Unfortunately Yiya’s is now closed….
Yesterday I had a professional development for work and had a rare opportunity to go out for lunch on a workday (although I’m sure my wallet and waistline appreciate that these opportunities are few and far between.) Some coworkers recommended Yiya’s Gourmet Cuban Bakery and Cafe on 79th just off Biscayne Blvd in Miami. They had mentioned Yiya’s before, but I had never been, and despite driving down 79th to get to the Causeway numerous times I had never noticed it there (even with the large mural on the side of the building that I now of course will always notice). The Upper Eastside, along Biscayne north of Midtown and the Design District, in general definitely has tons of great hidden-gem restaurants to check out so I’m glad we went to Yiya’s.
The bakery has counter seating and tables and you order all food at the counter. They have a number of sandwiches, as well as a few salads, wraps, and pizzas, plus of course baked goods and desserts. For fellow gluten-frees there are daily lunch specials, which usually seem to have a Cuban meat and rice dish based off looking at their website. Yesterday the specials were the Ropa Vieja (tender shreeded beef in a tomato sauce) and Cuban Barbeque Chicken, both of which came with black beans and white rice.
Despite usually picking beef dishes I decided to try something new with the Cuban Barbeque Chicken, since I’d never gotten chicken at Cuban restaurants before. I really enjoyed it- there was the grilled and spiced flavor but in a very subtle way, nothing was overpowering or strong, which I appreciated for a relaxing lunch. It came with a side of white rice and black beans, which is one of my favorite dishes. I love how simple the combination is, yet so delicious and filling. Cuban rice (made in oil that gives it some extra flavor) is my favorite of all the different Latin rices so far. After the meal I felt full-content, not full-stuffed, due to the portion sizes and flavorful, but subtle, dishes. My friends got the Ropa Vieja special, a Greek salad, and the Function Fit 1 sandwich (which came with pesto, goat cheese, and roasted peppers). My friend enjoyed the Ropa Vieja special and the Function Fit sandwich looked delicious from my perspective. Sandwiches are not one of the things I really crave being gluten free (that goes to bagels and pasta) and I love meat, but the vegetarian Function Fit’s delicious-sounding combination of pesto, goat cheese, and roasted peppers made me wish a bit that I could try it.
None of us got any desserts but they also looked delicious from what I could see and again many of my friends have raved about this place a lot recently. If you’re a big sandwich or baked good/desserts eater or are in the area I would highly recommend Yiya’s and would also recommend checking out the daily specials if you’re gluten free or are looking for a Cuban meat and rice dish. They post the daily specials on their website (www.yiyasbakery.com/). They also have breakfast, which is my goal for stopping in next. Most of the dishes on the menu are breakfast sandwiches or wraps (unfortunately for us gluten frees), but there is a Tortilla Espanola (Spanish Omelette) and I have really been slacking in my year and a half here in Miami about trying Latin breakfasts. Definitely adding that to the Miami bucket list.
*This was one of my first restaurants since deciding to start blogging about Miami experiences so I forgot to take pictures of the food, but next time I go someplace I might want to write about I will try to remember to do that!*
Yiya’s Gourmet Cuban Bakery and Cafe- 646 NE 79th St Miami, FL: Most items under $10