Eight Great Street-Food Vendors in and around Miami


The Robert is Here fruit stand.

In a region where the weather permits year-round al fresco grazing, it can be particularly difficult to find those liminal spaces where one can amble up, tuck in, and eat, no waiting required. Some of these spots are a trek, while others are right where you’d expect them to be—but any way you slice it, Miami is the perfect setting for spontaneous street eating.

1. Taqueria Mexicana Orale

With a pair of Oaxacan cooks at the window of this red and green taco cart, Orale is one of a small number of great Mexican joints in a city full of Cuban cuisine and Latin fusion. Maxing out at $2.50 apiece, tacos are made from soft corn tortillas filled with lovely carne asada, sweet and piquant al pastor, and a few more hard-core offerings like lengua y cachete de res (beef tongue and cheek). Adorn yours with self-serve toppings like crisp radish slices, bright cilantro, and a squeeze of fresh salsa. NW 15th St & NW 27th Ave., Coral Gables (305-970-0270)

2. Marcelo’s Ceviche

Marcelo’s is worth a trip up Miami’s largest hill—the Rickenbacker Causeway—to experience some of the best ceviche in South Florida. In a park off the island’s main road, you’ll find Marcelo in his white truck dishing up generous mounds of ceviche de corvina, a citrusy blend of white fish, red onions, and spices. Crandon Blvd. near entrance to Calusa Park, Key Biscayne (305-318-4160)

3. David’s Cafe II

Satisfy a Cuban-food craving at any time of day or night at this family-owned café, an offshoot of the original David’s, a cafeteria-style eatery also in Miami Beach. Arrive early to the counter for cortaditos (heady Cuban coffee with milk) and pastries, or swing by after a day at the beach for a sandwich Cubano, a salty dose of pork, pickles, and Swiss cheese. Don’t miss the mamey shake, made from the sweet, creamy mamey sapote fruit. 1654 Meridian Ave., Miami Beach (305-672-8707; davidscafe.com)

4. Enriqueta’s Sandwich Shop

Near Miami’s quickly changing warehouse district, Enriqueta’s thankfully remains in an ever-static time warp. Before noon, the place does a brisk business selling one of Miami’s most popular desayunos Cubanos at an indoor counter and through a window to patrons on the street, but don’t skip out on Friday pork roast specials and legendary tostones (twice-fried plantains). 186 NE 29th St., Miami (305-573-4681)

5. Robert is Here

In 1959, this operation was no more than a boy selling cucumbers by the side of the road. Half a century later, it has earned its declarative moniker with a full-fledged produce stand—and proprietor Robert Moehling is, indeed, still there. The sheer abundance of fruit saps any ability to make decisions, so it’s best to gather one of each—black sapote, tamarind, and jackfruit, for starters—and tack on a tangy key lime milkshake for the road. 19200 SW 344th St., Homestead (305-246-1592; robertishere.com)

6. El Palacio de los Jugos

On a sunny corner surrounded by strip malls, this roadside stand is divided into a pair of take-out counters and an indoor grocery brimming with tropical fruit. Choose between piles of pork or hunks of fried fish, collect a coconut and a straw from the man with a machete, and eat under El Palacio’s covered pavilion, savoring the black beans and boiled yucca that come with every order. 5721 W. Flagler St., Miami (305-264-4557)

7. Fat Man’s Barbecue

For better or worse, “Fat Man” Benjamin Nelson knows where to go to attract the barbecue-loving masses: He parks his truck outside a gentlemen’s lounge each weekend. Massive hickory smoker in tow, Nelson serves his absurdly tender ribs alongside fried chicken, grilled tilapia, and shrimp, with a rotating cast of sides including corn on the cob, seasonal vegetables, and zingy lemon cake. In the parking lot of Take One Cocktail Lounge, 333 NE 79th St., North Miami (954-536-0465)

8. El Rey de las Fritas

If you’re intent on clogging an artery or two, consider El Rey your one-stop shop. The behemoth Cuban answer to the American-style burger, the frita—El Rey’s specialty—is an alchemical creation of paper-thin fries, cheese, onions, and secret sauce crowning a chorizo patty, all squished between two pieces of crusty bread. Wash it down with a fruit batida as you gaze out on Little Havana’s humid, stucco streetscapes. Various locations; original location 1821 SW 8th St., Miami (305-644-6054)

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