El Rey De Las Fritas Has La Original Cuban Frita

La Frita Cubana from El Rey de las Fritas
Cuban Guys Banner 468 x 60

El Rey de las Fritas is an iconic restaurant that makes its home in Miami, Florida. Their signature sandwich is the Frita Cubana or Cuban Frita, known to some folks as a Cuban Burger.

The Frita was a street food in Cuba sold out of a “puesto,” similar to our hot dog pushcarts. The small sandwiches would migrate to Miami in the early 1960s, where specialty shops would continue spreading the good word of the spiced burger patty.

Before we get into all the food pictures, here’s the history of El Rey de las Fritas to get your meaty motors running.

El Rey de las Fritas History

The El Rey de las Frita location in Little Havana

Victoriano “Benito” Gonzalez sold the Frita Cubana in Placetas, Cuba until 1968. Before founding El Rey de las Fritas in 1979, Benito was the chef at Palacio de las Fritas. The original El Rey location was right off of Coral Way.

In 1982, the former Fritas Domino restaurant location (1177 SW 8th Street) in Little Havana would fall into the hands of Benito. His brother-in-law Ortelio Cardenas moved from New Jersey to help him run this new spot.

Ortelio, who had never worked in the food business, decided to make a career change. Benito taught Ortelio everything he knew about the food industry.

Croqueta Palooza 2022 Banner
El Rey De Las Fritas Original Neon
Original Neon

El Rey de las Fritas in Little Havana would popularize Fritas outside the Cuban community. At El Rey, Ortelio added cheese to the Frita to Americanize it.

Shortly after closing the original spot, Ortelio would leave the establishment to open his El Mago de las Fritas in West Miami.

Just an FYI: Fritas with cheese are frowned upon by hardcore and old-school Frita fans.

The King Must Expand

Benito’s frita palace would flourish and open another location in Hialeah. But unfortunately, he would pass away in 2005, creating a legacy many Miamians hold close to their hearts. The business was left in his family’s (wife Angelina, son Yamil and daughter Mercy) more than capable hands.

Angelina runs the original Calle Ocho location. Mercy and her husband Gino fluctuate between the locations in Hialeah and Sweetwater. Yamil’s restaurant is on a busy strip mall corner in the Westchester part of Miami, where I grew up.

El Rey de las Fritas Restaurant Locations

Little Havana

1821 SW 8th Street
Little Havana, Florida

Little Havana
The Entrance to Frita Cubana Heaven
La Original Frita Cubana
Bacon Swiss Frita Cubana
Homemade Flan


421 W 29th Street
Hialeah, Florida

Check out that old neon in the top left
One of the original signs
Dominos by Silvio Rodriguez
Fried Yuca, Malanga Fritters & Fried Plantains
Pan con Bistec with Queso Frito
Croqueta Preparada


10142 W Flagler Street
Miami, Florida

Mercy Gonzalez of El Rey de las Fritas
Mercy Gonzalez of El Rey de las Fritas
Frita Cubana a Caballo
Breakfast Sandwich
Corn Nuggets


9343 SW 40th Street
Miami, Florida

El Rey de las Fritas on Bird Road in Westchester, Florida
El Rey de las Fritas on Bird Road
French Fries from El Rey de las Fritas on Bird Road
French Fries
Pan con Bistec from El Rey de las Fritas on Bird Road in Westchester, Florida
Pan con Bistec

One Comment

Comment Away!