The best diners in Miami

Grab a bite to eat and fill up your coffee cup at the best diners in Miami

Photograph: Virginia Rollison

The diner: It’s a bona fide American institution. And Miami’s diners have the formula down cold. (Start with scrambled eggs, multiply by grilled cheese, divide by chicken soup, add a chocolate milkshake and voila! It’s a party.) Get the scoop on the best diners in Miami with our comprehensive restaurant guide—from retro counters serving breakfast 24/7 to kitschy Cuban cafes. Don’t forget the coffee.

Puerto Sagua

Critics' pick

The best place for breakfast on Collins is this trad (as in authentically old, rather than retro) Cuban diner. Choose from a long list of set combinations, many of which give change from six bucks. Later in the day, an entertaining mix of old-time Cubanos, hip-hop kids and beach bums drop by for paella-style chicken and rice, ham croquettes and fried pork chops.

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South Beach

S&S Diner

Critics' pick

A vintage slice of classic Americana, Miami’s oldest diner is cool without even having to try. The retro decor is deeply fabulous, from the red Formica counter and bar stools to the ancient gumball machine and old Western Union clock—it’s all pure film noir. To complete the picture, there’s even a wisecracking, seen-it-all-before waitress pouring coffee to the motley crew of customers: hookers and truckers, doctors and lawyers, club kids. The food is cheap and comforting classic diner fare: chilli con carne, meatloaf with gravy, split pea soup, and—of course—the inevitable cheeseburger with fries. God bless America.

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Design District

Jimmy's Eastside Diner

The sign outside declares that Jimmy’s is "Your Friendly Neighborhood Eatery," and it’s one of the few places left in the city where you can spend $5 on breakfast and have some silver left over. It’s not in the most fashionable area and you’ll need a car to get there. But this greasy spoon knows how to pack in the patrons.

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Design District

11th Street Diner

The best-looking high-carb, high-fat joint in town, this streamlined, stainless-steel 1946 diner was shipped in from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. It’s a popular all-night spot that attracts a regular crew of locals and club kids, plus curious tourists. The food is above average (in quality and price), and there’s an outdoor terrace and bar area (until 5am only).

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South Beach

Front Porch Café

One of the quainter and less posey spots on Ocean Drive, the Front Porch is the preferred breakfast and lunch venue of locals who seek good food with no attitude. Expect no-nonsense diner fare, including pancakes, plus fruit salads; the moreish french toast comes with bananas and walnuts.

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South Beach

Gourmet Diner

As the only "diner" in town where you can order escargots, this is not your average greasy spoon. Creations such as rocket and endive salad with goat’s cheese lend weight to the "gourmet" claims. Happily, though, prices aren’t prohibitive.

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North Miami

Versailles

Almost as famous locally as its palatial namesake is in France, Versailles is a kitschy Cuban diner with wall-to-wall mirrors, a constant buzz and an unabridged menu featuring every dish going. Not to everybody’s taste, but a local legend and definitely worth a visit.

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Little Havana

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