Where are all the cheap eats, Miami? You may very well have thought this to yourself while reluctantly handing over your credit card for one too many overpriced and underwhelming dishes. Miami has a rep for being an expensive city. We get it. Sometimes it’s deserved, like when you’re forking over $15 for a Bud Light at one of the best South Beach clubs or dropping some crazy dough on a date at one of the most romantic restaurants in Miami. But, rest assured, not all of us can afford to do that very often. So when it comes time to eat like a normal person, we turn to these places to feed us delicious food at prices that don’t require the bank account of a famous rapper. These are the heroes Miami stomachs deserve.
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Best cheap eats in Miami
Tourists beeline to the Little Havana restaurant to taste it, and locals know to trust Versailles to make one of Miami’s best Cubanos. Built with superior-quality ingredients—sweet ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles and just a squirt of yellow mustard—the traditional sandwich on Cuban bread is made fresh to order and served hot. $6.50
Not all drunk food needs to be eaten at 4am; some late-night meals are good enough to scarf down during the light of day, like the Mi Margherita at Pizza Tropical, Gramps’s walk-up window serving New York–style slices and pies. Crispy and thin, the oversize slice is topped with ribbons of real basil and fresh mozzarella. During the week, from 11am–7pm, you can get a beer, shot and a slice for just $10. Name a better trio. We’ll wait. $3.75
Sanguich’s emphasis on fresh, house-made ingredients has earned this newcomer a well-deserved reputation as the creator of some of this city’s tastiest sandwiches. You’d be wise to try all five of the shop’s varieties but if you’re light on cash, the pan con lechón will satisfy with its shredded lechón, garlic cilantro aioli and pickled mojo onions. $10
The fact that our favorite taco place in all of Miami serves up its delicious tacos for less than $10 is something we try and think about any time we’re feeling sad. Personally, we’re team al pastor. The two hand-pressed corn tortillas come filled generously with tender pork and sweet pineapple. It is worth braving even the longest of lines. $7.50
What do President Obama and Guy Fieri have in common? They have both tried (and given a hearty thumbs up to) this famous frita. Ortelio Cardenas (El Mago) serves a ground-beef patty on a Cuban roll and piles it with shoestring fries, which are sliced so thin, they clump together and become a crunchy potato hash when fried. Even with add-ons like a fried egg ($1.35), this hearty slider still registers under $6. $4
Most diners at Lokal go straight for the burger-and-beer combo, which is certainly not a mistake. But they do risk overlooking one of the most underrated starters in town: the New Mexico Chili. The tight-lipped owners won’t reveal the recipe, but we can tell you the bowl of beef chili (presumably made with the same high-quality stuff used for the restaurant’s grass-fed patties) is finished with shredded Monterey Jack cheese and diced onions and served with a side of warm tortilla chips—which doubles as spoons for the thick, scoopable chili. $7
A menu item at a buzzy James Beard-nominated spot in Wynwood for under $10? Hard to believe? Maybe. Hard to eat? Absolutely not. Zak has been serving the bakery’s beloved beet and feta toast since the place opened its doors and it’s still a sweet, savory, toasty favorite. $8.50
This Little Haiti spot churns out some juicy rotisserie chicken which they’ll gladly slice up, slather in chicken jus, top with caramelized onions and smash between a soft kaiser roll for you. They call it the Sixty10 sandwich and it can be yours for under $10 (if you can resist the urge to order and scarf down another one). $8.95
Our only gripe with this Coconut Grove health food institution is its early closing time; the place caters to locals and the area’s nine-to-fivers. Still, it’s worth ditching work for a fresh green salad (lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, sprouts, cucumber) topped with house-made chicken salad. It comes with your choice of green vinaigrette or herbal dressing. Pro tip: Order both, plus a few extras to stash at home. $7.95
These soft, pillowy burgers are just the thing you need to cap off a night out in Wynwood. This casual burger window serves its smash patties on a potato bun with lettuce, tomato, cheese and a special mayo. You can even add a small fry to the mix and still clock in under ten bucks. $6.75
Nearly everything on the menu at Blue Collar is large enough to share, rendering most dishes “cheap” if you’re dining with someone who’s willing to split a meal. Though you can still find a Southern-style feast for one in the pork and beans “nosh” plate—a delicious misnomer served with smoky bacon, Berkshire sausage, white beans, a fried egg and a side of toast. $10
The West Miami shop has built a reputation on selling a diversity of great, cheap Spanish wine, but its tapas menu doesn’t fall far behind in value. Case in point: its selection of 11 panini sandwiches offered at just $7. Choose from turkey with Swiss, and tomato and tuna, among others. The No. 1 with sliced Manchego cheese and cantimpalo-style chorizo is also number one in our heart. $7
Slightly drunk at 2am? Already starving by noon? Sandwicherie is the place to fill up for cheap at all hours. All its regular sandwiches are under $10 and most of the signature ones are too. We’re partial to the Alaskan, a generous portion of smoked salmon and mozzarella. Order it with everything and you’ll need some power tools to close the darn thing. $9.70
Ice cream you can eat with a fork qualifies as a meal, right? The frozen treat is magically dispensed as paper-thin ribbons of ice cream (original, chocolate, coconut or taro) that you customize with sprinkles, nuts and fruit, plus other add-ons like chocolate sauce and whipped cream. $6
Venezuela’s famous sandwich—a crispy-on-the-outside, soft-and-chewy-on-the-inside corn-flour disk sliced open and stuffed—is generally cheap, but few places go as far as to include churrasco steak for less than $10. Thankfully the house-made guasacaca sauce (a mix of citrus, parsley, garlic and chili peppers) is complimentary because you will use just about a whole bottle of this magical liquid on your arepa. $10
If you can stuff it between two slices of Cuban bread, you can order it at this Hialeah cafeteria, which specializes in fresh juices ($2–$5) and sandwiches. Though of all the “pan con x” possibilities that are less than $5, the steak sandwich—fried top-round beef, shoestring potatoes, lettuce and tomato—is the sweetest deal. Come lunchtime, the place turns into a frenzy, so bring cash and prepare to practice your Spanish. $3.90
La Camaronera’s undisputed numero uno attraction is the pan con minuta. The concept is simple enough: take a snapper and fry it up (leave the tail on, baby) then put it between a lightly toasted Cuban roll. Don’t forget to squeeze a bit of lime on that bad boy. It’s good—trust us, and though it is listed as MP, it’ll generally run you under ten bucks. MP; usually between $7 and $8.
This fish-shaped ice cream cone is one of the MVPs of Wynwood’s Asian food hall. It is that rare dessert that both looks and tastes good. Pick a flavor (matcha, duh), add a drizzle, pick some toppings and take a pic before it all melts. Or just eat the damn thing without notifying Instagram. $7.
The Butcher Shop’s house-made pierogi are one hell of a drinking snack. The tasty dumplings are stuffed with cheese and potato, pan seared and served four to an order with a drizzle of warm sour-cream sauce (you may want to ask your waiter for extra). $7
A proper Chicago dog on Biscayne Boulevard? It exists! And it’s a delicious compromise if you don’t feel like wolfing down one of Dogma’s foot long beef dogs (also well under $10). Keep in mind this place is outdoors during the hot summer months. $4.75