When you visit Miami, you may never want to leave. It’s just too lovely, with the sunshine, crashing waves, and incredible food. This is a town with a definite sweet tooth, from pineapple juice smoothies to donuts topped with cookie crumbs—though you’ll find your usual Cuban sandwiches and fish fritters as well. What should you eat in Miami? Follow our guide to the best cheap eats in Miami!
Talk about a local legend. Versailles has been around since 1971, and it’s still producing flavorful food that punches the taste buds. Oh, and it’s affordable, too, which is why it’s one of the best cheap eats in Miami. For starters, a plate of assorted empanadas, cod fish fritters, or stuffed green plantains all slip under $10. Don’t skip out on the other specials, either; you won’t find yellow corn meal stew or pigs’ feet Andalusian-style quite like this anywhere else. And you won’t want to leave without a stop at the dessert section of the menu. There’s coconut flan, homemade dulce de leche ice cream, and white sweet potato custard.
If you want to know one of the most popular dishes in Miami, just look around at the various empanada stands. Kick things up a notch when you walk into HalfMoon Empanadas, which offers artisanal pies made from scratch. Order up classics like ham and cheese, spicy chicken, and ground beef, while also looking for flavors like spinach, bacon and eggs, and pulled pork with sweet guava. The reasonable prices mean you can eat your fill at this cheap restaurant in Miami without making your wallet cry.
You’ll never walk through the ice cream aisle at the grocery store and feel satisfied again after a trip to Azucar Ice Cream Company, one of the best cheap eats in Miami. This Little Havana sweet shop loves to take what you know about ice cream and turn it on its head. Try the Cafe con Leche, which blends together Cuban coffee with Oreo. Or give the Guinness-chocolate a whirl on a cone. And there are plenty of others begging you to take a lick—like the balsamic-strawberry and sweet plantain.
Miami is sunnier, brighter, and livelier than any other city, so you’d best believe they know how to do donuts better than anyone else. Stop into Salty Donut for bombastic snacks you’ll write home about on a postcard. Try the guava and cream cheese donut topped with cookie crumbles. The maple bacon isn’t shy, either; candied bacon tops the sweet maple glaze of this bad boy. Each batch of donuts is handmade, so you know there’s nothing but love in these sweet, almost life-changing treats.
Given all the time you’ll be spending at the beach, we’re guessing you’re going to need a cold drink to cool down. Enter Under the Mango Tree, one of the best cheap eats in Miami Beach. The smoothies are out of this world—for example, the Marley includes house-made hemp milk, kale, banana, spinach, peanut butter, and coconut nectar to top it off. The Brazilian Bliss contains acai, coconut nectar, banana, and apple juice. And if you want to go with the namesake, you won’t be disappointed; the Mango Tree smoothie is made from mango, apple juice, coconut nectar, and the berry of the day. Best of all, the shop doesn’t close until 6 p.m. most days, so you can grab a sweet drink all afternoon.
If you don’t gain wisdom until your 30s, then La Sandwicherie is here to drop some knowledge of what good food is all about. Since it opened in 1988, this hot spot has served nothing but excellence for cheap. Give their popular sandwiches, like the brie cheese, smoked salmon, or French salami, a try. Signature sandwiches are in-demand as well, like the Tropical with avocado, cucumbers, papaya, and mango, or The Terminator with ham, turkey, salami, and provolone. The restaurant has locations scattered throughout the city, so you can grab a bite no matter where you’re headed next.
Have a hankering for seafood? Then walk through the doors of My Ceviche for a happy belly. This is one of the best places to eat in Miami, with options like the fish ceviche bowl, shrimp poke bowl, and the charred octopus taco all running under ten bucks. You know there’s something special about this place when you realize that it blew up from a take-out window to six locations in five years. Not only are the eats absolutely tasty, but they’re also incredibly photogenic. Just pop over to My Ceviche’s Instagram page to see how these pretty ingredients look on the plate.
Looking for more ways to enjoy the culinary scene? These are some top things to do in the city.
- Get your munchies on when you take the Little Havana Cuban Food Tour in Miami. This is one of the oldest and most famous neighborhoods in the city, and it’s brimming with authentic food for your palette.
- Food and art at the same time? Yes, please. Check out the scenery when you sign up for a South Beach Food & Art Deco Walking Tour.
- If you’re just looking to explore lunch options, don’t miss the South Beach Lunch Time Food Tour. You’ll get to stop and sample five different restaurants in the area.
Ready for great cheap eats in Miami? Oh yes, you are. And when you save money with inexpensive restaurants and enjoy Miami on a budget, you know you can use that extra cash for more rounds of fruity drinks to wash it all down.
Header image: Via Gabriele Maltinti/Shutterstock.com