Palmas Cafe in Brickell: Lunch for Under $10

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

If you think there isn't a decent spot where you can get lunch for under $10 in Brickell, you'd probably be right. Up until a couple of weeks ago, anyway. That's when Palmas Café quietly opened in the gorgeous courtyard shared with Deli Lane and a few other places.

Palmas Café comes to Brickell from the owners of Oasis Café in Key Biscayne (which has been supplying all Key Rats with their coffee fix for decades) and Las Olas Café over in South Beach (providing a similar service to beach-goers).

See also: Ten Best $5 Lunches in Miami

The sliver of a space houses enough people to make a line for the glass counter where daily specials await. On the opposite side, a salad bar is a new but welcome addition to the Brickell area. "We know lots of people here try to be healthy, so we wanted to cater to our customers," says owner Carlos Flores.

Grab a box and pack it with as much lettuce, spinach and whatever else you like your salad tossed with. As long as it closes, it's $6.85. Should you want to add select daily protein, add $2.30 to that figure.

Soups and antojos are available in the form of arepas, ham croquetas, pastelitos, pan de bono, tequenos and empanadas. We recommend the ham & cheese and beef empanadas ($2.50).

Daily proteins and specials include a weekly shrimp dish, barbecue chicken, meatballs, chicken cordon bleu, arroz con pollo, palomilla, mahi in lemon sauce, braised lamb shank, ropa vieja, braised oxtail, fried pork chunks, vaca frita, picadillo, and other deliciousness. The daily meal, priced at $9.15 comes with your choice of two sides. Choose from plantains mashed potatoes, rice and beans, or yuca.

Even the specialty of the house, which is a 12-hour slow-cooked pork shoulder costs $9.15. You can get that every day. Or if a sandwich is more your thing, Palmas Café has plenty. From a BLT and pan con lechon to croquet preparada and pan con bistec. We can vouch for the pan con bistec. For $7.95, the sandwich makes a filling and delicious working (or not) lunch. Pro tip: add the tomatillo sauce at the end of the salad bar to the sandwich. It's for the tacos but they leave it out for whatever else people want to spice up.

Which brings us to the tacos. As a nod to Flores' Mexican background, Palmas Café cooks up carnitas tacos every Saturday. It's a tradition that Flores carried over from the Oasis in Key Biscayne. There, flocks of people line up for perfectly cooked and tender pork at Oasis' ventanita. They are sold by the piece at $2.50 and are addictive. You might want to start out with three (like I did) and go from there. Our only complaint is that we wish these would be available every day, but as Flores explains of the tradition "it's something special that we do."

End your meal with dessert. All are homemade and cost just $3.70. They change daily; you should hope they have the key lime pie when you visit.

Once upon a time, Oasis Café and Las Olas were cash only. Times have evolved, but if you pay in cash at Palmas Café you'll get 5 percent off your order. Welcome to your new favorite Brickell lunch spot. You're welcome.

Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha

Follow Short Order on Facebook, on Twitter @Short_Order, and Instagram @ShortOrder.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.