BETTER DRIVES US. HYUNDAI
Welcome to Miami where the players…EAT! That’s right, while most people think of Miami, Florida as a place where the sun never stops shining and the beaches are never not crowded, it’s also the place for delicious eats and Latino haunts.
What’s better than dining at a place that also helps make the city better? Here are some favorite Miami grub spots that are also serving up smiles for everyone that walks in the door.
1. La Latina Miami
If you’re craving authentic Venezuelan food, La Latina is the spot for you. Not only is their menu full of good eats such as cachapa platters, diverse empanadas, and an assortment of arepas, but they’re also extremely environmentally conscious. For instance, they offer an entire vegan and vegetarian menu, and their entire restaurant was decorated using recycled materials. How cool is that?
It’s very likely you’ve heard of Versailles, the most famous Cuban restaurant in probably…the entire world. People drive from all over the place to enjoy Versailles’ exquisite menu…such as the classic paella, an extensive bakery, and their famous Cubanos.
Besides their food, Versailles is an extremely important and historical landmark. It quickly became an unofficial hub and gathering place for Cuban exiles after it opened its doors in 1971. Today, it remains “the unrelenting gauge of the community’s pulse.”
The Cuban restaurant is now a favorite among news media outlets for gathering “commentary and footage” of the community’s take on political and social issues. It’s beyond a place to break bread with friends and family — it’s a place for revolution, a place for education, and representation of Cuban history and culture.
3. El Exquisito Restaurant
It would be remiss to leave out El Exquisito Restaurant – a staple in the Cuban/Miami culture and community. Located in the heart of Little Havana, this restaurant is the epitome of the American Dream. It’s been in business since 1974, when the Coro family opened a small Cuban family-style restaurant. Heliodoro Coro became a well-known figure in the area and expanded the restaurant to match the growing fans.
The menu is fantastic – everything from steak and plantains, to bistec de palomilla, it will absolutely satisfy your hunger and your heart.
El Exquisito Restaurant also supports Cultural Fridays, brought to Miami by the nonprofit Viernes Culturales/Cultural Fridays, Inc. The events are held on the last Friday of every month in Little Havana, and celebrate art, music, food, and culture. Talk about educating locals about Cuban heritage!
4. El Palacio de Los Jugos
CREDIT: Yelp / Montana L.
Arepas de choclo, cubanos, pastelitos, oh my! El Palacio de Los Jugos is a Miami classic, and has quite the diverse menu. They have fresh veggies and fruits, an assortment of delicious juices, as well as cubanos that will melt your heart and make it hard to not come back for seconds.
So how did this place start? All the way back in 1977, founded by Reinaldo and Apolonia Bermudez. It started in a tiny little small building, nowhere near where it is today. Again, another example of the American dream.
The mission statement of El Palacio de Los Jugos is all about the customers: they care so much about the people that dine with them, which also means they care about the community. They’re also all about integrating other cultures into their own – their menu has hints of Caribbean cuisine all over it.
They also pride themselves in employing all Latinos. Giving opportunities to people of color in the food industry is incredible, and an excellent way to improve the hood in which this restaurant thrives.
5. Rosa Mexicano
When a place goes international, you know it’s a big deal. That’s why Rosa Mexicano is so special; it’s a huge line of restaurants, but they also give back immensely. They are partners with the Orphaned Starfish Foundation, which creates “lasting change in the lives of orphans throughout Latin America, Caribbean, and Africa.” In a recent success story, Rosa Mexicano raised over $10,000 to send an aspiring chef to culinary school in Mexico. How’s that for giving back?
The Miami location is integral to the community. The restaurant also has a section on their website for donations. Community service is the backbone of their company – they donate to charities that are dedicated to hunger relief and improving schools within their immediate communities. They’re also a national sponsor of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.
The next time you enjoy a margarita and some mole poblano at this place, know that your money is going to some incredible causes for the better.
What’s Good in Your Hood isn’t just about great food, but also uncovering the stories about the owners who pour their heart and soul into what they do. When we look beyond the menu, we see that there is a passion and drive for a better life for their family and a strong relationship with their community.