You either fall instantly in love with El Palacio de los Jugos (5721 W Flagler St, Flagami) or are totally turned off. El Palacio is the Miami I wish most folks would see on vacation, not the flash and pan generally portrayed on TV.
Make sure to bring a Spanish speaker with you as it’s almost like being in a foreign country, and that’s part of its charm. Luckily, I live just a few blocks from this Miami institution, and while I could walk, it’s freakin’ hot out there most of the time.
Seating for El Palacio is under a giant green tent, and to get the whole experience; you should eat here and forgo taking the goods home. The food is available in different open-air stations featuring sandwiches or the juices/chicharrones area.
Since this is El Palacio De Los Jugos (Palace of the Juices or Juice Palace), you can choose a single serving cup (larger sizes are available) of your favorite juice with choices like watermelon, papaya, or even coconut water made fresh by a machete-wielding fellow nearby.
The Food Choices Can Be Overwhelming
Over many years, I’ve tried many dishes served here, and very few are misses. The Frita Cubana is, unfortunately, one of those tragic victims. Luckily, at that same food station, I love to order a Pan con Tortilla (omelet sandwich) with ham, and Swiss cheese served on warm Cuban bread.
Queso frito is a slightly salty white cheese pan-fried to a semi-brown deliciousness, made Miami famous at Nicaraguan Fritangas. Since my wife is Nicaraguan, a couple of queso fritos are always ordered.
The real reason to come to El Palacio De Los Jugos is pork. It “s served in various forms, including Pan con Lechon (roast pork sandwich), BUT… it’s all about the chicharrones.
If you’ve never had pork rinds in this form, then you’re missing out, but the reality is that if you have these chicharrones, you will always crave these and only these. There’s a variety of foods available with something new to try each time which is why I’m glad to have El Palacio in my backyard.
El Palacio De Los Jugos Opens Up In Westchester
October 18th, 2013 – As the Rock might say, FINALLY, El Palacio de los Jugos has come to Westchester!
El Palacio de los Jugos has opened up in beautiful Westchester (9095 SW 40th Street), the area in the United States with the largest Cuban population and my hometown. It took long enough if you ask me.
El Palacio de los Jugos is one of those businesses that could only thrive in a diverse community like Miami. Their primary location at 5721 W Flagler has been filmed countless times by shows trying to capture a unique Miami experience.
In particular, if you don’t know Spanish, you’re at a disadvantage at that location.
The Westchester location is set up cafeteria-style for all the hot food and chopped-to-order chicharrones. The sandwich and juice station is just adjacent to it. There’s also a ventanita (outdoor window) if you’re on the go. Most folks will probably choose to sit outside, but there are a couple of tables inside.
I’d suggest checking out their menu before heading there, as it can be a little overwhelming for first-timers.
UPDATE for El Palacio de los Jugos Locations
September 21st, 2022 – I wrote my original post about El Palacio de las Fritas and its second spot in Westchester a decade ago. Since that time, they’ve expanded to ten locations in the Miami suburbs and had to fend off numerous copycats.
The Coral Way location (7085 SW 24th Street) which has a drive-thru was the background for my pic when I was featured in the Miami Herald as one of the 50 most influential folks in Miami food.
But make no bones about it; the original location on Flagler is still the best of the bunch.