Ok, obviously Hialeah’s got some of the best Cuban and Latino food in town — but it’s also got fire latkes, pizza, and crepes! There’s Stephen’s Deli, an OG New York-style deli, plus a bunch of new additions like the hole-in-the-wall health food store, Quinoa Corner, or BreadMan Miami Bakery, the Cuban bakery for the youths.
BreadMan Miami Bakery
This is your typical Cuban bakery, but for the youths. It’s got the staples, you know, like pastelitos and empanadas, but the young couple running it has also put a twist on the classics. Your mouth will water when you see those ropa vieja empanadas, sloppy frita sandwiches — a sloppy joe with un Cubano twist — and pasteles de carne y maduros. But whether it’s old school or new school, everything is delicious.
El Rinconcito de Santa Barbara
Let’s face it, Miami is a Cuban city and Puerto Ricans are lucky to hang. Thankfully El Rinconcito de Santa Barbara gives Puerto Ricans a food haven, serving authentic, homestyle mofongo dishes to satisfy all Boriqueños and their friends. Rinconcito also has other Puerto Rican favorites including arroz con gandules, pasteles, tostones rellenos, and alcapurrias — but get the mofongo. It’s their specialty.
Franky’s Deli Warehouse
Franky’s is THE deli of Hialeah. Seriously, just look at customer photos to see how beautiful these things are, even when they’re shot on someone’s cell phone. People rave about the sandwiches, and they get pretty excited about their soups, too. Franky is usually around greeting guests and you might even run into local celebrities Pitbull and Flo Rida when they swing by for a sandwich. They’re reportedly regulars.
Hialeah isn’t just about Cuban food. Graziano’s, an Argentinean steakhouse, has been gracing the city with its parrillada argentina for years. It’s the place for dinners with friends and family, with a nice grilled skirt steak and a bottle of wine (or two). This family-owned restaurant stays true to traditional Argentine grilling by importing its wood from the mother country. If you want to try to DIY, hit up the market next door for authentic Argentinean cuts of meat, wines, and prepared meals.
La Fresa Francesa
Walking into La Fresa Francesa, it feels like you’ve been magically transported to a little bistro in Paris. Hialeah native Sandy Sanchez and husband Benoit Rablat brought a little je ne sais quoi to the city. Order a mushroom crepe and a pot of chamomile tea, wait a little while, then order a Croque Madame and bottle of wine because you will not want to leave this place. Enjoy the hospitality of the awesome waitstaff and kick up a conversation over a Guava Bellini.
La Pupusa Factory
This low-key spot for Salvadoran fare specializes in pupusas (obviously) — corn tortillas stuffed with deliciousness like cheese, meat, and refried beans. People rave about the cheese ones in particular. But it also serves other Central American staples like baleadas, a Honduran twist on pupusas.
If you’re looking for amazing fritas and a whole lot of other Cuban standbys for chump change, be sure to storm Morro Castle. Breakfast? $4. Best frita in town? $3. Enormous medianoche? $4. Giant pan con bistec? $3. There are also bomb batidos and the hot chocolate and churros are to die for. You’ll dine behind bars in the open-air like you’re chilling on a very nervous abuela’s patio, and it’s (sometimes slowish) counter service. But you’re here for the food, hacere.
We feel like we shouldn’t be telling you about this one, because we kind of want to keep this neighborhood secret all to ourselves. To quote a local, “it is the BEST takeout Cuban food in Hialeah and thus in Miami.” They deserve the cred. It’s abuela’s home cooking, with friendly service, cheap prices, and no guilt about when you’re going to settle down. Why the name when it’s not actually a BBQ joint? No clue. But the vaca frita will make you stop asking questions.
Put your New York-style slice of pizza down for a second, and let us introduce you to the deliciousness that is Cuban pizza, with its crispy edges and variety of toppings. The best one is found at Polo Norte. You’re welcome. Get a whole pie for the family, or get a personal pizza (try the chorizo, it’s one of our favorites) to save room for un “suero” (an ice cream shake) or una “Copa Lolita” (ice cream and flan? done) at the end. If you’re not craving pizza, there’s are very solid pasta, chicken, beef, seafood, and sandwich entrees. We promise, nothing but good eats at Polo Norte.
It’s literally all things quinoa at this delicious health food hole in the wall. It’s so small that when you walk in, you’re almost in the heat of the kitchen, and it’s best for takeout — people love the pre-made food items waiting to be picked out of the refrigerators in the front. This should be your go to spot for healthy living.
Yea, Hialeah’s all about the Cuban food, but there’s a Nicaraguan community here too, and for them, there is Rincon Nica. Hialeah residents said our guide couldn’t not have this place. It’s a good spot for Nicaraguan classics, and they have Spanish-language karaoke too. Which may be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how much Toña you’ve had.
This place has been around serving up hand-carved corned beef sandwiches and Bubbe-style latkes since the 1950s, when Hialeah was home to a Jewish community working in the garment factories. That time is over, but Stephen’s is still serving some of the best New York-style deli sandwiches and other delicacies you can find in Miami, period. Come early though — this is still strictly a daytime place, opening at dawn and closing as the last lunch stragglers leave. (We wrote more about Stephen’s Deli here.)
It’s located in a strip mall, so we’re not quite sure why it’s called a ranch, but that’s not important. What’s important is the ropa vieja, and it is excellent. Molina’s Ranch may not be as popular as other Cuban restaurants around Miami, but it should be. The moros are delicious, the service is good, the restaurant is clean, and the plantains? Cooked with the expertise of an abuelita.
Uncle Tom’s BBQ
Where else can you get finger lickin’ good barbecue with a Manolo Villaverde (better known as Pepe Peña from ¿Qué Pasa, USA?) looking on? Nowhere other than Miami’s oldest barbecue joint, Uncle Tom’s BBQ, established in 1948. It’s back after a fire and other issues that caused them to close up shop for a couple years. Now under new ownership, they’re cooking up a storm, bringing you all the smoky goodness of dishes like pulled pork-stuffed mac and cheese. Need we say more?