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Jul 28, 2011 09:03 AM

Miami's Hidden Gems and Hole in the Walls?

Heading to Miami at the end of August. I am looking for some cheap and delicious eats in Miami. Preferably the hidden gems, where only the locals eat. If it's a hole in the wall, it's guaranteed that I'm going to like it.

Any and all recommendations are welcome.

Cheap Eats 4 Life,


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  1. El Carajo. It meets all of your criteria. This dish: Filetillo al Miñón Encebollado - 17
    Fillet Bits Sauté in Onions is one of the best things I've ever eaten.

    2465 SW 17th Ave
    Miami, FL 33145
    (305) 856-2424

    1. If you're going to be in South Miami at all Whisk Gourmet is probably the best restaurant off the "mainstream radar" right now. The food is fantastic and very affordable. Locals pack the joint day in and day out. The pimiento cheese & fried green tomato sandwich is my latest addiction there. The bbq chicken salad and anything skirt steak related are equally awesome.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Blind Mind

        Ate last night at Whisk, but found them a bit full of themselves after a number of fine experiences. The service was friendly but sloppy, and half of the hot things we ordered came out far less than hot. Still a good place, but not a good night. One in my party said overrated!

        1. re: taiga

          Ive never had either of those types of experiences at Whisk (sloppy service or cold food). Not saying it couldn't happen but it is surprising to me.

      2. Even though it's gotten lots of press, I'd still suggest La Camaronera in Little Havana.

        Little Havana Restaurant
        12727 Biscayne Blvd, North Miami, FL 33181

        1. in sobe


          the alibi

          la sandwicherie

          cha cha cha (tres leche cake is killer)

          El Chalan

          14 Replies
          1. re: tpigeon

            I forgot some

            Jimmy'z Kitchen

            Bernies La Cafe

            Las Olas Cafe

            Puerto Sagua

            Puerto Sagua Restaurant
            700 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

            Jimmy'z Kitchen
            1542 Alton Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139

            Las Olas Cafe
            922 E Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

            1. re: tpigeon

              on nw 17 ave about a hundred feet north of nw 29 street on west side of 17 ave is the best pan con lechon sandwiches in miami, tamales too and thats about all they offer, everything on the sandwich when they ask you is just a little mojo, hot sauce and onions, for the life of me ive been going there 25 years and never saw a name on the place but you will see a dozen or so shoulders cooking when you walk up, take out only

              1. re: seminole phil

                Thank you guys so much for the recommendations!! So many spots, so little time.

                1. re: SpicyFoodGirl

                  Always love these "hidden gem" posts. Not exactly a "hole in the wall" but a great venue, try Indomania for Indonesian food, Hy Vong on Calle Ocho for Vietnamese and Sushi Deli on 79th Street for fabulous and cheap Japanese.

                  Sushi Deli
                  1412 79th Street Causeway, Miami Beach, FL 33141

                  131 26th St, Miami Beach, FL 33140

                  1. re: jessierandall

                    I would add Little Lotus and Happy Wine and say that another of the suggestions here is so accurate that I have refused to mention it on Chowhound because I fear it would become more popular.

                    1. re: taiga

                      Taiga, can you give us a hint, haha?

                      Also, I've heard of Happy Wine but don't know much about it. Would you share a bit?

                      1. re: jessierandall

                        Honestly: so nice I will not mention it twice. But Happy Wine is a local wine lover's treasure. This French brother Philippe first had a place near the Roma on 8th near Granada. Then he moved to 58th Avenue in as nondescript a place next to a day care with the entrance around the back and with occasional free overflow parking in a religious book store lot. Happy Wine has a bad parking lot. Inside, there is nothing but wine and glasses of whatever is being recommended cost about $3, but most people are cheaply uncorking bottles of whatever is good, including a hundred bottles less than $10. Food is tapas, but the treasure is the Pami -- Panini Miami for $3-4. Boxes and stools are everywhere and an elderly Cuban troubador will sing to your hearts delight for free. Last time I was there he even sang me a few of my nostalgic Japanese favorites in Japanese. It is a treasure as a hole in the wall, for me, much funkier and better than El Carajo.

                        1. re: taiga

                          Sounds divine. I'm going to try it out. Thanks so much!

                          1. re: taiga

                            El Carajo is still decent but not nearly as good as it used to be, think there was a chef change a couple years ago and some of my favorites (the bacalao-stuffed piquillo with squid ink sauce) just aren't the same.

                            1. re: Frodnesor

                              Frod: Are you a Happy WIne fan as a hole in the wall favorite?

                              1. re: taiga

                                Never been! But I've heard consistently good things.

                                1. re: Frodnesor

                                  I like the steak they call "The Brick" at The Hurricane Bar & Grill in Miami Springs....It will remind some of the steak that's served at the Canton chinese restaurants.....On Friday & Saturday nights they actually cook it over hard-wood charcoal out back.....Ask them to put their special steak sauce on the side.....Always quite good.....Neighborhood bar.....alot of regulars and nice ladies pouring the drinks........

                                  Ft. Pierce, FL

                                  Hurricane Bar & Grill
                                  365 N Royal Poinciana Blvd, Miami Springs, FL 33166

                            2. re: taiga

                              Any chance you've changed your mind and be willing to give the great place another mention? How's a Hound w/limited time to make informed decisions w/out a little help from Hounds in the know? A hint? A clue?

                    2. re: seminole phil

                      It's called PAPO LLEGO Y PON....and you are correct the place is the BOMB! Name is on bathroom door. The best Pan con Lechon in Domincantown MIA, FLA.