Miami is good at many things, but it’s also annoyingly skilled at draining your bank account - especially if you eat out a lot. And look, sometimes good food means paying more, and there are plenty of small plates in Miami we’d happily pay $18 to eat again. But it’s also nice to have some great options when you don’t feel like spending more than $10. That’s what this guide is for. All the dishes below cost $10 or less, and won’t leave you hungry afterward.
Not only does Little Haiti’s Pack Supermarket serve some of the best fried chicken (AKA poul frit) in Miami, you can get ten drumsticks of said fried chicken for just $8.50. They also have a lunch special that includes three drumsticks and a couple sides like rice and pikliz for just $8, in case you’re not trying to take down ten drumsticks by yourself. Either way, it’s worth coming here for the perfectly crispy, always-juicy chicken, which you can eat there, take to-go, or (as usually happens to us) eat most of it on the walk back to the car.
We’re going to stick to the $10 or under rule in this guide - but we are making a tiny little exception in the form of this bandeja paisa at the casual North Beach spot Mi Colombia. It costs $11. But just look at all that food you’re going to get for the measly extra dollar: steak, fried pork rind, beans, plantains, rice, avocado, and an egg. Do you have any idea how refreshing that is after paying $25 for a bowl of spaghetti pomodoro? And it’s not just the quantity that’s impressive. That steak is great - thin with just a touch of pink in the center. The plantains go so well with the saltiness of the pork. It’s a really great dish - and more than enough for two people to split, which would, technically, make this dish cost $5.50 each.
Pan Con Lechon
Papo Llega Y Pon is a sandwich counter in Allapattah that serves a great and simple pan con lechon. Both the small and medium size clock in under $10 - and the small (about six or eight inches, we’d guess) was plenty for us during a quick lunch break. It’s a simple sandwich: shredded lechon, diced white onions, a little mojo and hot sauce, and soft Cuban bread. Places like this are becoming harder and harder to find in the City of Miami, so pay them a visit and whisper “thank you” into your sandwich.
Wynwood is not full of casual, tasty meal options for under $10. Except for The Taco Stand. That’s why this place is usually pretty crowded - but it’s also because the food here is good, and really the only place in Miami for California-style tacos and burritos. So if you’re a bit burnt out on $16 cocktails and $18 small plates, just come here and drop $9 on a very good California burrito stuffed with beef, cheese, guac, salsa, and French fries.
And because we have no issue with throwing two burritos on a guide, Hoja Taqueria in Downtown is another good under $10 option. Their options include al pastor, bean and cheese, carne asada, chicken, koji sweet potato, or avocado - all stuffed with beans, chihuahua cheese, and chiltepin sauce. It’s not a huge burrito, but it’s very good and filling enough. Plus, you can use the money you’ve saved to buy one of their excellent margaritas.
Let us preface this by saying: seafood prices can be a little all over the place and fluctuate based on supply and demand. However, last time we went to Allapattah’s Plaza Seafood, the fish butterfly came in at $9.50. And that’s a deal for some of the best fried fish in Miami (which also comes with rice, beans, or salad and tostones). Regardless if you’re trying to save money or not, you should check out Plaza Seafood if you haven’t already. It’s a Miami classic and also a great little seafood market too.
Baleada Con Carne
Adelita’a Cafe is a Honduran restaurant in Little Haiti that’s saved us on many nights when we didn’t feel like cooking, but also didn’t feel like draining half our savings on delivery fees. Specifically, we like their baleadas. They have a few versions of this Honduran dish, which consists of refried beans, crema, and meat or eggs put onto a thick, soft tortilla and folded in half. The steak baleada is our favorite, and clocks in at just $4.50. Throw in a couple sides like rice and plantains, and you’ve got a great meal.
Shanghai Style Soup Dumplings
Dumpling King is a North Miami spot where you can get a whole bunch of very solid dumplings for less than $10. You won’t have to worry about still being hungry afterward; the pan fried dumplings are huge, and stuffed generously with chicken, pork, beef, or vegetables. We like the soup dumplings a lot too, which are the size of small water balloons and filled with lava-hot deliciousness. Dumpling King works for easy weeknight takeout, or a casual dine-in dumpling feast.
Jerk Chicken Roti
B&M Market is a bodega that also serves some of the best West Indian food Miami has to offer. The standard jerk chicken here is awesome, but the real move is to order the jerk chicken roti. Do that and you’ll get chunks of B&M’s spicy jerk chicken wrapped inside an unbelievably good roti for a very reasonable $10.
There are eight different frita variations on the menu at the great El Rey De Las Fritas - and all cost less than $10. The cheapest (and, honestly, best) version is the frita original, a classic mix of spiced beef, papitas, and a Cuban bun. It costs $4.25, which means you can get two and still be under budget (at least before tip). If you don’t know what a frita is, welcome to Miami, person in the tech or finance industry who moved here four months ago. Please stop driving up our real estate prices.
Six Pack With Cheese
Royal Castle has a big menu full of diner food - but what you want to order here are the sliders. They serve these in “6 packs” for $9.50 if you want cheese (which you do). Each slider comes with diced white onions, a pickle, and a bit of ketchup and mustard. Not only is this place a Miami institution, the sliders are just a beautiful collage of all the flavors our brain associates with the word “cheeseburger”.
BBQ Roast Pork & Duck On Rice
King Palace is a great North Miami spot for Chinese barbecue. Both their roast pork and duck are excellent and - would you look at that - not only costs $10, but also comes with rice. Lucky us. We like this place for takeout, but their small dining room is also perfect for a casual dinner.
You’ve got a few options at this Middle Eastern cafeteria/market in Coconut Grove. There are pita wraps for $10 or less with beef shawarma, lamb kafta, grilled chicken, and more. Or you can get one of the platters (the falafel and kibbie both qualify) - and if you do, you will probably not be able to see the plate under all that hummus, tabouli, and whatever else you ask them to throw on. But if we’re recommending one great deal here, order the falafel pita wrap. It’s just $7, and makes a great lunch.
Mary Ann Bakery
BBQ Pork Bun
We’re doing our best to make this guide full of dishes that’ll leave you reasonably full on their own. However, Mary Anne Bakery’s BBQ pork buns are simply too good a deal to ignore. Not only does the North Miami bakery make what are most likely Miami’s best BBQ pork buns, but they only cost $1.75 per bun. So while one bun may not qualify as a meal, you can order five of them with that $10 bill in your pocket. But that will probably make you uncomfortably full, so maybe stick to two or three.
This little Midtown counter service spot is perfect for a quick lunch or late night meal, and a solid 95% of La Latina’s arepa options are under $10. There really isn’t a bad choice when it comes to the arepas, though we’ve really enjoyed the reina pepiada, the La Latina (gouda, avocado, and bacon), and the cheese and sweet plantain.
Cubano Con Croquetas
Enriqueta’s is such an important restaurant in an area that’s becoming less and less affordable (in every sense of the word) with each passing month. We’re immensely thankful this classic Cuban diner is still doing its thing, because not only is it very affordable, but they make some of the best Cuban food in Miami. Sandwiches are what you should order here, and we are deeply in love with their Cubano con croquetas (AKA the croqueta preparada). It’s essentially a Cuban sandwich with a couple croquetas smooshed inside. It costs $8.50, and it’s got a starting spot on Miami’s Olympic sandwich dream team.
Jamaica Kitchen is a great little spot located in huge strip mall in Sunset. There are lots of good things to eat at this Chinese-Jamaican restaurant, but they make some of the best jerk chicken in Miami. You can get a quarter of that great chicken - plus rice and beans and plantains - for just $8. Grab a peanut punch on your way out (it’s mostly a takeout operation), and you’ve got yourself a fantastic lunch or dinner.
La Sandwicherie has five locations scattered around Miami and is our favorite place to go when we’re craving an obnoxiously large sandwich, or it’s 3am and we’re craving an obnoxiously large sandwich. Shockingly, many of their obnoxiously large sandwiches cost less than $10. May we suggest the napoli, a lovely combination of prosciutto and mozzarella that comes with as many veggie toppings as your heart desires.
Disco De Lechon
The little disco volador deserves a spot on Miami’s sandwich Mount Rushmore. The Cuban sandwich (whose name means “frisbee” in English) is essentially a little pocket of filling enclosed in a circle of crispy, toasted bread. And no one in Miami does them better than Caja Caliente. They offer discos stuffed with queso, croquetas, and vaca frita - all for under $10. But we really like the disco de lechon, because it’s lechon stuffed inside buttery, toasted bread and there is simply no statistical possibility where that combination is not going to be delicious.