Dining On A Budget In Miami

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By: Shayne Benowitz

Head to these Magic City haunts for cheap eats.

While Miami is bursting at the seams with high-end restaurants and glamorous drinking dens, it also has plenty of fast-casual spots and dive bars where locals can find an inexpensive bite to eat. Next time you’re in the mood for good food at a good price, head to one of these locales across Miami, for a meal that will satisfy without breaking the bank.

South Beach & Miami Beach

La Sandwicherie has been serving French sandwiches on baguettes and croissants since 1988. For about $9, these bountiful bites come piled high with lettuce, tomato, green and hot peppers, black olives, onions, cucumbers, cornichons and options like smoked salmon, pate, French salami, brie, roast beef, chicken salad and more - all doused with the secret ingredient, a homemade Dijon vinaigrette that you simply can't get enough of. There’s an additional location in Brickell.

For quality food at a nice price, head to the iconic Joe’s Stone Crab in South Beach and their Joe's Take Away cafeteria. The stone crabs will cost you a pretty penny, but for just $6.95 you can get Joe’s Famous Half Fried Chicken, a fried chicken feast big enough for two that's nearly as sought after as its namesake stone crabs.

If you're craving Mexican, Huahua’s Taqueria is Lincoln Road is where to go. Get three of their signature tacos, from pollo al pastor and carnitas, to crispy pescado, grilled mahi mahi, for just $10. They also serve a side variety of burritos and salads at an equally affordable price.

North Beach & Sunny Isles Beach

Cruising past the dazzling luxury high rises of Sunny Isles Beach, you might not expect to find affordable, casual food. Yet tucked between these towering condominiums, you’ll find plenty of local spots with inexpensive eats. At the Latin-Italian-American fusion restaurant, IL Ponte Vecchio Pizzeria in Sunny Isles Beach, you can get a slice of pizza for $3 or a whole personal Margherita pizza for just $8.99.

At Miami Juice, choose from more than 20 health-conscious sandwiches between $6 and $9 each, as well as encyclopedic menu of fresh pressed juices.

For a livelier atmosphere, Duffy’s Sports Grill has platters of boneless wings in more than ten flavors for just $10. Whatever you get, pair it with a drink from the bar as Duffy’s happy hour pours two-for-one drinks all day long.

Downtown & Brickell

Craving a slice of pizza as big as your head? At Casola's Pizzeria and Sub Shop, near Brickell Avenue, you can get one at almost any time of day and for just $5.

Part neighborhood joint, part late-night hangout La Moon whips up plates piled high with hearty Colombian food. Get beef empanadas for $1.40 each, or a “Mountain Plate” of rice, red beans, pork belly, smoked sausage, sweet plantains, fried egg, cornmeal pancakes, avocado, and your choice of grilled or ground beef for less than $15.

My Ceviche Brickell has octopus and grilled fish tacos that at just three for $10 are a steal. It even has a cute little patio area where you can people-watch while you eat. There's an additional location in South Beach.

Design District & Wynwood

When you’re in Wynwood, look no further for quality cheap eats than Coyo Taco. Known for both its top-notch Mexican street food and its secret, premium tequila bar, it sells slow-roasted pork shoulder, achiote and habanero pickled onion tacos at two for $6.50, and Don Julio Margaritas for just $7.

Head east, and you’ll find James Beard Award-winning Chef Michelle Bernstein's bakery and café, Crumb on Parchment in the Design District. When you’re there for lunch, you can munch on sizeable sandwiches and salads around $10 each like the homemade Southern tomato salad with arugula, blue cheese and rare seared tuna, for example.

Coconut Grove & Coral Gables

When it comes to cheap eats, there’s nothing more satisfying (especially at 3 a.m.) than Coconut Grove’s El Taquito. Located on Main Highway, right next door to the iconic Sandbar, this tiny taco shop barely has enough room for a few chairs, but stays packed with locals looking for fresh-made Mexican tacos for $2 a piece.

Bringing a taste of the other side of the world to Coral Gables is The Original Daily Bread Marketplace, a premier Middle Eastern café and food store. For $10, you can get heaping platters of grilled chicken, falafels or gyros with three sides, or sandwiches big enough for two, each under $10.

Pincho Factory's Coral Gables outpost serves up its famously hearty Pincho Burgers topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, potato sticks and pink sauce for just $6.99. Their burgers are so delicious, they even won a People's Choice Award at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival.

See more great Miami and Miami Beach restaurants and dining experiences and find amazing dining and restaurant offers during Miami Spice Month through August and September.

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