Miami gives off the impression that every restaurant caters to the stars. And while many local eateries have a celeb-heavy following, you don’t need to dish out a fortune to feast in style. It’s easy to find cheap eats in Miami if you know where to look. The best part? Some of Miami’s beloved chefs have turned to quick-service spots and street food-style fare, offering diners a gourmet taste on the go.
The Best Cheap Eats in Miami
From sandwich stands to street food markets and tucked-away treasures, here are 10 cheap restaurants in Miami that are worth seeking out.
La Sandwicherie has gained a reputation as the go-to sandwich spot on Miami Beach for a number of reasons. One is the fluffy, French-style baguette serving as the bun for sandwiches stuffed with avocado, turkey, and brie. Another is its prime location, tucked along Collins near Lincoln Road and some of South Beach’s best nightclubs. It also helps that the eatery stays open until 5 a.m., ensuring you’ll find a quality late-night bite on the beach.
Della Test Kitchen
Miami is quickly getting on par with cities like Los Angeles in terms of the plant-based movement. Luckily for those in need of Buddha bowls, you can also find this type of cheap eats in Miami. Parked at The Wynwood Yard, Della Test Kitchen serves up customizable takeaway bowls filled with organic and locally sourced ingredients. Step up to the food truck—rated one of Miami’s best—and order your “healthy bowl of happy,” loaded with superfood goodness like quinoa, coconut oil-baked sweet potato, gold ginger tamari, and yellow curry cashew sauce. Come hungry; even the regular-sized bowls could easily make for two meals.
Soya e Pomodoro
Don’t let Downtown’s grit turn you away; one of the best cheap restaurants in Miami is hidden on a tucked-away alley more reminiscent of Milan than Miami. Launched by two Italians, Soya e Pomodoro is the kind of spot where you come for dinner and end up spending the night lingering over drinks as you sway to the sounds of live jazz bands serenading the crowd. While the food is no-frills, the flavors are just as authentic as those you’d find in Italy. Start with the bruschetta classica, toasted ciabatta topped with fresh tomato and basil, before digging into a plate of pear- and cheese-stuffed fazzoletti served in a sea of creamy ricotta sauce.
Crumb on Parchment
James Beard Award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein is one of Miami’s shining stars, with a resume that runs from restaurants and cookbooks to appearances on Top Chef. Sample a taste of her Latin-inspired cuisine at casual cafe concept Crumb on Parchment. Pop by the cafe in the Miami Design District, where Bernstein’s mom helps bake some of sweet treats that top off revamped lunch staples like truffle grilled cheese with wild mushrooms. Another stand-out lunch specialty: “The Southerner,” country-fried chicken breast (this is the chef famous for her fried chicken) served on a soft sesame bun with a duo of pickled mustard and pickles.
The signature teal food truck stamped with a “sexy maven” pin-up character once rolled around Wynwood selling a single American staple: grilled cheese. But Ms. Cheezious—which has earned awards for Best Food Truck and now has two brick and mortar locations in MIMO—is not your average sandwich spot. You won’t find a grilled cheese on the menu that is simply bread and cheese. Consider a combo of Southern fried chicken and cheddar atop homemade buttermilk waffles, or gouda mac ‘n’ cheese and house-cured bacon on sourdough bread. You can even build your own sandwich, choosing from a daily selection of bread (gluten-free included), cheese (even vegan!), and add-ons like buffalo tempeh, spiced apples, and house-smoked turkey.
Unsurprisingly for a city known as the “Gateway to Latin America,” there are plenty of cheap eats in Miami inspired by street food in countries like Cuba, Venezuela, and Colombia. One must-try: empanadas. You can find HalfMoon Empanadas’ artisanal Argentinian-inspired empanadas in a few spots around town, the most convenient sitting just east of the MIMO District. Take your pick of more than 20 types of handmade empanadas, including ham and cheese, creamed spinach, and spicy chicken cordon bleu.
Lotus + Cleaver
Think upscale hawker hall-meets-speakeasy and you have Miami’s first Asian-themed marketplace, 1-800-LUCKY. One of seven stalls sitting behind a record shop, Lotus + Cleaver serves some of the best Asian cheap eats in Miami, including Chinese barbecue and wok classics. The specialty here is Peking duck (which you can see hanging from the ceiling above the stand), so you can’t go wrong with any of the steamed bun options, particularly the duck buns decadently topped with foie gras.
Rustic chic at its finest, Tacology is Chef Santiago Gomez’s interpretation of traditional Mexican street food served in an urban setting. Located in Brickell City Centre, the brick- and wood-lined space acts as a restaurant version of a mercado. While homemade corn tortilla tacos are the highlight, piled high with everything from pork confit to cactus and quinoa, you’ll also find a fresh selection of modernized Mexican staples like tuna tataki tostadas and grilled avocado drizzled with yuzu chipotle sauce and candied hazelnuts.
The first outpost of My Ceviche was essentially a seafood shack on South Beach with founders Sam and Roger playing the roles of chef and cashier, doling out fresh ceviche from a takeout window. Now the eatery has expanded across town to neighborhoods like Brickell and Midtown, yet it still maintains its playful, roll-with-the-punches spirit. Ceviche bowls and salads are topped with fresh seafood like charred octopus and seared ahi tuna, while the ever-popular, made-to-order poke bowl features fun flavors like wasabi sesame sauce and creamy togarashi.
Buena Vista Deli
At Buena Vista Deli, terrace seating inspires the feelings of a French bistro in the heart of the Miami Design District. Not only does the ambiance have a French flair, so does the cuisine, which includes an array of freshly baked croissants, pastries, and pate, with daily specials displayed on the hanging chalkboard sign inside.
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—Original reporting by Lane Nieset
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