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Jan 17, 2008 05:51 AM

Is 3hrs at MIA enough time to run out for lunch?

I've looked at previous threads and see comments that 4 hours is enough time...but how about 3?

On a Friday afternoon, I've got a layover b/w 12-3pm and would love to run out for lunch and get some good Cuban food or anything else great, if feasible considering travel, security, etc.

I also see a lot of recommendations for Versailles. I'll be looking for something fast, inexpensive, but delicious! Does it fit the bill?

For what it's worth, I'll be coming in and out of an American terminal.

Thank you in advance!!!

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  1. Versailles is less than 5 miles from Miami airport and a door-to-door cab ride, even considering potential traffic, shouldn't be more than about 20 minutes. It's not the greatest food in the world but it's at least decent, the place is certainly amusing (mirrors and chandeliers everywhere), it's a Miami landmark, and they should be able to get you in and out with time to spare.

    1. If Cuban food is anything, it's usually served very fast. Three hours should be way more than enough, though I always have a huge amount of trepidation leaving an airport in a city I don't know

      1. Thanks to you both! I think I'm going to give it a shot! Fordnesor, is there a place as close you would recommend over Versailles?

        I went to high school in Miami many many years ago, so it's a city I feel fairly comfortable in and why I'm feeling ambitious enough to try...although things have changed a lot since I moved away!

        Thanks again!

        3 Replies
        1. re: _cjw_

          For Cuban, not particularly. Speaking for myself, I think the "heights" of Cuban food only go so high, and so you may well as make it a good experience -- and Versailles is certainly an experience.

          1. re: _cjw_

            Only other place I'd throw out that's cab distance would be Las Culebrinas on Flagler and around 47th Ave. A little more upscale than Versailles and the food a little better. Both are stalwarts with Versailles having the edge of longevity.

            1. re: _cjw_

              If you're willing to go about 20 blocks more (easy enough).. go to Calle Ocho and 13th Avenue.. have lunch at El Nuevo Siglo -- then head across the street to the fruit market and get a tasty batido for your return trip to the airport. The entire food adventure (including batido) will cost you about $10

            2. I fly in/out of MIA about twice a week and I gotta say - youre playing with fire dude. Miami traffic sucks all around the airport, getting thru security in Miami is a total bitch too unless you have 1st class access. Good luck but Id advise against it. Sorry I cant offer anywhere to eat at MIA because there is not one place I would eat there unless I was in dire need of food. There is a "La Carreta" there which has Cuban food. Quite frankly, leaving the airport to get Cuban food is a total waste anyways.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Blind Mind

                I got to agree. I would feel very insecure about leaving the airport knowing how the traffic is and the security is all ways a crap shoot. Versailles can be busy at times but they do work pretty fast to get food out to you. FWIW Versailles has a fast food joint in the airport. Certainly not as good as at their main restaurant but.......

                With a 4-6 hr layover I would feel more secure about leaving and getting back with extra time.

              2. poor you. MIA has awful food - a Sbarro, a Starbucks, a smoothie place, BK, and a small cuban cafe which is about the best of the lot. Ughh I hate flying out of MIA - we bring our own food from home.