Anyone who lives in Miami knows that we are no strangers to the night owl lifestyle. In a city where one meets for dinner with friends at 9:00 PM (which really means 10:00 PM) and people don’t arrive at the club until well after midnight, it should come as no surprise that Miami has its fair share of late night eats. Nothing works up an appetite quite like a night of drinking and dancing, and with Miami’s unmistakable Latin flavor, post-party dining options include a wide array of not only typical pizza and burger joints, but favorites from throughout Latin America.
This by-the-slice pizzeria has become an icon on SoBe, and a location almost always seems to be conveniently close to a popular club or bar. The pizza here is great any time of day, but their vast array of thick, Sicilian-style slices with creative toppings are most appealing in the wee hours. With over 30 varieties of pizza, it can be hard to make a decision, especially after a night of drinking, but the spinach and blue cheese pizza, as well as the the chicken florentine and chicken parmesan pizzas, are great places to start.
Pizza Rustica has several locations in Miami Beach, as well as other locations throughout South Florida. www.pizza-rustica.com
New York and Chicago might think they have the last word on hotdogs, but Miami knows that no hotdog compares to a Colombian perro. Perros (hotdogs) are popular throughout Miami, and most spots that serve them tend to stay open very late, but few are as beloved as La Moon in Brickell, which has recently moved to a bigger place across the street from it’s old location. While you can get all manner of Colombian favorites like cornmeal empanadas, arepas, and piqueos of sausages and potatoes, the real star at La Moon is El Supermoon Perro consisting of a smoked sausage topped with slices of bacon, melted mozzarella cheese, 5 different sauces, potato chips, and a quail egg. One bite and you’ll understand why Miami’s savvy night owls are willing to wait up to an hour for a hotdog.
La Moon is located at 97 Southwest 8th Street in Miami. www.lamoonrestaurantmiami.com. (305) 860-6209
You might want to split a perro with a friend at La Moon in order to take a short drive to this 24 hour Nicaraguan classic...especially if you’re a fan of a more substantial meal. Yambo is less of a restaurant and more of a fritanga - a sort of informal steam counter eatery where you compose your own combination plate from an array of already prepared foods. I can’t say much for the stews and soups they serve, because the thing to really order at Yambo is their carne asada marinated in spices and sour orange juice and grilled fresh 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This usually comes with a heap of gallo pinto - rice and beans cooked with coconut milk - as well as sweet plantains (maduros), and a vinegary slaw. Make sure to add at least one piece of fried cheese, and do not miss out on one of their refreshing beverages, such as barley water (cebada), a tangy chia seed punch (chia), or chocolate milk made with fresh cacao (cacao).
Yambo is located at 643 Southwest 1st Street in Miami. (305) 649-0203
Miami’s answer to White Castle has two locations, although I’d opt for the one in North Miami for its proximity to I-95. Just like White Castle, Royal Castle specializes in sliders, but unlike Harold and Kumar's favorite haunt, the latter still manages to have a short order, diner-like feel to it like the old burger joints of the 50's. The sliders here are greasy, beefy, and have that characteristic smokiness from a well-cured griddle. Besides sliders, Royal Castle also serves Southern style breakfast, fried chicken, and fried fish all made to order.
Royal Castle is located at 12490 NW 7th Avenue in North Miami. (305) 681-5346
Okay. I know ending an evening of partying at “the world’s most famous Cuban restaurant” is just too typical, but no good roundup of late night eats in Miami would be complete without a Cuban eatery like Versailles. Versailles is the perfect place for a filling Cuban sandwich or a plate of picadillo with black beans and rice. The people watching here is second to none, showcasing a cross section of Miami’s Cuban culture from Hialeah chongas to Coral Gables aristocracy donning fur coats when the weather gets cool. Make sure to pick up a thimble of revitalizing cafecito at la ventanita, and maybe some croquetas for the drive home.
Versailles is located at 3555 SW 8th Street in Miami. www.versaillesrestaurant.com. (305) 444-024