MIAReview

photo credit: Justin Namon

Kush Hialeah image
7.8

Kush Hialeah

SandwichesDeli

Hialeah

$$$$Perfect For:Classic EstablishmentLiterally EveryoneLunch

Included In

Old Miami and new Miami rarely coexist in the same space. And when it comes to picking a restaurant, you usually have to choose between the two worlds. But Kush Hialeah might be the only restaurant in Miami that’s somehow both old and new—and eating here feels nostalgic and exciting at the same time.

The place doesn’t look a whole lot different than it did when it first opened in 1954. A customer from that era would recognize the deli’s wood paneling, vinyl stools, and stained-glass sign that says “Welcome to Stephen’s.” But if you threw that same customer in a time machine and sent them to Stephen’s now, they would probably be more than a little confused by the hybrid deli sandwiches with things like pulled pork, egg creams with optional shots of whiskey, and the flat-screen TV above the counter playing a constant stream of Seinfeld.

Kush Hialeah image

photo credit: Justin Namon

The people behind Kush and Lokal took over the diner in June 2019, and while they added a lot of new aspects to the place, they thankfully left the right things alone. The expanded menu has all-day breakfast, burgers, and about a dozen new sandwiches, but you can still expect great, simple versions of classics like matzoh ball soup and latkes. The corned beef and pastrami sandwiches are especially outstanding—super tender and served in big portions without being so obnoxiously overstuffed that they fall apart the second you breathe on them.

Kush Hialeah image

photo credit: Justin Namon

The one part of Kush Hialeah that does feel lightyears apart from 1954 is the cocktail bar in the back. Down the hallway, past a pair of chancletas encased behind glass like a fire extinguisher and a random portrait of DJ Laz, is La Cocina. The bar is to Hialeah what Medieval Times is to the actual Middle Ages: every square inch of space is designed to immerse its guests in the neighborhood. They serve very good cocktails with names like “Ay que feo” and “Brujeria” underneath a big Cuban flag and what looks to be an actual sign from Hialeah’s own local department store.

It’s the kind of place where you’ll have two more drinks than you’d planned and it’s reason enough to come here—even if you’re not particularly craving pastrami or corned beef. Kush Hialeah is just completely unique compared to most other restaurants in Miami, whether they’ve been around for five minutes or 100 years.

Food Rundown

Kush Hialeah image

The Rachel

Do yourself a favor and ask for extra napkins in advance. Once you start tearing into this sandwich of hot pastrami, swiss cheese, coleslaw, and Russian dressing, you’ll be too distracted to flag down a server for help.
Kush Hialeah image

Newman’s Jewban

We’re glad this Cuban-Jewish hybrid exists, but it’s never going to be our first or second choice here. It’s a tasty sandwich, but the pulled pork and corned beef kind of cancel each other out and it’s hard to tell what you’re tasting.
Kush Hialeah image

Latkes

These excellent, crispy latkes come with a side of sour cream and applesauce so good we were tempted to ask for an extra bowl of it.
Kush Hialeah image

Bubbie’s Matzoh Ball Soup

Fans of simple, classic matzoh ball soup are going to be very happy with this version. The broth and matzoh ball are both so good that you might be too distracted to notice the tasty noodles floating around the bottom of the bowl.

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FOOD RUNDOWN

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Josh’s Deli

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