5. Casavana Cuban Cuisine
Casavana has been sating locals' cafecito cravings since the early 2000s. It’s easy to spot the Cuban eatery from the moment you park, as swarms of police officers and customers can be seen huddled at the ventanilla
to get a taste of café con leche and coladas ($2.25 each). At the Miami Lakes location, ask for Rosie, one of the ladies working there. She's a favorite among the customers for her hospitality and ability to remember people’s names.
4. Islas Canarias
Established in 1977 by Raul and Amelia Garcia, Islas Canarias has earned its stripes in Miami, but it’s the restaurant's reputation for the best dollar croquetas and cafecito that has everyone raving about this Miami institution. In the Miami episode of Parts Unknown
, Anthony Bourdain broke bread here and, in true Miami fashion, shared a cafecito ($1.89) with local chef Michelle Bernstein. Besides, what other eatery has its own holiday? July 19 has been proclaimed Islas Canarias Restaurant Day, adding to this spot's long list of Miyami
3. El Exquisito Restaurant
In the heart of Little Havana, El Exquisito has been at the forefront of Miami coffee culture since its inception in 1974. On any given day, professionals and Cuban papis
from the nearby Domino Park can be seen rubbing shoulders at this ventanilla
for café con leches ($2.16) and coladas ($1.50). In 2012, the Coro family revamped the establishment with a fresh look, and now up to 100 people can fit at this historic location.
2. La Palma
As soon as Miami's weather dips into the 70s, customers flock to La Palma to enjoy its popular churros with hot chocolate and coladas ($1.77). Repped by locals as a great place to stop for late-night munchies, the 24-hour window has been satisfying all-nighters and early risers with Cuban fare for more than 30 years.
1. Los Pinareños Frutería
Enjoy your cafecito break alfresco at this large outdoor walk-up window with barstools. Inside, Los Pinareños resembles typical markets in South America, where boxes overflow with all types of tropical fruits. The sapodilla shakes and tamales have made the Calle Ocho location a huge success, but be sure to bring your pesos, because this place is cash-only. After you savor the last drop of your café con leche ($2) or a colada ($1.25), take a stroll inside to view the vintage photographs and get a cup of favored sugarcane juice to go.
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