A couple of years ago, while studying in DC, my friend Alberto was kind enough to invite me to his family’s home down in Miami over Thanksgiving. Being quintessentially Cuban, at least in my eyes, and thanks to his family’s incredible kindness and hospitality, I was privileged to experience not only a fantastic traditional Turkey Thanksgiving, but a slice of cuban food and life. In fact, as a result of my visit I am now obsessed with pulled pork and pastelitos – delicious Cuban pastries filled with variety of flavors, my favorite being cheese and guava! With the hope of passing on my Cuban love, welcome to the mini Cuba I found in Miami…
Versailles is probably the best known Cuban restaurant in town, as well a hub of Cuban culture in Miami. I loved standing outside by the window and sipping coffee but it’s the fantastic mirrors inside that have given Versailles its name and make it so unique. Thankfully, Versailles’ is equally famous for its sandwiches, which everyone raves about. But while they are fantastic, I preferred to eat as many guava and cheese filled pastelitos I could lay my hands on. I even got out of bed early on the weekend to beat the morning rush and secure my share of pastelitos, because, as it turns out, I’m not the only one who’s discovered their deliciousness!
At Sergio’s, another Cuban institution, a similar scene unfolded itself. This time I was eating croquettes though! Standing outside having a cortadito and eating croquettes, is just something you need to do. I wasn’t going to complain because they are absolutely delicious!
For a little more luxury, I recommend Casa Larios because of their beautiful blue tiled garden, with matching blue umbrellas, and the opportunity to enjoy Florida sunshine. It’s equally charming on the inside, with a blue tiled bar and colorful decor. Welcome to Cuba…in Miami!