Colada is a family-owned and operated Cuban coffee house and casual eatery acclaimed for its delicious iced café con leche, authentic Cuban sandwiches, fresh pastries, ropa vieja and other savory Cuban specialties. The Flagler Village hotspot opened in 2015 and has fast become a neighborhood favorite.
Colada is from the same folks who operate the popular Miramar Bakery in Hollywood, which has been a South Florida favorite for more than 35 years. At Colada, Alex Recio, the bakery’s founder and his team deliver the same quality food and friendly service for which Recio’s family’s renowned business, Miramar, is known. The second-generation Cuban American knows no one can cook better Cuban food than an abuela, but he is happy to be a close second.
Colada is the perfect place to start your day with real Cuban coffees that are second-to-none, baked-daily pastries and croquettes, or a full, traditional Cuban breakfast, all of which taste as if abuela has been in the kitchen working her magic. Breakfast options include egg sandwiches with choice of meat, cheese and bread.
One of the specialty offerings, the Havana Hangover, combines eggs, ham, bacon, Swiss cheese, papitas and onions on a Cuban roll. I found it a little greasy, but then I wasn’t hungover, which is when your body craves greasy food. Other egg-based options include breakfast platters, French toast made with fluffy Cuban bread, and the coffee shop’s signature breakfast, tres leches pancakes. The thin crepe-like discs are served with guava drizzle and guava whipped cream and a side of syrup, which we didn’t touch as the pancakes and guava drizzle were sweet enough.
Many of the best Cuban bakeries are only open for breakfast and lunch, Colada is open until 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, giving you the opportunity to enjoy a sandwich, any of which can be topped with a fried egg, avocado or bacon. Try a traditional Cuban sandwich with roasted pork, ham, swiss cheese, pickles and mustard on Cuban bread, or a Medianoche, the traditional late-night munchie with the same toppings on a sweet Hawaiian style roll.
There are also Cuban variations on classic American dishes such as the Cuban Philly, with ropa vieja (shredded slow roasted beef), onions, American and Swiss cheeses on Cuban bread. For those who prefer a burger-style sandwich, check out the Fritas, grilled chorizo and beef patties topped with everything from fried plantains to barbecue sauce. Vegetarians will not be disappointed by the version, consisting of a patty made from black beans, veggies, brown rice and cheese, then topped with spinach, papitas, onions, tomatoes and mojo mayo.
If you’re looking for a meal, check out the Colada Bowls, with a choice of one protein (grilled skirt steak, shredded beef, roasted pork, shredded chicken breast, ground turkey or, for vegetarians, the same black bean patty used on the frita) served atop a choice of lettuce, white or brown rice (or for an upcharge, sweet potato hash, cilantro cauliflower rice, or spinach) and a variety of toppings and sauces.
Those with a sweet tooth won’t be disappointed by the coconut or tres leches cake or the chocolate cake topped with flan cheesecake! Of course, coffee is the king of beverages, but beer and soft drinks are also available. Best of all a sandwich and coffee will set you back just a little over $10!
Cuban bakeries to check out include:
Colada Cuban Cafe
525 N. Federal, Fort Lauderdale
Legacy Cuban Bakery & Cafe
3660 Davie Rd., Davie
2979 W. Commercial, Fort Lauderdale
2621 Davie Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
El Recreo Bakery
310 S. State Road 7, Margate
2889 S. University, Davie