Lists

The Ten Best Fritas Cubanas in Miami

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5. Luis Galindo’s Latin American Cafeteria & Restaurant
Relaxation is holding a frita cubana in one hand and a cerveza in the other while surrounded by friends and family on the patio of Luis Galindo’s Calle Ocho mainstay. Enjoy the mix of old Spanish tunes and ‘90s throwback jams as you nosh on a substantial hunk of flavorful ground beef and chorizo topped with cheese, ketchup, and freshly fried potatoes and capped by a buttered Cuban roll. After devouring the handheld stunner ($5.50) — named the Frita Alberto, after the cafeteria’s Chef Alberto — be sure to stop by Latin American Bakery & Café next door for the perfect balance of sweet and salty.
4. Cuban Guys
The crew at Cuban Guys has specialized in turning standard ingredients into sought-after masterpieces. You’ll see it in the glorious assemblage of the menu’s top seller: a seasoned all-beef patty piled with crisp string fries and onions and packed inside a perfectly toasted and unmistakably branded Cuban roll. On Tuesdays, customers get to enjoy the frita for only $2. So whether you go to Cuban Guys in Hialeah, Kendall, North Miami Beach, or Westland Mall, go hungry. 
3. Morro Castle
Located in Hialeah, Morro Castle ($2.79) has been a source for tasty, no-frills Cuban food since 1966. The draw is simple: Morro’s frita stacks a tumbleweed of crisp potato sticks on a bed of spicy chorizo sandwiched by a warm bun. It’s a royal bun-and-meat merger. But like all items at this family-owned cafeteria, it’s cheap. The cost: $2.79 (AKA pocket change). 
2. El Rey de las Fritas
When it comes to fritas in Miami, El Rey de las Fritas has certainly held its reign since its early entrance into the fritas game more than 40 years ago. Most people tend to stick with what they know, like the original frita ($3.25), a crimson seasoned patty made of tender beef and chorizo, drenched in a special sauce and crowned by onions and fresh julienned potatoes on a Cuban roll. But it’s time to step out of your comfort zone and throw some plantains or eggs and bacon on your frita for a fancier version of the classic. Regardless of which variation you choose, they’re all big, bold flavors that satisfy, and your stomach will agree.
1. El Mago de las Fritas 
Ya tu sabes El Mago de las Fritas serves the best frita cubana in town. Fellow magicians, President Obama, and hordes of devoted customers who pile in daily at this mainstay on SW Eighth Street at 58th Avenue can attest to these certified frita creations. The plain frita, which goes for $3.50, is anything but ordinary; it features an oozing all-beef patty adorned with house seasoning, cooked and raw white onions, ketchup, and Mago’s famous potato wisps enveloped in a warm and toasty Cuban bun. You can upgrade your frita with cheese, double patties, or even an egg. When it comes to Cuban burgers and great fixings in Miami, leave it to the wizard Ortelio Cardenas and his crew, who have mastered the art of frita-making magic.

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Maureen Aimee Mariano is a freelance food writer for Miami New Times. She earned a bachelor of science in journalism from the University of Florida before making her way back to the 305, the city that first fueled her insatiable appetite.