Sure, there have been occasional forays into highbrow food on the Avenue, most notably in recent years the once vibrant, but now shuttered Tete restaurant.
However, the places that embody the heart and soul of Little Havana -- the restaurants that have retained their character based on huge aspirations, yet humble roots -- are the ones that survive.
Pick up ripe fruit and vegetables in what has become the most photogenic spot en la Calle. Enjoy hot-from-the-kettle tamales and an ever-changing lunch special. Step up to the walk-up window (“la ventanita”) for guarapo, a batido, or an inexpensive cafecito.
The Exquisito Restaurant has a menu featuring some of the best tamales and masitas de puerco (pork chunks) in town.
If you want good seafood, El Cristo is a local favorite. They have several fresh fish entrees and they serve an excellent shrimp tortilla (a Spanish omelet).
Join the masses on a Saturday night as they worship at the altar of the perfect frita: El Rey de Las Fritas on Bird Road in Westchester.
I Love Calle Ocho has a secret weapon -- working back in the kitchen are two Cuban "grandmas" who turn out some wonderful home-style dishes.
A trip back in time to some of the great cafeteria-style restaurants of pre-Castro Havana.
Azucar's signature dish is a combination of mantecado ice cream, galletas de María cookies, strips of guava paste, and chunks of cream cheese.
All of the classic Mexican dishes, simply presented in a very casual environment.
The wonderful aroma of freshly made churros will draw you in, but only the overly determined will leave this store without sampling the luscious ice creams.
This new Kindle version contains all of the recipes and editorial copy from the original print edition. As a bonus, the new Kindle edition includes 14 new photos of the prepared dishes.
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