Miami's Ten Best Cafe con Leches
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In addition to croquetas and cigars, Cubans know their way around coffee. Hence Miami's longstanding rep of serving some of the best caffeinated concoctions in the free world, from cortaditos to coladas to the subject of this list --- café con leche.
While America goes Starbucks, we go ventanilla and comedor. So here are the top ten cups of café con leche. Speaking Spanish at any of these joints helps, but you'll survive without it. Repeat after us: "Café con leche, por favor."
10. Ricky Bakery
The best things are worth waiting for, and though you might have to endure a long line on a Saturday morning, this steamy, frothy cup of Cuban joe is worth it.
9. Karla Bakery
In Miami, Cuban bakeries are almost as ubiquitous as Starbucks outposts. Almost. But a few are better than the rest, and Karla fits the bill when it comes to Cuban coffee. The ladies behind the counter know how to coax that espresso machine into squeezing out a caffeinated nectar of the gods.
8. Arahi's Bakery
In the history of food and drink, the tastiest of treats often spring from the most unassuming spots. Such is the case with Arahi's, whose café con leche (along with every other Cuban sweet under the sun) earns rave reviews from anyone savvy enough to sniff it out.
Google Street View
7. El Arte Bakery & Café
Expect the traditional treatment at El Arte: old Cuban dudes playing cards, rowdy weekend crowds, copious quantities of meat. There are also pastelito groupies who gush about the guava. Come for the coffee; stay for the pastries.
Google Street View
6. Bread n Pan Cafeteria
Blink and you'll miss this one-woman window. The lady behind the café con leche is an early-morning dynamo, doling out cheap, caffeinated crack in a cup to anyone in need.
Cafe Que Rico on Facebook
5. Café Que Rico
Far from the madness of South Beach, the Latin buzz of Calle Oche, and the nonchalance of Wynwood is a lone strip mall in North Miami Beach. There, unbeknownst to many a Miamian, some of the city's best café con leche is made. So if a trek north is in your near future, stop by for a fix.
At Miami's most famous Cuban eatery, Versailles, the ventanilla is never less than ten people deep. Part tourist trap, part Cuban cultural center, this iconic Calle Ocho restaurant knows its way around café con leche. Now, why did you ever spend a cent at Starbucks?
3. Coffee Zone
Tucked away in an office building off Brickell, this coffee joint has café con leche down pat. The warm, creamy milk and jolt-inducing java come together in a to-go cup that will cure all your morning ills.
2. Tropical Beach Café
Compared to Calle Ocho, 28th and Collins might not seem like a likely spot for the city's best café con leche, but it comes damn close. To the delight of hung-over South Beach stragglers, Tropical Beach Café serves an impressive, eye-opening cup of joe for the morning after.
1. Carino's Pizza and Subs
Cuban coffee at a sub shop? Believe it, 'cause Carino's makes café con leche that beats any Calle Oche establishment. Screw the deceiving name -- the coffee and Cuban pastries are what make this place worth waking up for.
Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahalexs.
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