The little man behind the counter at El Mago might be the only face as recognizable in Miami as Dan Marino. And while “El Mago” never set any NFL records, he does sling fritas—the Cuban take on burgers with paprika and other spices served on a Cuban roll—better than anywhere in the city. Plenty of places do it well, but nowhere serves it with a side of charisma quite like El Mago. That’s why none other than Barack Obama made the place a regular stop when he was in Miami.
How to book: Stop in for first-come, first served service.
OK, so the Frita from El Mago might not align with what most of America’ conceives of as a “hamburger,” but similarly to how we handle “driving” and “importation laws,” Miami defines the old beef sandwich a little differently. For us, it’s all about a traditional Cuban-seasoned patty, grilled with onions and plopped on a Cuban roll—and the best in town hail from the little old man stationed behind this retro diner counter, who slings fritas so good Obama used to stop in for one anytime he was in town.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order delivery via Uber Eats.