A Traditional Cuban Breakfast in 3 Pieces

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A visit to Miami wouldn’t be complete without a traditional Cuban meal. Beginning your day with a satisfying “desayuno” is a must during a Miami vacation. Not sure what one is, or even how to eat it? Here’s what you need to know.

Dipping a tostada into a cup of cafe con leche (coffee with milk) is a key part of a traditional Cuban breakfast.
Dipping a tostada into a cup of cafe con leche (coffee with milk) is a key part of a traditional Cuban breakfast. Photo by Caroline Murphy

Traditional Cuban Breakfast in Miami

Coffee, toast and fruit are the three main Cuban breakfast components. There is even a traditional way to eat them.

Let’s begin with better understanding the components and how they each
fit in.

1) Cafe con Leche

The “coffee with milk” is included with nearly every breakfast platter, as well as sold a la carte. A mug of warmed milk is served with a small metal carafe of hot Cuban coffee. Pour the coffee into your warmed milk and add sugar as you like. Yes, this drink is essentially a latte – Cuban style of course. Be warned that Cuban coffee is said to be one of the strongest out there.

A basket of tostadas, one part of a traditional Cuban breakfast.
A basket of tostadas, one part of a traditional Cuban breakfast. Photo by Caroline Murphy

2) Tostada

Cuban bread sliced, flattened, grilled and buttered will arrive in individual bread baskets. Diners will use the bread to not only scoop up remaining parts of the meal but it is very common to take your tostada and dip it into your cafe con leche. Don’t be shy, you’ll be surprised with how well it tastes.

3) Fruit Bowl

Cuba and its sister-land, Miami, are in the sub-tropics so understandably, fruit is plentiful. A fruit bowl of melons, papaya, mango and mammey are what you may likely enjoy. Certain fruits are seasonal, and you will notice that in your fruit bowl.

These items are served a la carte or included as part of a breakfast platter. You will find that a Cuban breakfast platter – one which could include eggs, potatoes and bacon – along with the coffee, tostada and fruit, will normally cost just around $5. It is a remarkable price for such a delicious, filling meal.

Cafe con leche (coffee with milk) is a big part of a traditional Cuban breakfast.
Cafe con leche (coffee with milk). Photo by Caroline Murphy

Where To Get the Best Cuban Breakfast in Miami

When in Miami and looking to enjoy this meal it’s as easy as visiting a local strip mall, large shopping center or stand alone restaurant. Cuban dining is plentiful in Miami-Dade County. Trying to narrow your choice, these three are sure to satisfy and not break the bank.

1) Versailles – 3555 Southwest 8th Street, Miami, FL 33145
Versailles is the most popular, and heavily attended by politicians, especially during election year. This restaurant has been open for more than 40 years and is always packed. There’s a reason – the food is good! Their breakfast menu includes the 3 main components plus other more traditional American dishes of pancakes and waffles.

2) Rinconcito Latino – multiple locations
Heavily visited by the locals, the local chain has fantastic deals on delicious breakfast meals.

3) Malanga – 12313 South Dixie Highway  Miami, FL 33156
A small restaurant, located in Southwest Miami, is popular with the locals. The menu includes just a few breakfast platters, but everyone leaves satisfied. Live music entertains diners in the evening.

Learn about the 3 parts of a traditional Cuban breakfast and where to get the best in Miami, Florida.

A Must-Go in Miami

From homes in Little Havana to restaurants throughout Miami-Dade County, a breakfast of cafe con leche, tostada and a fruit bowl have satisfied the appetites of Cubans since their days living in Havana. They have brought the passion of food from the island to the streets of Miami. Be sure to include a Cuban breakfast on your next trip! You won’t regret it!

Caroline Murphy is a Miami-based mom of two. She shares her been there, done that experiences with South Florida travel, home life, food, and Cuban culture.  

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