Navigating El Palacio de los Jugos can be a pain. Here’s how to order like a boss

Miami runs on coffee and pork, and that’s why locals love El Palacio de los Jugos.

But let’s face it: Ordering here can be confounding. That’s especially true if it’s your first time, as we showed in a video with a pair of Palacio newbies.

WATCH: Two locals try El Palacio de los Jugos for the first time

There are separate counters with separate cash registers run by staffs in different color polos. Yet all you want is a jugo de guayaba and a serving of chicharrones.

Here’s a quick how-to for navigating Palacio like a boss.

It’s not one big restaurant

El Palacio de los Jugos isn't one big restaurant. Look for the staffers wearing different color shirt to identify the different stations — and pay separately at those stations.

It’s actually separate vendors under one roof. So look for the shirts. Each counter will have separate staff in color-coordinated shirts. You may want to order things from different counters. In that case, you’ll have to pay separately.

You don’t need to speak Spanish

No need to speak Spanish. Just point at what you want at El Palacio de los Jugos.

The staff will address you in Spanish. Be prepared for it. But a straight-from-Google Translate website won’t be much help.

The beauty of this place is you don’t need to speak Spanish. All the food is kept hot in glass display cases. You need only point at what looks tasty.

BROWSE: Guide – Food

No sticker shock

Our James Beard Award-winning food writer tells us how to eat like a local in Miami. That obviously means we will be eating at Palacio de los Jugos.

You read your multiple receipts right.

You might have ordered juice from the bar, mojo pork from one stand, chicharrones from another and yucca from a third. But when you add the four bills, don’t be surprised when you can easy feed a family of four for under thirty bucks (with leftovers).

In the video above (you did watch the video, didn’t you?), we bought:

  • Arroz Imperial (shredded chicken and rice with ham and melted cheese)
  • Chicharrones (fried pork belly chunks)
  • Vaca frita (fried, shredded beef)
  • Fufu de platano (sweet plantain mash)
  • Mofongo (garlicy green plantain mash)
  • Roasted calabaza with onions and peppers (pumpkin squash)
  • Yucca with and without chicharrones
  • Fried boniato (a white Caribbean potato)

Total cost: $35. (Insert mind-blown emoji)