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Cuban Food in Miami

If the tropical vibe has you hankering for Cuban food, you've come to the right place. Miami is the top spot in the country to enjoy authentic Cuban cooking.

The flavors and preparations of Cuban cuisine are influenced by the island nation's natural bounty (yucca, sugarcane, guava), as well as its rich immigrant history, from near (Caribbean countries) and far (Spanish and African traditions). Chefs in Miami tend to stick with the classic versions of beloved dishes, though you'll find some variation from restaurant to restaurant, as recipes have often been passed down through generations of home cooks. For a true Cuban experience, try either the popular Versailles (3555 S.W. 8th St. 305/444–0240 www.versaillesrestaurant.com) or classic La Carreta (3632 S.W. 8th St. 305/444–7501) in Little Havana, appealing to families seeking a home-cooked, Cuban-style meal. For a modern interpretation of Cuban eats, head to Coral Gable's Havana Harry's (4612 S. Le Jeune Rd. 305/661–2622). The South Beach late-night institution David's Café (1058 Collins Ave. 305/5348736) is the beach's favorite Cuban hole-in-the-wall.

The Cuban Sandwich

A great cubano (Cuban sandwich) requires pillowy Cuban bread layered with ham, garlic-citrus-marinated slow-roasted pork, Swiss cheese, and pickles (plus salami, in Tampa; lettuce and tomatoes in Key West), with butter and/or mustard. The sandwich is grilled in a sandwich press until the cheese melts and all the elements are fused together. Try one at Enriqueta's Sandwich Shop (2830 N.E. 2nd Ave. 305/5734681 Weekdays 6 am–4 pm, Sat. 6 am–2 pm) in the Wynwood Arts District, or Exquisito Restaurant (1510 S.W. 8th St. 305/643–0227 Daily 7 am–11 pm) in Little Havana.

Key Cuban Dishes

Updated: 2013-09-30

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