The Best Restaurants In Allapattah

These are our favorite places to eat in Allapattah.
The Best Restaurants In Allapattah image

It’s pretty stunning that Allapattah is right across the highway from the tourist amusement park known as Wynwood—because the two neighborhoods couldn’t be more different. To start, Allapattah still feels like an actual neighborhood. It’s long been the center of Miami’s Dominican community. Naturally, it’s still the best place in Miami to get chimichurri sandwiches and buttery slices of bizcocho. But Allapattah’s food options are diverse, featuring subs, Roman-style pizza, Honduran fried chicken, Mexican gorditas, one of Miami’s best conch salads, and a unique Cuban dessert we’ve never seen anywhere else in town. Here are the best places to eat in one of Miami’s most Miami neighborhoods.




$$$$Perfect For:Classic EstablishmentDining SoloLunchOutdoor/Patio SituationSerious Take-Out Operation
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Plaza Seafood is on Miami’s seafood Mount Rushmore. It's been around since 1980 and still serves some of the city's best seafood—in soups, ceviche, and fried to crispy perfection. They also have a market that smells like a fishing pier and has fresh snapper, grouper, lobster, shrimp, and more things sitting on ice, ready to come home with you. If you're not in the mood to cook, go order the fried shrimp and fried fish butterfly from the counter. Get a side of tostones and rice and whisper a small prayer of gratitude to Poseidon while you dip all of the above into the house pink sauce, which tastes like it was specially designed by NASA scientists to go with fried seafood.

This place specializes in Roman-style pizza, which is square and somewhere between the thickness of Neapolitan and Detroit-style pizza. It’s a very small place that’s easy to miss while driving by. There isn’t a parking lot either, so you’ll have to park on a residential side street. We know this may sound like a hassle, but Casa Roma is worth it. There are just a handful of pizzas to choose from. Go for the amatriciana and the funghetto. The ingredients are top quality—real pancetta, buttery olive oil, imported Italian tomatoes, super creamy mozzarella, and wild mushrooms. You won’t need to mess with these nearly perfect slices with shakers of garlic powder, parm, or chili flakes. This is a great takeout option, but there are a couple of tables and a counter to sit at inside. 

Ranchito Mi Peru 2 is a true huarique—a typical Peruvian restaurant serving hearty, homestyle dishes. Weekends are the best time to come here for hard-to-find traditional dishes. Saturday is when they serve the excellent Afro-Peruvian dish called chanfainita, a stew of chopped cow lung with diced potatoes in a spicy ají panca sauce. The bofe (lungs) here are tender and slightly chewy, offering a nice contrast to the powdery potatoes. Sunday specials include another classic—pachamanca a la olla, an Andean dish of various meats marinated in native herbs, potatoes, corn, and slightly sweet humitas steamed together in a pot.

photo credit: Cleveland Jennings / @eatthecanvasllc

Jackson Memorial Hospital is probably the last place you’d expect to eat great food. But that’s where you’ll find some of the best Haitian food in Miami. Gregs Cookout is on the south side of Jackson’s Allapattah campus and will blow you away with its wings. We like ours with a glossy mango habanero sauce that’s sweet and buzzing with heat. They also have a fantastic griot that comes with your choice of rice, fried plantains, spicy pikliz, and a small side of chicken broth. Go for the savory mushroom for your rice option, and pour that chicken broth all over it. Then take a moment to appreciate how they get their pork shoulder so crunchy outside and juicy inside. If only hospital food was this good.

Subs On The Run is the affordable lunch place everyone needs in their life. The sandwiches here are old-school, American-style subs, grinders, hoagies, heroes, or whatever you want to call them. You can get anything from a cheeseburger sub to a breakfast sub with pastrami, eggs, and cheese. A large part of their menu is devoted to hot sandwiches, like different riffs on a Philly cheesesteak, and their soft, fluffy rolls do a great job of soaking up various juices and sauces. Like any good sub shop, you can customize pretty much anything on the menu, so go ahead and get ketchup on your chicken cordon bleu sandwich. We won’t judge you.

If Miami had an official mollusk, it would be conch. Not only does it have a pretty deep historical significance to Miami (it’s one of the biggest culinary contributions from the Bahamian immigrants that literally built Miami) but it’s also just delicious. And Conch Town USA is one of the best places to get some. Every preparation of conch here is exceptional—from their conch fritters and fried conch to their spicy conch salad that’s the perfect post-beach snack. The conch isn’t tough or chewy and tastes like they just plucked it straight from the sea. Even their hot sauces are special: made locally and featuring tropical fruits. This is a to-go restaurant—there’s no seating inside—but you’ll be digging into your order before you even get to the door. 

Nitin is a classic Dominican bakery that can give any high-end pâtisserie a run for its money. They make their own version of a Hungarian dobos torte and passion fruit and mango mousse entremets. But it wouldn’t be a Dominican bakery without super buttery Dominican bizcocho with pearlescent meringue frosting, which you can find here too. They also make a fantastic habichuelas con dulce, a Dominican dessert soup with red beans and a mix of sweet spices like cinnamon. It’s a large, airy space with plenty of seating, so you can sit down and enjoy that delicious combination of pastries and air conditioning. If you don't have a sweet tooth, there are savory baked goods as well—croquetas, empanadas, and more.

There are several locations of this casual Honduran restaurant in Allapattah. You can get baleadas here, but as the name implies, the specialty is pollo frito ceibeño (a.k.a. Honduran fried chicken). An order includes about a quarter fried chicken over a bed of either crispy thin green banana chips or thicker, freshly sliced, fried coins of green banana. The thicker ones do a great job of soaking up the avalanche of toppings that smother the fried bird: a combination of a sweet and savory mayonnaise-based sauce, mantequilla (Honduran sour cream), a cabbage salad with diced tomatoes and cilantro, and crumbled cheese. Things can get soggy if you take this to-go, so eat it at the restaurant, where you can order at the counter and grab a seat at one of the formica booths.

This Honduran spot has a concise menu of favorites, including some of the best baleadas in Miami. The made-to-order flour tortillas are soft, fluffy, and sturdy enough to hold refried black beans, cheese, and a flood of mantequilla. It’s a tasty combo, but if you eat beef, order your baleada with carne asada. The sour orange marinade and chargrilled smokiness go beautifully with the other fillings. Add a housemade tropical fruit juice (we like the nance), and you have a lovely meal for under $10. Típico Hondureño is a takeout spot, and there’s even a takeout window you can access from the sidewalk. There is a counter inside if you can’t wait to tear into your food or are trapped during an afternoon deluge, but it’s standing room only.

This classic Dominican restaurant and nightclub has been around since the ‘80s. From Monday to Thursday, El Típico functions as a restaurant and serves solid versions of Dominican staples, including a great tripe soup. Other hits include one of our favorite versions of stewed oxtail in Miami, a generous serving of stewed goat, and one of the best chicken tamales we’ve tasted (that’s made even tastier with a dunk in their creamy pink sauce). There are plenty of tables to eat at, but we like to pull up to the bar, where it’s very easy to strike up a conversation with a stranger. And while it definitely looks like you’re dining in a nightclub, weekdays here don’t feel clubby. It’s actually an ideal place to enjoy a quiet, casual weekday meal. Even on weekends, when they may have a live music act straight from DR, the vibe feels more like being at a house party than a club—and you can still get something tasty to eat.

Mexico 1810 is a casual spot in Allapattah serving some of the best Mexican food in the City of Miami. The dining room has a colorful abstract mural, canary yellow vinyl booths, and strings of papel picado hanging from the ceilings. There’s a separate bar in the back where you can sip a michelada while vibing to banda or cumbia music and eating the most overstuffed quesadillas we’ve ever had. It’s a good idea to come on Monday, the one day a week they serve gorditas. The thick corn tortillas are split open and stuffed with rich stews like chicharrón or calabacitas. Mondays are also when you can get two plates of some of Miami’s best nachos for the price of one. Desserts here tend to sell out quickly, but they have a small display of Mexican snack cakes like gansitos, which taste best after spending some time in your freezer.

This classic Cuban bakery is right in the middle of Miami’s discount fashion district, known to locals as La 20 y La 20—where NW 20th Street and NW 20th Avenue intersect. If you don’t know it by name, you probably know it for the huge camel statue gracing the bakery’s signpost. You’ll find a lot of Cuban bakery staples here, as well as a small cafeteria serving hot food and Cuban pizza. The pastelitos are where it’s at—super flakey, delicate crusts with just the right amount of filling, and kept warm all day. There are more unique options too, like pineapple and apple pastelitos. They also have guava menecier, which are like little shortbread flying saucers filled with sticky guava paste, as well as a chicken pastelito that’s shaped like a stogie. It’s mostly takeout, but they do have a covered patio out front with some tables.

As dusk rolls around, one of Miami’s best sandwiches, the Dominican chimichurri, emerges in Allapattah. It’s a super savory patty-shaped meatball on a crisp water roll with lettuce, tomato, and pink sauce. This is one of the world’s great post-partying foods. There are food trucks and carts throughout Allapattah that sell these. But our favorite is Chimichurri Donde El Primo. The location of this truck changes, so check their Instagram for the latest info on where to find them. Wherever they park, expect some folding tables and crates scattered around. If you’re lucky you may get an impromptu demonstration of some merengue or bachata moves while you eat. When it comes time to order, we’re devoted to the ground beef version, but they also do one with shredded poached chicken that’s a bit lighter.

Hometown Barbecue serves all the things we expect from a stellar pit-smoked barbecue spot. Their ribs, brisket, mole-dusted wings, and smoked turkey BLT all make us want to go immediately chop down a tree so Hometown’s smoker never runs out of wood. But this huge warehouse also offers lots of great things we don’t necessarily expect at a barbecue joint, like excellent cocktails, a yucca bowl drizzled with avocado mayo, and a huge charred broccoli with chili oil and poblano crema. It all gives Hometown more utility, which means you can have a great time here without ever touching a single piece of protein.

This Dominican spot specializes in pica pollo—a sort of combo meal featuring very savory fried chicken with a side of french fries or tostones. It’s not heavily seasoned, nor does it have a thick, crunchy crust. In fact, the chicken at Jacqueline’s is crust-free. It hits the spot when you’re looking for an uncomplicated but filling lunch. And it’s a pretty good deal at under $10 for three pieces of chicken and some tostones, which we recommend getting over the fries. Just remember that it’s cash only and it’s mostly street parking in this neighborhood.

Papo Llega Y Pon is a sandwich counter that serves a good, simple, and very affordable pan con lechon. They also have tamales, congri, and a few other things—but you're coming here for the pan con lechon. Both the small and medium size clock in under $10—and the small (about six or eight inches, we’d guess) is plenty for a quick lunch break. It’s a simple sandwich: lechon they chop up right in front of you, diced white onions, a little mojo, and hot sauce. 

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