MIAGuide

The Best Pupusas In Miami

The spots where you can enjoy the warm satisfaction of a good pupusa.
A pupusa cut in half on a plate.

photo credit: Tasty Planet

A pupusa is a deliciously dependable meal. These thick discs are typically filled with chicharron, cheese, refried beans, loroco, or a mix of all four. And they’re accompanied by lightly fermented cabbage, salsa roja, and pickled vegetables. A great pupusa is when all of these components come together to give you a salty, acidic, crunchy, spongy bite. Miami’s best pupusas are mostly in Little Havana and tend to come from Honduran, Salvadoran, and Guatemalan restaurants (but mostly Salvadoran). They’re filling and extremely affordable—a vital piece of information in a city where you can spend a lot more for some iced matcha nonsense.

THE PUPUSAS

photo credit: Tasty Planet

Salvadoran

Little Havana

$$$$Perfect For:Cheap EatsLunchWalk-Ins
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Mi Ranchito Salvadoreño has the most tinted windows on West Flagler. But the dim Salvadoran restaurant makes a really crunchy pupusa. Their chicharron and queso pupusa has equal parts mozzarella and salty chicharron that make each bite a pork chunk party worthy of a happy dance. If you like to load your pupusa with cabbage (which you should), they bring an enormous tub of it to your table and it has the perfect acidity. If you come for lunch, order from the ventanita and eat outside. It’s perfect for people watching and remembering it's 2pm—a fact easily forgotten inside this dark restaurant.

photo credit: Tasty Planet

We’re aware this isn’t in Miami. But it’s close, and this guide didn't feel complete without this Hollywood spot that’s so good at making pupusas, they named their restaurant Pupusatime (and it’s hashtagged). The pupusas here are larger than a smoke detector but smaller than a vinyl record, so you can get full with just one. Texturally, it's in the sweet spot all pupusas should aim for—slightly crunchy while still maintaining a bouncy consistency. The acidity in their curtido is subtle enough to let these flavorful frisbees be the real stars. And their pupusa de loroco y queso will convince your proud Guatemalan mother that she’s not the only one who can make good pupusas in South Florida (at least that’s what happened to us).

Every pupusa here is good, but you should come for the “pupusa loca.” Normally, we’d steer clear of a dish that self-identifies as loca. But there's an immediate jaw-drop moment when this Toyota hubcap of a pupusa arrives at your table. It does indeed justify the word “loca” and comes with all the usual suspects—chicharron, loroco, cheese, and refried beans. It’s greasier than their regular pupusas, but nothing a little napkin dabbing can’t fix. Their cabbage slaw is heavy on the vinegar and more acidic than we’d like, but it’s not unpleasantly sour. A beer bucket and some pupusa locas shared with a few friends is a Saturday afternoon well spent here.

The only way to distinguish a great pupusa from a pretty good one is to, well, have a pretty good one. And those are found at Yo Soy Centroamericano. The pupusas here have a nice crunchy exterior, but they just don’t quite nail the filling. The revuelta comes with chicharron, cheese, and beans, but we got more of a bean taste with sporadic bites of chicharron here and there. However, their pupusa accompaniments are some of the best we’ve had. The pickled vegetables are spicy, sour, and the cabbage slaw is scientifically balanced on the pH scale. We could happily eat a whole bowl of them.

The pupusas at La Casita Cafeteria are the fluffiest on this guide. There’s no crunch, which works because the cabbage slaw provides all the crunch needed. The pupusa de loroco y queso has a more mild flavor of loroco than we’d like, but it’s still a solid choice. If for some reason you’re restricted to a single pupusa, get their revuelta. The bean, cheese, and chicharron filling is delicious and pairs well with their slightly sweet tomato salsa. Pupusa hour here is best enjoyed at the tables in front of their ventanita, which faces West Flagler’s road ragers. This view, with a colada and a pupusa, is the most Miami way to spend your afternoon.

This is the only Guatemalan restaurant in Miami we’re aware of. And if you’re coming to Antigua Guatemala strictly for pupusas, then please get their pupusa de loroco y queso. The loroco here is the best we’ve had in Miami. It’s potent, delicious, and really shines through their pillow-like pupusas. The revuelta is also an excellent choice. And they assemble their cabbage with salsa roja and queso seco plopped on top, which gives you the same rush of endorphins you get after completing a half-marathon (or so we’ve heard).

The pupusas at El Atlacatl have a beautiful crispy bottom just begging for a cooking influencer to scrape a knife over. Their pupusa de loroco y queso is thick and has mozzarella cheese oozing out of its cornerless sides. The cabbage and pickled vegetables have a polite kick to them and are the perfect companion for these gracefully overstuffed masa spaceships. The best place to sit and enjoy a pupusa is at the bar where you have the best view of their chaotic ventanita. And to drink, get the passion fruit juice that’s the kind of sugary housemade version we love with a salty pupusa. 

photo credit: Tasty Planet

$$$$Perfect For:BreakfastLunch

El Atlakat is where you should have your pupusa for breakfast. The restaurant feels like an old-school diner with its red bar stools and regulars who talk to the servers about their worries. The size, taste, and texture of their pupusas are almost the same as the ones from the other Atlacatl, which is just a six-minute drive away. But these ones are slightly better. Specifically, their revuelta is the winner. It has an intensely flavorful chicharron, bean, and cheese filling. The intimate atmosphere is also why we prefer it over their Calle Ocho sister restaurant. Come on a Saturday when they make their warm and creamy atol elote while Daddy Yankee plays in the background.

Not to be confused with Little Havana’s El Atlakat Restaurant on 7th Street (or El Atlacatl on Calle Ocho), this is El Atlakat on Bird Road—a Salvadoran spot that not only completes the Atlakat trilogy on this guide, but has also been serving very good pupusas for decades. Our favorite one here is the loroco. If all flower buds tasted this good, we’d be grazing the floral section of Whole Foods and covering bouquets with cheese. And the revuelta stuffed with mozzarella, refried beans, and pork belly is rich and creamy inside. The pupusas are big, only about $5 each, and come with fermented cabbage and salsa roja.

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