Greater Miami is home to the largest population of Nicaraguans in the United States because of the great migration during the 1980s of thousands of citizens due to the Sandinista Revolution. They were forced to leave their homeland behind but they carried it in their hearts and they also brought their delicious culinary traditions to Miami.
El Amor Fritanguero traveled to our shores with the stars: beef, gallo pinto, fried cheese, sweet and crispy plantains. From the fritangas, to the more formal restaurants to a Nicaraguan bakery, here is a list of the best that Nicaraguan cuisine offers diners in Miami:
Madroño is a family restaurant that stands out from the other fritangas because of its attention to detail.
Martha Mejia arrived in the United States at the end of the 1980s. After working in several restaurants, she decided to open her own place using her mother’s recipes.
Today Madroño is the favorite because of the delicious grilled pork tenderloin, a tipitapa-style snapper and the traditional indio viejo. Whether with a vigorón, a salpicón or whatever typical dish you choose, you are guaranteed a tasty experience.
10780 W Flagler St., Miami; 305- 485-3332 or https://madronorestaurant.com; Open: Monday: noon- 8:30 pm.; Tuesday closed; Wednesday to Saturday: noon- 8:30 p.m.; Sunday: noon – 4:30 p.m.
The Spotted Rooster
Start the feast with some Spotted Tostones covered with refried beans, fried cheese, sour cream and chimichurri. You can add chicken or steak if you want to take it to the next level. If you are looking for something light and refreshing, try their delicious Nicaraguan-style ceviche.
For the main course they offer a variety of juicy meats such as steak with tomato sauce or onions, beef tongue in tomato sauce and their famous “Finca y Playa” dish, which contains grilled beef tenderloin accompanied by shrimp bathed in tomato sauce. Your choice.
You can accompany them with a gallo pinto (mixture of red beans and white rice), sweet plantains, green slices, cooked plantain, boiled yucca, among others. For drinks, enjoy a refreshing glass of Nicaraguan-style barley.
8758 W Flagler St., Miami; 305- 364-5032 or https://www.thespottedgallo.com. Open: Monday and Tuesday: Closed; Wednesday to Saturday: noon – 9 p.m.; Sunday: noon – 8 p.m.
Quesillos are a typical Nicaraguan dish consisting of corn tortillas filled with melted cheese, pickled onions, and a touch of sour cream. Quesillos Guilliste serves them inside a plastic bag so you can squeeze the filling without the tortilla unrolling.
For years, this restaurant has been able to bring the authentic flavor of these sandwiches to South Florida. They also serve a variety of chicken, tripe, cheese or chicken soups, among others. You can accompany their famous pork with yucca, sweet plantains, tortillas or tostones. Try their jícaro and cocoa seed drinks, too.
11323 W Flagler St., Miami; 305-225-8877. Open: Tuesday to Sunday: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Fritanga Marlon’s Cafe
If the authentic name of this restaurant doesn’t have you convinced, wait until you try its delicious beef. The cozy spot offers a variety of typical homemade Nicaraguan food that will have you licking your fingers.
Try their baho, a mix of meat, green plantain and yucca traditionally served on a banana leaf. If you are looking for a dish to share, choose the Nica house platter, which includes repochetas, chorizo, rice with beans, chicken wings, among other delicacies. They have several refreshing natural juices as well.
For dessert you can choose between their rice pudding, fritters, coconut cajetas, milk custard, the traditional pio quinto or their sweet atolillo.
11398 W Flagler St., Miami; 305- 226-5111 or https://fritangamarlonscafe.com. Open: Monday to Saturday: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Sunday: 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The Nica Bakery
This bakery specializes in the sweetest Nicaraguan delicacies that you can find in Miami.
Try their fresh baked bread every day as well as the soft tortillas and not to mention their delicious snacks to accompany your coffee or pinolillo. Try their nacatamales, one of the oldest dishes of the Central American country.
If you plan to celebrate an activity or birthday party, you can order a Nicaraguan cake or the cake of your choosing.
1075 E 25th St., Hialeah; 786-318-0200 or https://www.facebook.com/elnicabakery. Open: Monday to Saturday: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Sunday: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.