Cuban culture has been embraced and embedded in Miami’s identity since the 1960s, and our city has been filled with color ever since. For many, staple traditions like cafecitos and croquetas are a daily routine, and we’re not complaining. With that, comes the shining portal through which we indulge in these delicious eats: the ventanita. A window with a culture entirely on its own, they’re everywhere. Thanks to local filmmaker and journalist, Joe Cardona, we’ve spotlighted the go-to ventanitas to hit up on the regular.
This Little Havana staple is right in the heart of the cultural neighborhood and a perfect jumping off point to begin (or end) the night.
Miami New Times
Gables, Calle Ocho
Right across from the Granada Entrance of Coral Gables is this casual outpost, slinging fresh-baked goods to routine locals or hungry shoppers on their way from the Sedano’s next door.
Kendall, Town & Country
Like most family-style Cuban restaurants in Miami, this one comes complete with a busy ventanita for all levels of hunger or caffeine needs.
There’s a reason La Carreta’s fame is real. Known as Miami’s original Cuban cuisine, it’s the anchor point for any big event that happens in the city, sports-related or otherwise.
Westchester & Coral Gables
Another absolute Cuban staple, Sergio’s has been leading the pack in menu offerings that range far beyond the usual pastelito. Head there for an empanada or healthy lunch bowl, or just dive right in to the good stuff.
As comforting as they come, Chico’s is your perfect weekly staple, with dishes and recipes that never waver from their roots.
The gateway to Little Havana, Versailles is easily the most well-known Cuban restaurant in maybe the world. Even after all these years, it’s still solid and its staff is always welcoming.
Photo by Scott McIntyre/For The Washington Post
Probably as solid of a Cuban outpost as they come, heavily frequented by surrounding locals for breakfast and lunch. The kind of meals you need that energy for.
Coral Way & 137th
One word. Three syllables. Croquetas. That’s what this spot is heavily championed for, and with good reason. We’re not biased or anything, but they have plenty of awards to prove it.
The little Cuban cafe that could. The beloved destination has withstood the heavy surrounding development, as still dishes out some of the best Cuban sandwiches in the city as all these years.
Different from the rest of the Cuban locales on this list, El Floridita specializes in seafood and features an extensive wine list to elevate your experience. But right, we’re just talking about their window here…
Coral Way/Coconut Grove area
We saved the best for last. It might be an unassuming coin laundry that happens to also offer juices and bites, but these bites take you into another world. Maybe it’s the $4 pan con bistec, or the 24 hr service, or maybe it’s just magic.