar. The nacatamales, sweet-and-sour tongue, roast chicken and pork ribs are spectacular. There is no bad dish in this restaurant. Look inside the kitchen, all you see are grandmothers! Another Nicaraguan favorite is Raspados Loly’s, where they serve one of the best desserts known to man – a cup of shaved ice with layers of dulce de leche and poundcake. It’s the only place I’ve seen this outside of Central America and I can’t stop dreaming about it.

When it comes to fritas (a Cuban-style burger), El Mago de las Fritas on 8th Street serves the cream of the crop. The all-beef patty is topped with raw and crispy-fried onions and potato strings, all sandwiched between a Cuban bun. Hands down the best in Miami. Another legendary joint is La Esquina del Lechon. Once you smell the whole pigs roasting in the caja china, there’s no turning back. Their pan con lechon (roasted pork sandwich) is topped with cracklin bits and sauteed onions. Enough said.

For authentic Mexican street food, try the recently opened Pancho Taco, where tacos are made out of a 1964 Mercury commuter station wagon out back of the hip Wood Tavern. The Mexican-wrestling-themed spot serves $2 tacos made of chicken or carnitas, chopped cilantro, chopped onions and salsa. Simple and delicious.


El Palacio de los Jugos
5721 W. Flagler St.
Miami, FL 33144

La Camaronera
1952 W. Flagler St.
Miami, FL 33135

Enriqueta’s Sandwich Shop
186 NE 29th St.
Miami, FL 33137

Fritanga Montelimar
15722 SW 72nd St #12
Miami, FL 33193

El Mago de las Fritas
5828 SW 8th St
West Miami, FL 33144

La Esquina del Lechon
8601 NW 58th St.
Miami, FL 33178

Raspados Loly’s
10404 W Flagler St
Miami, FL 33174

Pancho Taco
2531 NW 2nd Ave
Miami, FL 33127



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