Things To Do

Hialeah is the punching bag of Miami. Here’s why that’s messed up.

We are pretty sure you can eat cheaply at the Opalocka-Hialeah Flea Market.
We are pretty sure you can eat cheaply at the Opalocka-Hialeah Flea Market. El Nuevo herald

Hialeah gets a bad rap.

Yes, it can be unrefined, overcrowded and hot as hell. Rush hour traffic there is bad enough to shatter the mind of even the most patient driver.

But Hialeah does have its charms, which the city reveals slowly and subtly, like a woman adjusting her faja after eating too many zingers at the Ale House.

The truth is, if you look carefully you’ll find Hialeah is much more than just “agua, fango y factoría.”

Here are just a few of the wonderful things about Hialeah:

Rinconcito peruano, en Hialeah.
Rinconcito peruano, en Hialeah.

There’s El Rinconcito de Santa Barbara, which supposedly has the best mofongo in Miami. There’s also El Rinconcito Peruano and El Rinconcito Latino (not to be confused with El Rinconcito Super Latino III in Cutler Bay). This list goes on and on. Each rinconcito is a great dining alternative for nights when you don’t feel like hitting up Flanigan’s, the Ale House, or its stepsister, the Carolina Ale House.

Donna E. Natale Planas Herald Staff

Super cheap. So cheap there are places actually named Ñooo Que Barato. Don’t want to splurge on a Rolex but still want to stunt? Pick up an Ice King at Ñooo Que Barato. It’ll cost you under $10, and it works! Valsan is another favorite, so beloved its slogan is “Los que vienen no se van” (“those who come here never leave”). That’s because Valsan is the retail version of Dante’s Inferno; once you make it past the first gate, you risk getting lost down a windowless rabbit hole of incredible bargains and bizarre shopping finds.

Ñooo Que Barato: 1198 W 23rd St, Hialeah

Opa Locka Hialeah Flea Market

La Fresa Francesa

Benoit Rablat and Sandy Sanchez run La Fresa Francesa in Hialeah. Photo by Linda Bladholm

You don’t have to drive down to Brickell or Miami Beach to have a romantic European dinner. Head to La Fresa Francesa Petit Café, and you’ll feel like you magically teleported to a tiny Parisian bistro where you can eat a guava crepe instead of a guava pastelito.

La Fresa Francesca: 59 W. Third St., Hialeah

It’s the safest place to be during a hurricane

Hialeah man Jon Secada has been married since 1997. In Hollywood years that two centuries.

Don’t waste your time trying to find love in a South Beach nightclub. If you’re looking for a man with a hint of Latin macho swag combined with a solid moral upbringing and strong familial values, head to the City of Progress and hit up The Bend or old reliable Flanigan’s. Everybody in Broward is doing it.