The Ultimate Guide To Miami's 10 Best Fritas Cubanas

Audra Clemens

Miami is a city famous for Cuban culture, and its delicious fritas cubanas, which is a hamburger consisting of Cuban bread coupled with a cumin-paprika spiced-beef patty. Some variations may also include chorizo, while others enclose the meat in an American-style bun. Despite the modifications, one thing will never change, and that is the deep-fried julienne shoestring potatoes, also known as papas fritas. Here are the 10 best restaurants in Miami serving an excellent fritas cubanas.

Cuban Guys

1. Bread + Butter

Gastropub, Restaurant, American

Bread + Butter is where Cuban street food meets American gourmet. The most notable frita item in Chef Albert Cabrera’s gastropub repertoire is the frita china. This culinary masterpiece puts a spin on the traditional frita burger by using chorizo instead of beef, with napa cabbage, cilantro and sriracha, which are all stuffed inside a potato bun. With years of experience, Chef Cabrera is no slouch when it comes to culinary ingenuity. He owned his own catering business before opening his first solo restaurant Local, in Coral Gables, where he split his differences and opened the ever-popular frita shop, Bread + Butter. It is here the 2008 Rising Star Chef lives up to his reputation and accolades.

2. Cuban Guys

Cuban Guys

Offering three locations throughout Miami-Dade County, Cuban Guys is an authentic yet local chain bringing Latin specialty sandwiches to South Florida. The star of their menu is the traditional frita cubana, marinated in a flavourful garlic, cumin and oregano base. One thing that sets this sandwich apart from the rest is the branded bun displaying the letters C and G that add flare to this standout sandwich. The menu at Cuban Guys also boasts other comida Cubano staples like the media noche, yucca fritas and plantains, almost all of which are served on a daily deals menu. Visit the restaurant on a Tuesday when they offer the fritas cubanas for two bucks.
Cuban Guys, 1678 Northeast Miami Gardens Drive, North Miami Beach, FL, USA, +1 305-949-6877

3. El Mago de las Fritas

Restaurant, Cuban

El Mago De Las Fritas
© Lisandro Pérez
Rumor has it that a secret family recipe at El Mago de las Fritas, hailing from the city of Havana is what makes their fritas cubanas sandwich so extraordinary. The story of owner Ortelio Cardenas is as much a part of the restaurant as the food and decor. Cardenas can be found here from dawn until hours past dusk, cooking in his Little Havana restaurant’s kitchen. The only thing in question at El Mago de las Fritas is regarding the grease, or lack there of, in the fritas burgers served at this family operated joint. Good recipes and friendly service is what El Mago de las Fritas stands for.

4. El Rey de las Fritas

El Rey de las Fritas

Winner of Miami’s Fritas Showdown, the fritas cubana from El Rey de las Fritas comes highly recommended by Miami locals and out-of-town foodies alike; it may be the crème de la crème of the locations serving this specialty sandwich. El Rey de las Fritas offers a variety of fritas food, with some burgers cooked in different sauces while others are topped with different items, like the frita a caballo, which plops an egg on top the julienne shoestring potatoes, or the frita dulce that is topped by a fried plátano. With three Miami locations to choose from, the downtown location is centrally located and easily accessible by the gratis sky tram, which is called the ‘people-mover’ by the locals.
El Rey de las Fritas, 10142 West Flagler Street, Miami, FL, USA, +1 305- 644-6054

El Rey de las Fritas, Miami © Eugene Kim/Flickr

5. Fritas Domino

Restaurant, Cuban

Fritas Domino can be called the Godfather to the fritas cubanas sandwich in Miami, introducing this Cuban delicacy to the US market via Little Havana on Calle Ocho in the early 1960s. Today, Fritas Domino still sticks to what they do best, offering three traditional Cuban menu items: fritas cubanas, pan con bistec and frita croquetas. No longer located in the heart of Little Havana, the restaurant has relocated to a quaint shopping center on 67th Street and Eighth. What makes the fritas cubanas at Fritas Domino different is the thinly cut home-style onions that are mixed in with the fritas.

6. La Palma

Restaurant, Cuban

Located along the historic Calle Ocho, La Palma is an all-day-meets-late-night Miami locale that is abierto (open) 24 hours a day. Serving an excellent fritas cubanas alongside their other traditional menu items, like churros and chocolate caliente, (melted from an actual chocolate bar). La Palma offers no-frills indoor and outdoor seating, as well as take-out. This is a great place to brush up on reading and speaking Spanish, as English is barely spoken here.

7. Luis Galindo's Latin American

Restaurant, Cuban

The traditional frita cubana served at Luis Galindo’s Latin American is named after the owner; it’s called the Chef Alberto Frita Cubana. This Cuban diner serves food at a fast pace and stays open past midnight on the weekends. Located on the corner of an art deco-styled building, the indoor atmosphere is nothing fancy, but the food is very satisfying. Also there is a Cuban bakery next door where a cafecito craving or post-dinner sweet tooth can be satiated. Brush up on basic Spanish as the waitresses at both places speak very little English.

8. Morro Castle

Restaurant, American

Morro Castle has Miami’s culinary Cuban traditionalists in a bit of a quandary. The item in question is the bread on the fritas burger; it’s topped by an American bun instead of Cuban bread like a traditional fritas sandwich served on the streets of Havana. Owner Leo Villalobos pays no mind to the local debacle, after all his variation of the sandwich keeps the business name churning in the rumor mill. Everything else about the fritas cubanas is traditional, from the julienne potatoes to the all-beef patty and spices. Expect the dining at Morro Castle to be enjoyed al fresco, as this old drive-in restaurant has updated the parking spaces with ample patio seating.

9. Polo Norte

Restaurant, Cuban

Polo Norte
Courtesy Polo Norte
Like thousands of other Cuban families in the early 1980s, the Busquet family left the island of Cuba and headed for Miami. After years of hard work, the family opened Polo Norte. The restaurant started out as an ice cream parlour, eventually adding traditional Cuban meals to the menu. Polo Norte is said to have one of the best frito cubanas in all of Miami. The burger at Polo Norte consists of crispy homemade julienne potatoes, raw onions and an oversized patty. The patty has a chorizo and paprika combination that makes this frita flavoursome and distinct.

10. Sergio’s

Restaurant, Cuban

Sergio’s philosophy is ‘simple, fresh and homemade’. By using local ingredients, fused with homemade recipes, alongside contemporary ideas, the restaurant is able to offer both authentic and innovative Cuban cuisine. Meat, seafood and produce are all purchased from local Florida suppliers. The frita cubana here is one of the best around. Sergio’s offers an original frita and mini Cuban frita sliders for those without a big appetite. The sliders are offered as part of their seasonal tapas menu.
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