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Breakfast can be cheap and filling in Miami. Try the latin cafes that specialize in the $1.99 breakfast. Breakfast consists of cafe con leche (espresso with milk), Cuban toast (cuban bread with butter pressed until crisp), eggs, potatoes, and ham. Filling and very tasty. Try La Carreta or Latin American Cafe, with several locations each. Or try your luck with the pastry case at the many outside windows at these latin cafes. Try pastelitos (flaky turnover pastries with meat, fruit and cheese fillings) or empanadas (meat filled fried turnovers) or croquetas (croquettes) with ham, shrimp or cheese fillings. Of course, with these delicacies, a cuban coffee (sweet expresso) is a must. You can also try these spots for a Cuban style shake, with flavors such as malted milk, chocolate, trigo (made with a type of cereal), and all types of tropical fruits. Cuban shakes are made with milk and ice and are lighter than american style shakes made of ice cream. They are quite a treat and run about $1.50!
For lunch, grab a Cuban sandwich or a steak sandwich at any of the above mentioned spots, or even at any local grocery stores, Sandwiches run between $3 to $6 and most of the time include fries. Try a Fritanga. These are Nicaraguan style cafeterias that offer a plate lunch for about $4.50 that include rice, beans, a meat entree and plantains. Many options are offered, such as roast pork, grilled chicken and beef stews and such. Economical and filling.
Want something a little more formal for dinner? Some favorite spots in Miami that offer a Miami type experience but are still very reasonable and will not bust your wallet are Scotty's Landing in Coconut Grove, great seafood, right on the water, live music on the weekends, very casual local hangout and watch the sunset kind with a beer in your hand of place. Love the Cajun style dolphin fingers, conch fritters and key lime pie. Or try Las Culebrinas for a fancier yet still amazingly inexpensive Spanish/Cuban cuisine with some fresh twists, try the Vaca Frita with Scallops(crisp fried steak sauteed with peppers and onions and fresh sea scallops). Great wine list as well, you will think that you are in a much more expensive restaurant.