Authentic Cuban fare on South Beach is harder to find than you might imagine, but Alfredo Gonzalez’s storefront cafes have served the local community a genuine taste of Cuba since 1977. Popular with Miami Beach policemen who congregate at the sidewalk coffee window, David’s Cafe is the go-to spot for a quick espresso, a crisp plancha pressed sandwich or a full and filling meal.
Open 24 hours a day, the restaurants attract city workers, club kids and hungry international travelers who often roam the streets of South Beach suffering the rigors of passing through multiple time zones. Finding themselves awake and hungry after midnight, David’s all night menu offers sandwiches, salads, soups and value-priced daily specials under $10. Each day’s special menu has a house made soup and three full meals paired with a choice of 2 sides; black beans and rice, moros, sweet plantains and yuca.
Cuban cuisine is hearty and satisfying but not spicy like Mexican fare. Definitely not vegetarian-friendly, most Cuban entrees are ALL about meat with flavorful pork fat figuring prominently in many recipes (including the black beans). Beef steaks and oxtail stews, ground beef “picadillo” and shredded “ropa vieja” are popular at David’s Cafe. Chicken is served roasted on the bone, grilled boneless cutlets in garlic and oil or layered in a hero sandwich. And slow roast pork is sliced into the popular Cuban sandwiches, served in chunks of fried “carnitas,” or as “lechon,” with thick chunks of fork tender meat served with sauteed onions. Savory and soulful, David’s Latin entrees really hit the spot.
David’s Cuban Cafe (two locations)
1058 Collins Avenue
1654 Meridian Avenue
Miami Beach, Florida 33139