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Jan 30, 2007 12:18 PM

Downtown Miami late dinner for SF

LA Chowhounder arriving late to downtown Miami tomorrow night. I will be hungry after a long day of flying. Any suggestions for a decent meal near 2nd St and 2nd Ave? I prefer to sit at the bar then alone at a table. thanks. Cuban would be great...along with a Mojito.

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  1. Coyote>

    Will you have a rental car? Downtown late is kind of Deadsville. Best to take a taxi or the peoplemover elevated train to The River Oyster Bar on Miami Avenue and then stop by Tobacco Road afterward (opened all night in case you're jeg laggish).


    1. Sounds like you're at or near the Hyatt. Advisor Girl is right on. Another alternative=Gordon Biersch on Brickell, but if your from CAL ... why bother?

      1. If you're in the mood for Cuban, you're just a 10-minute drive from Las Culebrinas, a Cuban-Spanish restaurant on 27th Avenue just off US 1 in Coconut Grove. Venture a few blocks west along the Miami River from where you're staying (drive, don't walk) and you'll find some decent Cuban seafood joints like Garcia's or Casablanca (formerly Joe's Seafood restaurant, not to be confused with Joe's Stone Crab).

        1. I'd definitely second (or third) River Oyster Bar. It's not Cuban, but it has a lot of dishes with a Latin bent (ceviches, etc.). It's a short cab ride away plus there's always people eating at the bar. And if your flight was bad stop by Tobacco Road for a drink after. It's dingy and smelly, but keep in mind that it received the first post-Prohibition liquor license in Miami then all of a sudden it becomes charming.

          1. I would venture over to Los Ranchos the Nicaraguan Steakhouse at Bayside for some serious steak, all you can eat gallo pinto(redbeans&rice) and my mojito.

            Otherwise, Capital Grill is right over the bridge from downtown (a 2minute walk if you're at the Hyatt). This is a typical US style steakhouse though.

            You must define "late night". Is that after 11pm? If so, you will be SOL in that area.

            Downtown is basically a ghost town at night.

            Another place just came to mind, BONGOS behind the AAA where the HEAT (World Champs!) play. cuban + nightlife can be had at this Estefan establishment.

            Late Late night cuban will narrow your choices and force you to drive to Calle Ocho (SW 8th St) or Little Havana. Heading west on 8th there is: El Pub is good, Casa Panza (spanish as opposed to cuban), Casa Juancho (also spanish), and Versailles (cuban mecca open 24/7 if I am not mistaken).

            On the beach try Lario's or Puerto Sagua.

            4 Replies
            1. re: netmover

              i don't mean to completely bash another hound's recommendation BUT....El Pub, at 1548 SW 8th st is hands-down disgusting. like, without a doubt. there are few restaurants in the world that i'd say that i would absolutely never set foot in again, and this is one of them.

              we ordered:

              arroz con pollo (that came with a far-grosser-than-campbells chicken noodle soup [noodles were beyond mushy and gelatenous, broth was sickeningly salty]) - the chicken was just plain awful and the rice was cold, hard, greasy and flat-out embarrassing.

              cubano: it was ok. it certainly wasn't so great, but it was far better than anything else we had.

              lamb stew: i didn't try it but my friend said it was awful as well. and this guy eats lamb like no one i've ever seen. food trucks, food carts, 5* restaurants....he eats it anywhere. and couldnt eat it here.

              tamale: somehow they managed to put grease into this as well. and it was served, inexplicably, with the insides of their "maximum cubano" sandwich (or whatever they call their cubano with salami and pepperoni) laid out next to it. looked as if the "chef" put the meat, cheese, and pickles down on the tamale plate as he went to look for a loaf of bread, only when he returned with the bread for his meat, our waitress had taken the plate to our table, leaving poor "chef" without all the meat he had just sliced up and laid out in a line for his bread....

              just an awful dining experience.

              1. re: fazziole

                Hey, no worries Fazz, thanks for the feedback. Truthfully, the last time I ate there it was for breakfast which wasn't bad. I had lunch there a few years ago and it wasn't bad, certainly nothing like the horror show you described. Moreover, I try not to veer to far off the beaten path when dining Cuban. Pollo Asado, Vaca Frita, Boliche, Milanesa, Palomilla, Rabo Encendido is about as exotic as I go. They closed down for a while and reopened, so maybe there are new owners or management?

                CO, who could remember that Versailles schedule? Thanks for the clarification nonetheless. These places with different hours for different days of the week are for the birds. KISS!

                The sad truth of the matter is, good late night dining in downtown MIA is virtually non-existant as none of these places we're talking about are even in downtown!

                1. re: netmover

                  LOL, don't praise my memory, Net, it's been a good 6 years since I darkened Versailles' door. I did remember they were open until 2, but the rest came from Dr. Internets. ;-)

              2. re: netmover

                Versailles is open until 2 a.m. during the week, 3 a.m. Friday nite, 4:30 a.m. Sat. night (why bother closing?) and 1 a.m. Sunday night/early Monday. Back up at 8 for breakfast.