By Olee Fowler for Miami Eater
In honor of Cheap Eats Week 2015 we asked some of Miami’s top chefs where they like to eat on a budget. Everything from hole-in-walls to ceviche staples were listed and we’ve got the best picks for you.
1 100 Montaditos
While this brand might be having its issues in South Florida, it still serves up a lot of cheap cuisine. BTW’s Executive Chef Cristian Cuevas says, “I get the ham plate with actual Iberico ham for $9. I also like the Chorizo sandwich which is $1 and the Chistorra, which is a warm sausage served with pickled peppers, for $1.
2 Arbetter Hot Dogs
This place is top dog for Eating House’s chef Giorgio Rapicavoli when he’s looking for a cheap bite. He says it has the, “best hot dogs in the city! Normally I prefer charred hot dogs but these are just perfectly boiled. They’re pretty light honestly. What I really love is that it’s old school Miami. The type of place I hope to take my kids to one day.”
3 Burgers & Shakes
The name says it all. Jonathan Lane from The Traymore Restaurant and Bar names it his favorite spot for a “cheap $7 burger,” and he says to wash it down with a Bud Lite that you can get for “next to nothing.”
4 Cake Thai Kitchen
This is a favorite of Makoto’s chef Makoto Okuwa. He says the food has an, “excellent sense of balance — in both flavor and texture — and produces these bright balanced dishes out of a former Chinese takeout restaurant at 79th and Biscayne. If you didn’t know better you might walk right by it.”
5 El Palacio De Los Jugos
Brian Mullins from Ms. Cheezious recommends this historic restaurant’s Chicharrones and Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice.
6 Enriqueta’s Sandwich Shop
Bocce’s executive chef Nunzio Fuschillo credits his Cuban wife for showing him his favorite cheap eat — its pan con bistec.
8 La Virgen De La Caridad
Executive Chef of DECK sixteen William Milian says that it, “is an authentic Cuban restaurant, where you can get anything from Rabo Encendido (Oxtail Stew) to my all-time favorite Chivo Robao (Stolen Goat), for no more than $5.99. All meals come with rice, beans and a side, and in December you could complete your meal with a Cuban Coffee for only 1 cent.”
9 Las Olas Cafe
Alter’s Exectuive chef Brad Kilgore is a big fan of Las Olas Cafe’s Chicken Empanadas with Red Sauce. He says, “They run out of empanadas everyday so you have to get in early but the wait is worth it. They have three sauces green, red, and redder. I prefer the redder one it has a little more spicy kick with the chicken empanada, it super cheap and the best emapanada in a city where you can get one around every corner!”
10 Mary’s Coin Laundry & Deli
Yes, it is a laundry mat. But it also has “the BEST pan con bistec in Miami for about $4,” according to Vicky Bakery’s Mike Belaustegui.
11 Mi Rinconcito Mexicano
Go-to spot of Fooq’s Executive Chef Nicole Votano, she says that, “whether I eat tacos al pastor or a Burritode carnitas Chorreado, it is always is a huge bang for my buck!”
12 Miami Smokers
Chef Bernie Matz of Bodega Taqueria y Tequila goes to this Miami butcher shop for his cheap grub, ” it is a hole-in-the-wall but they smoke their own bacon and make the best Cuban sandwich in town for under $12.”
13 My Ceviche Brickell
Chef from neighboring Batch Gastropub, is a big fan. He says he goes for the, “octopus and grilled fish tacos from our neighbors at My Ceviche! You can get 3 for $10. The ingredients are crisp, refreshing, and pretty healthy. It’s the perfect quick and simple no-nonsense meal but you can take out of town guests there. The outdoor patio is great for people-watching.”
14 Pizza Bar South Beach
Kuro’s executive chef Alex Becker loves Pizza Bar when he’s in the mood for a cheap eat adding, ” any huge slice of pizza is a great meal.”
15 Taquerias El Carnal
Chef of the soon-to-be open Marion, Jean Paul Lourdes, says his favorite cheap eat is the “amazing chorizo quesadilla” from this taqueria. So good in fact that, “that we drove around the block to pick up another one.”
The cheap cuisine choice of Yardbird’s Executive Chef Zachary Dworsky, he recommends the lengua — aka beef tongue — as his favorite. Jeremy Ford, Executive Chef at Matador Room, seconds that sentiment, adding, “the owner makes his own masa out of blue corn! You never see that.”