South Beach isn't cheap. yet there are places where you can have a decent meal for the money in your spare coin jar. We've scouted the 10 best items for under $10 on the island. Not only are the following items dirt cheap, they also taste like a million bucks. This top-ten compilation also doubles as an check-list of restaurants to utilize when you are teetering your bank's overdraft line. Quick, bookmark it.
10. The Lunch Buffet at David's Café II ($8.95)
From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every weekday, this old school Cuban joint serves up some savory crowd favorites, available to eat as much as your heart desires. Bites such as pork, chicken, rice, black beans and sweet plantains are all available in abundance. Obviously it's only available in-house, although they do deliver their normal menu.
9. Chicken Burrito at Taco Rico ($5.75)
This hearty chicken burrito rivals the size and shape of Chipotle's famed monstrosity, sans the semi-painful price tag. The chicken burrito from Taco Rico is only $5.75, and comes filled to the brim with lettuce, rice, beans, pico de gallo, sour cream and cheese wrapped in a large, warmly toasted flour tortilla. You even get a little miniature bag of chips and salsa on the side. How adorable.
8. Large Margherita Pizza at Spris ($9)
Sit outside and enjoy watching the hoards of amusing foot traffic on Lincoln Road as you munch on your large, six-slice Margherita pizza. The large pie stems from the classic recipe, featuring freshly made tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and some basil leaf. Bring a friend though, because you don't want to go at it alone. (Or, do you?)
7. Strawberry Fields Sushi Roll at I Love Sushi ($9)
After trying this sushi roll about a month ago, we fell in so in love with it that we included it on the 100 Favorite DIshes. So needless to say, it's low price and carefully crafted flavor lands it here. The roll includes freshly caught tuna, avocado, mango and cream cheese in a soy casing with a glazed strawberry on top. Be sure to utilize the sweet eel sauce that's drizzled around the roll. Why? Because, we said so.
6. Pad Thai at Thai House South Beach ($8.25)
A good pad Thai is difficult to come by, especially in South Beach, let alone a good quality one that's low in price. Thai House boasts a pretty rad recipe, and they are generous with the toppings, too. Choose from chicken, pork, beef or veggie. The rice noodles are stir fried along side egg, peanuts, scallions and chopped peanuts.
5. La Sandwicherie (Everything is under $10)
If you live in South Beach, then you undoubtedly know this quaint French sandwich shop. Nestled in what looks (to the unsuspecting first timer) like a spooky, abandoned street alley, La Sandwicherie is home to the best hand crafted sandwiches on the beach. It's called Miami Beach home since the '80s. Every day loads of local devotees and beach bums alike, pop a' squat on the numerous outside bar stools, watching live, as the chefs prepare their lunch.
4. Oven Cooked Rigatoni at Amami United Flavors of the World ($9)
Not only is the price out of this world, so is this pasta dish. It's by far one of the best pasta recipes we've ever tried in Miami. The rigatoni is lightly covered in fresh and delicious home made red sauce. It's then surrounded by crispy eggplant peels, melted mozzarella and basil leaf. Not long after it's made, it's placed inside of a wood burning oven, lightly browned and baked on the outside. The result is nothing short of magical.
3. Latin Burger at Bernie's LA Café ($9.95)
I first sunk my teeth into this juicy Spanish rendition of a hamburger, when I was at a fume filled disaster zone last weekend, also known as The Grind. It was named one of the top 30 burgers in Miami, and for very good reason. It's made up of an 8-ounce, 100 percent Black Angus sirloin patty, sliced chorizo, grilled onion & a bed of crispy string fries in a toasted bun. The atmosphere of the place inside is inviting and cozy, but the outside ain't. It's located on quite possibly the least sexiest street in South Beach, Alton Road. But then again, you're going there for the food. Right? If you're in the mood to stay at home, however, delivery is usually speedy. But no late-night drunk dials, because sadly, Bernie's L.A. Cafe closes nightly at 10 p.m.
2. Cheesecake Tempura at Moshi Moshi ($8)
Although well made sushi is definitely on the menu, Moshi Moshi is more known amongst locals as a late night sake & desert indulgence hot-spot. The ice cold, fruit-flavored sakes can be enjoyed at almost any hour, (they are open until 5am every day). This generous-sized slice of fluffy, cream cheese based cheesecake is lightly dropped inside of a steaming fryer of hot tempura. The outside remains hot, as the inside have preserved their chill. Then the dessert is laid on-top of a bed of vanilla ice cream surrounded by strawberries and whipped cream. What's that sound? A hoard of angels flying down behind me?
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1. Double Wrapped, Oversized Tacos (4) at Alma Mexicana ($10)
There is no better way to end this list than with the giant, double-wrapped tacos from the best hole-in-the-wall Mexican joint on the beach, Alma Mexicana. Here, you can watch Alma herself, master numerous authentic Mexican dishes. Our favorite: The set of four oversize, double flour tortilla wrapped tacos. Choose from any combination of steak, chicken, pastor or carnitas. Oh, and try the very special, homemade, green Chile sauce on top. Alma will be happy you did.