The Best Restaurants In Homestead

The best milkshakes, tacos, cinnamon buns, and the key lime pies in the county.
Three tripe tacos with guacamole, pico de gallo, and cilantro in a takeout box.


If you want to eat the best Mexican food in the county, you’re heading to Homestead. But in (and around) the city, you'll also find the county’s best pan con minuta, so many milkshakes, deservedly famous cinnamon buns, and avocado wine (shout out to Schnebly). Plus, it’s just a great place to escape the superficial restaurant dregs of certain parts of Miami. Some of Homestead feels very Old Florida, while other areas feel like you’re in a delicious market somewhere in Central America. And while lots of folks confusingly call all South Dade “Homestead,” we’re sticking to the city itself and sprinkling in a few Redland and Florida City stops (since you’re already down there).





$$$$Perfect For:Serious Take-Out OperationWalk-Ins
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It’s not on the menu, but order the tripa tacos here, and when they ask if you want it grilled, nod your head like a garage band drummer. These tripe tacos are the best tacos we’ve had in the county. They’re charred until crispy and crackly, but still juicy. We could eat these all day, but then we’d miss out on the tender lengua or al pastor. The corn tortillas are made in-house too. They’re fluffy yet impressively sturdy given how much meat they hold. There’s also a little condiment bar, so you’re in control of the amount of onions, cilantro, and sauces. And if you’re in the mood for a massive burrito, order the asada. It all comes out so fast that you'll be out of the drive-thru too in a matter of one song.

A trip to the Redland Market Village feels like taking a little vacation to another country. It's sensory overload, in the best way possible: lady finger bananas and bags of cranberry beans next to a tent full of boxer briefs. But the food vendors are the most exciting part. There’s a long corridor of taco stands and trucks with so many delicious options it’s slightly overwhelming. So prioritize El Taco Loco and Taqueria Aztlan. These two spots take credit cards, but not everyone does so bring cash. Also keep your eyes peeled for Colombian arepas, fresh juice, salchipapas, and the little stand that sells grilled corn by a stage where you can watch a guy in tight pants and a cowboy hat passionately sing boleros. Go on a Saturday or Sunday from 7am to 6pm, when the food vendors are guaranteed to be there and the flea market is open.

Just north of Homestead is Redland—where the best pan con minuta we’ve ever eaten is. Reyes is a big open-air hut that sells local produce, honey, and fresh juices. But you’re coming here for Cuban food. Everything is hyper-local. The minuta is from a nearby fish farm, and you can thank Redland pigs for your lechon. Plus, portions are huge. They give you so much shredded vaca frita, it’s hard to close the styrofoam box it comes in. But that pan con minuta is the star of the menu. The minuta is meaty, the onions are vinegary, and the potato sticks are crunchy. End your meal with some dulce de leche cortada with sugary milk curds that squeak when you bite them.


$$$$Perfect For:LunchWalk-Ins

A pee wee football huddle would have a hard time squeezing between the green walls of this Jamaican/Haitian restaurant. But Yardie Spice is big when it comes to flavor and hospitality. The marriage of these two cuisines is the result of a literal marriage between a Jamaican mom and Haitian dad—making this a true mom-and-pop spot where the family will give you the full backstory behind Leon’s legumes stew (a vegan mash with cabbage, lentils, and onions served with rice that fills the air with clove and allspice) before sending you off with a slice of coconut rum cake. But you are absolutely ordering the conch fritters. They’re made with malanga batter, stuffed with scotch bonnet peppers, and stacked like a delicious little ladder.

If you love eating parrilla in a giant palapa while an electric harp brings people to their feet, Nando is for you. This spot just west of the zoo makes the best Venezuelan carne en vara we’ve had in Miami. It’s also perfect for a big group. There are massive combo platters full of steak, pork ribs, cachapas, and more piled high on lazy susans. The meat is marinated in salt and grilled “en la vara” (cooked on a rod and over an open flame), so it’s tender, juicy, and seasoned just right. Nando also has pony rides, live music, dancers, and a bounce house, so it’s great for kids. But things get wild at night when the music turns up (and so does the crowd). It’s open Friday for dinner and from 12pm to 11:30pm on Saturday and Sunday. Music and dancing usually start around 3pm. 

There are two Taqueria Morelias—one in Homestead and another in Florida City, which is just five minutes away and the better choice for tacos. This one is next to a gas station, and the best taco here is the savory asada. The al pastor is great too, but the tripe taco is a bit too tough (for a better tripe taco, head to La Pasadita). But even if you're not in a taco mood, come here for the delicious alambre. There’s a little condiment bar where you can add your own salsa, onions, and accouterment. But be very careful with those salsas—they burn so hot you could probably use them to get to the moon.

Any day trip to Homestead should involve a stop at Knaus Berry Farm. The classic bakery and farm is open only from November through April, and during those months the line can easily pass two hours. What those people are waiting for are cinnamon rolls—and yes, they are worth the wait, especially when they’re still warm from the oven. But there are other things you should buy here, like dinner rolls, bread pudding, and pie. Just remember to grab a milkshake while you wait in line. Or come on a random weekday before the nearby school gets out and there probably won’t be a line at all.

Here’s how a visit to Sweet Delights Key Lime Pies goes: you walk into a small storefront and are greeted by baker/literal angel Debra Allen. After welcoming you, she conducts a brief interrogation about your pie interests, then returns with a big tray of samples—like banana key lime, guava key lime, mamey key lime, coconut key lime, or her famous "love cake" (secret ingredient: love). There are about a dozen more options, and they’re all, in our opinion, the best key lime pies in the state of Florida.

photo credit: Cleveland Jennings / @eatthecanvasllc

This small Puerto Rican restaurant is one of our favorite places to eat mofongo. It comes with arroz con gandules, pickled red onions, and a rich bone broth you should be dunking that garlicky plantain mash into. Chefs On The Run also has an entire page of the menu dedicated to burgers so thick, you’ll have to squeeze tight to fit the whole thing in your mouth (stop giggling). There are 12 different options, like a grilled cheeseburger and a ño burger that comes with something called  “rugged sauce," which we’d like to throw in our purse and bring to every meal for the rest of our lives. It’s a very small restaurant, with just a handful of tables and patio seating in the back.

In Miami, it’s harder to find a wet burrito than it is to find a spot on the beach where you won’t be subjected to someone else's reggaeton playlist. But Casita Tejas is a Tex-Mex restaurant that has delicious wet burritos. We like the Texas chipotle burrito. It normally comes with chicken, but order it with steak—it gets along better with the spicy red sauce, sweet onions, and Mexican rice inside the burrito. Then there’s the burrito norteño—practically the same thing as the chipotle burrito, but covered in a cheesy salsa suiza and melted monterey jack cheese. This is a great place for large parties too. The tables are spaced out and the dining room fills with light that shines through the large windows.

It is hard to imagine Homestead without Robert Is Here. Most Miamians can't drive to The Keys or even cross into the official boundary of Homestead without making a mandatory milkshake stop at this classic spot that’s been around for over 60 years. The market sells fresh local produce, homemade hot sauces and jams, and also makes some of the best milkshakes in the universe. There’s also a makeshift zoo behind the store, where you can watch tortoises and goats hang out while you inhale your milkshake a little too fast.

photo credit: Cleveland Jennings / @eatthecanvasllc

White Lion Cafe feels like an antique store in an old Florida home that happens to serve meatloaf on tables covered with floral tablecloths. This delightfully unhinged restaurant is mostly a lunch spot—but they do dinner on Friday nights from 5pm till (according to the sign outside) "[the] fat lady sings." There are enough cats on the back patio to start a riot with a laser pointer, and the menu has the kind of comfort food a grandmother might make you for a 2pm dinner. Think fried chicken with a ball of mashed potatoes and fried broccoli with thick ranch. If it’s available, you finish your early dinner/late lunch with a massive coconut cake for dessert.


This little sub shop is filled with Hollywood posters and New York memorabilia. We come here for the cheesesteak. It’s loaded with juicy beef and silky cheese that clings to the thinly sliced steak and runs off the ends of the fluffy sub roll. For an extra 50 cents, we like ours with mushrooms, onions, and peppers. But if you’re in the mood for a cold sub with lots of meat, get the godfather Italian with genoa salami, ham, spicy capocollo, pepperoni, and provolone cheese. The food comes out fast, so if you’re on a tight schedule or on your way to The Keys, this is a great place to stop before you start counting alligators on the road to the islands.


On weekends, La Cruzada fills up with families eating reasonably priced tacos and enjoying big red bowls of pozole. But you’ll usually find a place to sit inside the restaurant’s dining room, which has more decorations hanging from the ceiling than a baby’s mobile. If that’s full, there’s a colorful back porch. The big menu has burritos, seafood, hot soups, and tortas. But we like the tacos. Order the taquiza—it comes with five tacos, all topped with big slices of avocado and served with a side of sauteed onion and a chile toreado. And if the temperature drops below 70—or if you just don't mind eating a hot soup on a hot day—order the very good pozole.

La Quebradita is a casual spot serving fajitas, tacos, and choriqueso. The portions are huge, the prices are reasonable, and the lengua is worth the drive to Homestead even if you live an hour away and it’s rush hour. It’s a small restaurant with a covered patio and an old drive-thru that’s not actually functional (so don’t try to pull in). Service is fast, the tacos are big and meaty, and it’s a great restaurant to meet up with friends for a casual dinner. Order a sizzling plate of fajitas and watch as every jealous table does the same.


Shiver’s is an institution. It’s been around for over 60 years and is shaped like a log house with a chimney. There’s a window for takeout and a few benches outside for folks waiting to eat ribs. You’ll probably have to wait too if you come on a weekend. Not everything is a hit. The ribs are good, but they won’t make you grin like a raccoon eating peanut butter—for a reaction like that, get the corn souffle. And the burnt ends are more tender than your shoulders after a Swedish massage. But Shiver’s strength is its history, no-frills food, hospitality, and nostalgic simplicity. You’re here to eat messy food with your fingers off of metal camp plates next to kind strangers, and watch food from the kitchen shoot out of a literal hole in the wall.

Fruit & Spice Park is not a restaurant. It’s a park where the tree-curious can stroll through a stunning collection of fruit and spice trees. But here’s where it becomes an eating opportunity. The rule at Fruit & Spice is: any piece of fruit on the ground (that’s not rotten) is fair game to eat. And if you come during mango season, it’s essentially an all-you-can-eat buffet of ground mangoes. They even hand you a halved mango with a plastic spoon when you pay the $10 entrance fee. Just bring a tiny knife (or that friend who always carries one) to help you slice open the many varieties of fruit you’ll find.


If Salvador Dali wanted to open a Cuban restaurant, it would look like Havana Spice. The parking lot is full of sculptures of cows, golden pigs, and a shark with blood oozing out of its mouth. At the entrance, you’re greeted by knights in plate armor and a guitar-playing robot made out of car parts. The Cuban food here is pretty standard compared to the aesthetics. We like the crunchy and juicy chicharrones. The vaca frita is crispy and garlicky. But because this is a surrealist restaurant, be a little different and get the Homestead special instead: Havana Spice’s vaca frita covered in mojo sauce and sandwiched between two soft pieces of Cuban bread.

The mangonada—a frozen Mexican creation of mango, chamoy, and tajín—is a beautiful thing. And Mr. Tutis Fruties makes one of the best we’ve ever had. Plus, this place is a great casual Mexican restaurant (their burritos are simple and wonderful). There are other things on the menu that involve fruit besides the mangonada, like fruit cups dusted with tajín, smoothies, and paletas. But please get the mangonada as well. It’ll make us sad if you don’t.

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