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Out of the many different areas that make up Miami, Westchester has one of the largest Hispanic populations. It’s no surprise you’ll find lots of delicious Latin fare that can’t be beat, in addition to family-owned businesses that have been there for half a century or extremely close to it. Even Pitbull grew up in the area (he’s a Miami Coral Park Senior High School grad, in case you didn’t know)!
From some peaceful star-gazing at an observatory to Miami’s first-ever croqueta bar, Westchester is a vibrant example of the city’s diverse and unique roots and you’re bound to find something on this list for you. Dalé!
1. CAO Bakery & Cafe
This beloved Cuban bakery is a great spot to pick up a pastry or sandwich with a cortadito or cafecito — you decide. Although it has several locations, its Westchester location is open 24 hours everyday, making it perfect for some early morning breakfast or a late night snack when nothing else is open.
Where: 7830 Coral Way, Miami, FL 33155
2. Odaly’s Delight Cafe
Considered more of a hidden gem, Odaly’s brings the vibes of a quaint Cuban restaurant specializing in pastries and baked goods, Latin entrees and burgers — more specifically, the absolutely delicious Monster Burger. Whether you plan on it or not, you’ll probably find yourself leaving with a ham and cheese disco volador! 🛸
Where: 9754 SW 24th St, Miami, FL 33165
3. Arbetter Hot Dogs
Arbetter’s serves the most iconic hot dogs in Miami and is something of a landmark with the family-owned and operated business being around since 1959. Whether you’re craving a classic dog, corn dog or chili cheese fries, you can’t go wrong stopping at this unique Boston-themed shop. The exterior is a bright red and yellow, but inside, the walls are covered in sports memorabilia from classic jerseys to newspaper clippings. Just know that if you want free drink refills, just say, “I love Larry Bird!”
Where: 8747 SW 40th St, Miami, FL 33165
4. Frankie’s Pizza
If you’re craving pizza instead, ride down Bird Road and you’ll come across another Miami staple. Frankie’s Pizza has been serving the community since 1955 and Miamians have loved its super crispy square slices ever since. You can either take it to go or eat it out back at one of their mosaic patio tables.
Where: 9118 Bird Rd, Miami, FL 33165
A casual South Florida staple famous for its wings, ribs and super buttery garlic rolls, Flanigan’s is always a guaranteed good time. We don’t need to tell you this, but just in case: make sure to order a soda the next time you’re at the nautical-themed bar so that you can add another green plastic cup to your collection. 😉
Where: 9857 SW 40th St, Miami, FL 33165
6. Rio Cristal
Believe it or not, there’s a juicy palomilla steak under that mountain of fries! 👆 Locals hit up this hole-in-the-wall Cuban restaurant for the signature dish, along with other Cuban favorites like their must-have flan. If you’re taking anything away from this list, you know that there’s no shortage of Cuban eats throughout Westchester, but very few can say they’ve been around for nearly 50 years like Rio Cristal has!
Where: 9872 SW 40th St, Miami, FL 33165
7. Dos Croquetas
Priding itself in being the city’s only croqueta bar (it doesn’t get any more Miami than that), Dos Croquetas serves its creamy snacks in all kinds of flavors, far beyond the typical ham or chicken. There’s bacon cheddar, spinach, picadillo & sweet plantains and even a ‘medianoche’ flavor! Each bite is a delight and you can pair your croquetas with a coffee, slushy or a milkshake.
Where: 10505 SW 40th St, Miami, FL 33165
8. Tropical Chinese Restaurant
For one of the best dim sum experiences you can have in the city, you’ll want to check out Tropical Chinese Restaurant, a spot that has been serving the community since 1984. From its sensational dumplings and pork buns to its signature peking duck, each option is delicious.
Where: 7991 Bird Rd, Miami, FL 33155
A bit on the higher end of the pricing spectrum on this list — it is an Argentinian steakhouse with a massive wine collection after all — Graziano’s is worth every penny. It first came on to the scene in 1991, opening its first location on Bird Road before opening in Coral Gables and Hialeah, and has been synonymous with high quality steaks ever since. You can always count on Graziano’s pasta and risotto to draw you in as well!
Where: 9227 SW 40th St, Miami, FL 33165
10. La Carreta
Known as the spot to break out the pots and pans when the Miami Heat make it to the finals, and of course, a Cuban food haven, La Carreta is hugely popular among locals and visitors alike. Take a seat inside and enjoy authentic Cuban fare among photos of the glory days of the island or stop outside by la ventanita, the busiest spot in town, for your cafecito fix!
Where: 8650 Bird Rd, Miami, FL 33155
11. El Rey De Las Fritas
Let’s talk fritas. It looks like a burger, but it’s not really your average burger. It’s made with a ground beef patty, sautéed onions, and topped with crispy shoestring fries while sitting on a fluffy Cuban roll — and the fritas at El Rey are unlike any other. In case you’re on a budget, El Rey’s frita original has even landed itself on The Infatuation’s ‘Where To Eat When You’re Trying To Not Spend Money’ list, with it being just $3.75.
Where: 9343 SW 40th St, Miami, FL 33165
12. Mojo Donuts
You’ve never had a donut quite like a Mojo Donut. The popular Pembroke Pines shop was asked to set up shop in Wynwood and Coconut Grove before it eventually settled in a more central location — Westchester. Serving up dozens of varieties from guava and cheese to cinnamon sugar with dulce de leche, the inventive donut shop is a must-try in the neighborhood.
Where: 8870 SW 40th St #13, Miami, FL 33165
13. Midnight Cookies & Cream
Got a late-night craving? Midnight Cookies and Cream sells fresh-baked treats after dark to satisfy your sweet tooth. Choose from cookies, ice cream and milkshakes, all made with mouthwatering fresh ingredients.
Where: 8727 SW 24th St #108, Miami, FL 33165
14. La Mesa
You can’t stop by these parts without heading to La Mesa! If you’re looking for the perfect evening with cocktails to sip on, this lively restaurant serves up Latin-inspired dishes, high-energy musical entertainment (that includes DJs and live bands) and all the neon signs you can imagine.
Where: 8872 SW 24th St, Miami, FL 33165
15. Pueblito Viejo
Adorned with seemingly endless dolls, flowers, photos and nick-nacks on its ceiling, this institutional eatery is one of the best spots to enjoy Colombian food in Miami. During the day, you get a casual restaurant experience and at night, the dancing begins. There’s plenty of nightly entertainment, from musicians to DJs, to get guests on the dancefloor, and there’s also a full bar.
Where: 8285 SW 40th St, Miami, FL 33155
16. View art at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum
The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum, located on FIU’s main campus, has a continuously impressive lineup of exhibitions and things to do, from art-making workshops to talks with artists and curators. There’s always something worthwhile to check out, so make sure to visit the next time you’ve got time to spare in the area, as admission to the museum is always free.
Where: 10975 SW 17th St, Miami, FL 33199
17. Explore space at Stocker Astroscience Center
Another FIU gem is the Stoker AstroScience Center, a modern observatory and teaching center housed in a large silver dome. Inside, there’s a 24-inch telescope perfect for up-close encounters with the stars. The center hosts star parties and observation nights, and every clear Saturday night, it’s open to the public from sunset to 11:30 p.m. for observation.
Where: 10920 SW 11th St, Miami, FL 33174
18. Shop at La Tiendecita
One of our favorite shops in the city is La Tiendecita by Martha Valdes. Better known under her brand name, Martha of Miami, she went from an online shop to the brick-and-mortar in Westchester. You can get apparel, mugs, wall art, blankets and more with Latin phrases or nods to Miami culture, like “But first, cafecito” and “Mimosas with my chismosas.” What better way to support local and spot some unique finds for your home?
Where: 8827 SW 40th St, Miami, FL 33165
19. Go bowling at Bird Bowl
If you’re looking for a little bit more action, this classic old school bowling alley might be the answer. Complete with 60 bowling lanes, a bar perfect for drafts, billiards and an arcade, you’re in for a blast at Bird Bowl!
Where: 9275 SW 40th St, Miami, FL 33165
20. Hang out at Tropical Park
Every visit to the 275-acre park is different, with seasonal events like horse shows and sports games popping up all year-round. On Fridays, you can go food truck hopping at a weekly food truck gathering and even catch a show at the new Westchester Cultural Arts Center. Events aside, the weather is always nice in Miami so it’s never a bad idea to spread out on the grass for a picnic, take a jog around the park’s trails or even have a little quiet time with a book on a bench.
Where: 7900 SW 40th St, Miami, FL 33155