Known for serving up the best fritas (Cuban hamburgers) in Miami, there was no doubt a visit to El Mago de las Fritas (@magodelasfritas) was in order. Before ordering, we saw a picture of Obama eating here, so we knew it had to be legit!
The small restaurant is essentially a diner with stool seating at the counter down one side of the narrow space and booths down the other. It doesn’t look like it has been updated since it first opened back in 1984 but that’s all part of its charm.
El Mago de las Fritas’ menu includes several fritas variations, perros (a Cuban version of a hot dog), various sandwiches, several sides and two desserts (flan or dulce de leche). They also have a couple items listed under the heading “It’s Complicated” which are only offered on certain days during the week.
To drink, I ordered a Café Con Leche ($1.75) aka a Cuban latte. I fell in love with this drink on my last Miami trip so I try to get my fix every chance I get.
El Mago de las Fritas offers three variations of their famous fritas – the traditional, the double or the Caballo (with a fried egg). Their menu describes their frita as “a Cuban interpretation of a hamburger with cooked and raw onions and Mago’s famous potato heavenly wisps.”
Initially, we were going to order one traditional and one Frita a Caballo – with a fried egg ($4.50) but our server highly recommended that we both get the Caballo. It’s a good thing we went with her recommendation…otherwise we would’ve been fighting over the gooey egg.
The burger patties, made from a secret recipe, are cooked a flat top with their special sauce. Fritas are traditionally made with beef but some add chorizo to the mix. I’m not sure if chorizo was in the patties here but regardless, these burgers were packed full of flavour and were damn good. I loved the generous amount of crispy shoestring potatoes and the runniness of the egg yolk. These burgers definitely lived up to all the hype!
To supplement our fritas, we ordered a side of Crinkle Cut Fries ($2.50). They were fried well and crispy but I wouldn’t say there were anything memorable. After eating the fritas, anything else would pale in comparison.
Not having eaten any fritas before, I can’t comment on whether or not El Mago serves the best fritas in Miami, but I certainly wouldn’t doubt it. They were ridiculously good and so are their prices – $14.93 before tips for a drink, two fritas and fries. This little diner is definitely worth a visit!
At a glance:
• A small and narrow diner that opened in 1984
• Known for serving the best fritas (Cuban hamburgers) in Miami
• The fritas are worth the hype – order the Frita a Caballo which comes with a fried egg
• Located in a small plaza with minimal parking
• Incredible value – $15 (before tips) for one drink, two fritas and a side of fries
• Friendly and genuine service
Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 4.5 stars
• Service: 4 stars
• Atmosphere: 3 stars