El Palacio de los Jugos, a combination produce stand and eatery is one of the most authentic Cuban institutions in Miami, inspiring copycat establishments all over south Florida and the likes of Mitt Romney to make a campaign stop and connect with Latinos. This location at the intersection of Flagler Street and 57th Avenue not far from Miami International Aiport is the original, as evidenced by its always busy parking lot.
As the name suggests, El Palacio de los Jugos offers a wide assortment of tropical juices squeezed on premises. Orange, mango, papaya, and pineapple are popular, although my favorite is watermelon, the bright refreshing essence of that fruit. If you want coconut water, an expert will deftly chop one open with a machete and insert a straw. He's fun to watch.
Various counters offer traditional Cuban specialties: seafood, meats, pastries, sandwiches, and Cuban coffee, strong and sweet. Whole roast pork is often seen along with good-tasting starches such as yucca, plantains, and fantastic rice. Sandwiches are huge and inexpensive as is all the food. They have one of the best Cuban sandwiches in Miami, pressed into perfect, slightly sweet Cuban bread that's hard to find anywhere else. I haven't been for breakfast, but they display signs touting a complete breakfast of eggs, ham, tostadas, and cafe con leche for under four bucks.
Of course, in as authentic a place as this, Spanish predominates. Credit card stickers are displayed at some of the cash registers and there's an ATM as well. Seating is at modern picnic tables in a covered outdoor area with fans and misters to help beat the heat. At peak times, parking can be a little dicey, but there's plenty of room in the parking lot to wait for a space to open up.