Michelin Bib Gourmand

Chug's Diner in 2024 MICHELIN guide

Cuban culture and restaurants are essential to Miami. It’s the coladas and pastelitos that get our office workers through mind-numbing meetings, the lechon at our Christmas parties, and the ventanitas where you can find the best Cuban sandwiches in the world (pipe down, Tampa). And Miami is just as essential to the evolution of Cuban cuisine. There are over one million Cuban descendants currently living in Miami-Dade County, and it feels like we have just as many Cuban restaurants to choose from. So here are the ones you should be prioritizing.

For as much as the Cuban diaspora changed Miami, its descendants are now transforming Cuban food. Chug’s is an excellent example of the sort of Cuban-American restaurant that could only exist in Miami. The pop’s frita comes with a tangy blue cheese salsa, the latkes are made with malanga, and their mariquitas are served with a French onion dip. But they win us over with a peeled banana. If you’re in any way Cuban, you’ve probably seen a relative slap an entire ripe banana onto a plate full of meat. And that’s exactly what their abuelas plate is—the kind of Cuban food you can usually only find at home. We order ours with lechon. It comes with black beans, rice, and of course a banana. Our only complaint is that we want a full banana (they only give you half) so we can combine every bite with that sweet fruit and salty lechon.

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