A Taste of Cuba at Versailles, Miami

versailles miami

It’s totally unassuming from the exterior.

Tucked away in the Miami neighborhood known as Little Havana, you would think it would blend in. But it doesn’t.

This is Versailles, Miami style. This little restaurant serves THE BEST Cuban food in the greater Miami area. If you’re in town and craving roast pork, get in line. You’ll be standing with a crowd of others who had the same idea.

I have my brother to thank for discovering Versailles. He was studying at the nearby University of Miami. The father of one of his friend’s in our hometown is Cuban and suggested he give it a try. Note: the fact that Cuban natives recommend this place is a true testament to its quality.

versailles miami

Now, every single time we’re in Miami this is the first place we go. Get back to the port after a weekend spent cruising to the Bahamas, go have lunch at Versailles. Have a friend from Australia who’s only in town for two nights, first dinner at Versailles. I mean, take a look at that dish. How could you not eat there every chance you get?

The interior of the place is nothing to write home about really. It has walls of mirrors (I guess taking inspiration from the French version of Versailles? Not sure on that connection). It has diner-style tables and chairs and is actually quite roomy. It never ceases to amaze me that a place of that size would consistently have such long waits at prime meal times.

versailles miami

But then again… not every place does what these guys do. And do it so well. Ever since it opened its doors in 1971 it has become a beacon for Cuban exiles living in Miami, and serves as a community gathering spot to this day. Politicians stop by here when campaigning, and media outlets recognize it as the place to go to get the scoop within this community. They even broadcasted live from outside the restaurant during all the recent discussion about the change in U.S. policy towards Cuba.

versailles miami

And of course, there’s the food. I always like to order one of the Cuban sampler platters. That way I can try an array of dishes without having to go through the stressful process of actually deciding on one thing. Their extensive menu has something to satisfy every taste though if there are any picky eaters in the house.

So if you ever find yourself meandering around Miami around mealtime, do try to get a table here. Even if there’s a horrendously long wait. It’s the closest you’ll get to an authentic taste of Cuba without leaving dry land.

{Images by Wally Gobetz, Eugene Kim and John Hyun}

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  • Wow thanks for sharing!!! I was scrolling through Bloglovin when I saw your photo…holy hell that looks amazing.

    I’ve never been to Miami, but I’ll definitely be going here. I’ve also heard of a Versailles in LA that serves Cuban food. I wonder if the two are related?

    • Thanks Stephanie!! Versailles is a staple for the Miami area. There’s hardly a time we go down there that we don’t stop by, or try to at least (sometimes the line is just too long…) I didn’t know there was one in LA! It’s possible they’re related, seems like too much of a coincidence for them not to be. It’s not everyday you find a Cuban restaurant with a French palace name!

  • Mmmm! I’ve never really had the opportunity to try Cuban food other than some variation of the Cuban sandwich. I’ll have to make my way down to Miami sometime soon to check it out. It all looks so fancy!

    • You definitely need to try it some day!! It’s incredibly flavorful, and hearty. It’s not as exotic as, say, Thai or Indian food, but it does have a distinct taste. And this place is THE BEST spot in Little Havana. You really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu!

  • Adina Marguerite

    Yum! That looks so amazing! Basically all food south of the US border and down to the very tip of South America is my favorite, but since I’m part Cuban – I have a special affinity for that cuisine!

    • I didn’t realize you were part Cuban Adina! Do you cook much yourself? I would love to learn how to make some myself. I haven’t had much South American cuisine, but what I have tried has all been excellent. 🙂

      • Adina Marguerite

        Yup! The only dish I’d say I make on a regular basis is our family’s version of picadillo. We always make it for the holidays and other special occasions. But I’ve got a huge cookbook to try and learn to make more!

        • That sounds delicious!! I would love to learn how to make Cuban food, might have to pick up a cookbook myself and start experimenting. 😉

  • I absolutely love Cuban food, and I love the idea of the sampler option, and getting to try a little bit of everything! Adding this to my must-try list!

    • Sampler plates are the best! I am so indecisive when it comes to trying new foods, so they are perfect for me. If you’re ever in the Miami area you definitely need to try this place! 🙂

  • Yum!! How funny, there is a Cuban restaurant in LA that I used to go to called Versailles too! I doubt they’re the same chain though. The food was so good there (it’s where I fell in love with Cuban food)

    • I just learned of the LA Versailles!! It would be quite the coincidence if they were connected in some way lol. Cuban food is amazing – it’s probably a good thing that this place is about a 2-hour drive from where I live at the moment. 😉