MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) — You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time at Puerta Sagua located on the corner of Collins Avenue and 7th Street on Miami Beach.

This family-owned business has been here since 1968 says General manager David Rivero, whose grandfather and father began it all.

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“What is the most special thing about that?” asked CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo.

“That is something I hold very dear,” Rivero said.

“My grandfather and his two sons started here, one being my father. Making sure that the legacy carries on and making sure I take care of what they started is very important to me.”

Keeping in the family tradition, David’s son Alex also works at the restaurant, which has kept the same old-school look for decades. It’s all about keeping traditions and the feeling of familiarity for their trusted customers.

“I’ve had the privilege to have people who have seen me as a kid walking around and still come here today and see me as an adult and see my kids,” he explained.

The centerpiece of the restaurant is a painting by the Scull sisters. They were legendary Cuban-born twins who created whimsical three-dimensional paintings of street scenes in old Havana.

“That gentleman here wearing black apparently existed because many customers come in and say oh hey that’s so and so,” said David pointing out a character in the painting.


The menu is huge.

A feast arrived at their table for the tasting beginning with the familiar Cuban sides, like the crispy and tender yuca frita and the oversized flat tostones, that Petrillo can’t seem to stop eating.

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Flat tostones from Puerto Sagua. (CBS4)

“It’s a green plantain. We pre-fry them and then you smash them down like this,” Rivero said.

“This really could be my favorite plantain ever, said Petrillo.  “I love that it’s so flat.  It’s so wonderfully crunchy. that’s perfect.”

Paella with slow cooked rice from Puerto Sagua. (CBS4)

Next, paella with slow cooked rice. Theirs is legendary. Alex describes it

“We have lobster calamari, scallops, clams, oysters, shrimp and grouper and chicken,” Alex Rivero said.

“Many times, when I’ve had paella, the lobster is dry. This is not and there’s something about this yellow rice.  It just hits all the right spots,” said Petrillo.

Classic Vaca Frita served with beans and rice from Puerto Sagua. (CBS4)

They end on the classic Vaca Frita served with beans and rice. It’s slow cooked beef marinated in lemon, garlic and salt served crispy with grilled onions.

“It is so tasty, so much flavor, so delicious and the onions are just the right consistency. Very good,” said Petrillo.

Puerto Sagua is open 7 days a week from 7am to 11pm serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

For more info you can find them on Instagram @Puerto_saguamiami.

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Lisa Petrillo