By Marybel Rodriguez

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Super Bowl 54 visitors probably won’t be fluent in Spanish, but we are here to help travelers become fluent in food. Cuban food to be exact.

Miami is melting pot of Cuban culinary cuisine, but most non-Miamians have a little trouble understanding the menu at Cuban restaurants, and there are plenty of them. So find a hot spot, grab a menu and order with confidence with help from our Cuban food guide.

Let’s start with something small, but bursting with flavor.

Croquetas (CBS4)

Croquetas: A croqueta is a bite sized looking log with filling that is breaded and flash fried. There are different types of croquetas including ham, chicken and even spinach. Crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside!

Break one in half and place on top of a cracker before eating. Super delicious!

Cuban pastelitos (CBS4)

Pastelitos:  A pastelito is the name for a flaky Cuban puffed pastry. They also have different fillings including guava, meat, cream cheese, and even a combo.

Pastelitos will satisfy any sweet tooth.

Empanadas (CBS4)

Empanadas: Similar to a turnover stuffed with all sorts of fillings. The empanadas are either fried or baked dough with fillings that include chicken, spinach, ham, cheese, even Ropa Vieja, which is shredded beef.

Speaking of Ropa Vieja: This shredded beef dish is extremely popular all on its own. Translated literally it means ‘old clothes’ but it is a delicious Cuban classic.

Boliche: This is another Cuban classic. It is a Cuban pot roast stuffed with chorizo.

Bistec de Palomilla: Simply put, it is Cuban steak. Specifically, beef round steak marinated in garlic, lime juice, salt and pepper then pan-fried. Ohh it’s so good.

A Cuban sandwich (Photo credit GASTON DE CARDENAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Cuban Sandwich: You cannot go wrong with the Cuban sandwich, a perfect ratio of bread to fillings, with a mouthwatering mix of sweet ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese, and pickles on Cuban bread.


Pan Con Bistec Especial: Steak sandwich with cheese, tomatoes, onions, and crispy potato sticks. Not in the mood for a steak? Try the Sandwich De Pollo Especial, which is the same sandwich made with chicken.

Arroz y Frijoles:  Black beans and rice. The ultimate side dish.

Tostones: Plantains (green bananas) smashed down, fried and salted. A great snack or appetizer at any meal.

With all of this culinary information, any visitor or local, can go out and order Miami’s delicious Cuban cuisine with confidence.


Marybel Rodriguez