Calle Ocho’s most famous mainstay as well as Miami’s best known Cuban icon, Versailles (pronounced “ver-SIGH-yes”) is something of a marvel not just for longevity (est. 1971) but also its prices and look. We don’t know if its kitschy mirrors and chandeliers were meant to evoke the Sun King’s palace for real or with tongue in cheek, but they sure make an unforgettable backdrop to a parade of local characters, from blue-haired abuelitas to late-night club kids. Versailles still delivers the goods menu-wise, with fare that’s tasty, authentic, and still quite affordable. Plantain soup, roast pork with onions, vaca frita (shredded grilled beef), guava pastries, Cuban-style coffee that’s as sweet as it is strong—all the classics are here, and then some. On the lighter side, you can’t go wrong with a pressed sandwich cubano.
- David Paul Appell