Best of Miami

Five Best Dishes Under $5 in Miami

From sky-high rent prices to expensive drinks at the glittering clubs in South Beach, it’s an undisputed fact Miami isn’t cheap. And neither is good food, so they say. But much to our surprise — and probably yours — the city's culinary prowess extends much further than the five-star hotels boasting award-winning chefs' lavish creations. In fact, the city is home to equally tasty plates that satisfy both your palate and your bank account. All you need is a little pocket change.

So the next time you’re short of food and cash, check out Miami's top five dishes under $5.

5. Jamaican Patties at Patty Place ($1.75)
Authentic Jamaican patties are hard to come by, but Patty Place’s golden pastries near Miami Gardens have been a favorite among locals for the past 18 years. Featuring light and flaky pastry with more than enough substance to hold their contents, these warm Jamaican patties are made with a variety of fillings to satisfy vegetarians and meat lovers alike. Although the traditional beef patty remains a hit, try the chicken patty, well-seasoned with curry but not obtrusively so, or the veggie patty, stuffed with a sautéed vegetable medley. For less than $2 each, you can try more than one.

4. Pan con Lechón at El Palacio de los Jugos ($4)
Pan con lechón reigns supreme at El Palacio de los Jugos. For lunch or dinner, dig right into tender shredded roast pork, delectable mojo sauce, and diced onions on pressed Cuban sandwich bread with the perfect amount of crisp. Plus, you can wash it down with your choice of El Palacio's famed fresh juices.

3. Tropicale Hot Dog at Dogma Grill ($4.75)
Quite frankly, Dogma Grill has the hottest dogs in town. This corner eatery on Biscayne Boulevard features a standout menu of fancy frank fixes, hamburgers, specialty sandwiches, and more. With its cheeky tagline, “A Frank Philosophy,” Dogma takes your study of meat to all-new heights with the Tropicale, a Colombian-style dog smothered in Thousand Island dressing, melted Swiss cheese, grilled bacon, sweet pineapple chunks, and crushed potato chips. You really get a bang for your beef with this $4.75 dog.

2. Frita a Caballo at El Mago de las Fritas ($2.67)
When Miamians think of cheap eats, they inevitably imagine the frita. But what’s low in cost is also rich in flavor — so much so that fritas tend to be a crowd pleaser at many Cuban restaurants. But it would be almost sinful not to mention this Cuban burger at El Mago de las Fritas as a standout. The monstrous frita a caballo is made with highly seasoned ground beef, chorizo, diced onions, shoestring potatoes, and a fried egg on a Cuban roll. Magic definitely comes alive at El Mago, especially with a price under $3.

1. Tacos at Pancho Taco ($1 on Tuesdays)
Perfect for happy hour with co-workers or late-night bites after drinking and dancing, the tacos at Pancho Taco are something you can sink your teeth into. And best of all, they're served from a food truck out back at Wood Tavern. These flavorful soft tacos feature slow-cooked meats such as marinated carnitas and chicken, cilantro, onions, guacamole, and extra spices. But don’t just go on a Tuesday; these Mexican street-style eats are worthy of any occasion, any mood, and every wallet.  

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