Not your typical Cuban restaurant


Location:Coral Gables

Address:808 Ponce Dd Leon Blvd., Coral Gables

Meal Type
Dinner, Lunch



By: Carly Blalock

From Taco truck to Tranquilo y Tropical.

What to Expect:

It’s difficult to determine where you are, once you step inside Caja Caliente’s new brick and mortar location. Your GPS will say you are in Coral Gables but the vibe inside will have you feeling Key West tropical. The pastel walls and bright floral arrangements are inviting and fun just like the menu. After all, this is the birthplace of Cuban tacos!

What to order:

Pan Con Jaiba –
Blue crab straight from the Florida keys is perfectly battered and fried into patties, topped with papitas, pico de gallo and the house sauce, all sandwiched in a soft brioche bun. I am not going to lie, this dish totally caught me by surprise. The crab is so fresh and flavorful, this was the one item I refused to share!

Tamal Cubano –
This is not your abuela’s tamal. Inside a massive banana leaf, they top the tamal with vaca frita, black bean pico, avocado, queso, and spicy mayo. Do yourself the favor, add a fried egg on top. For around $11 this is a glorious sharing plate.

Pulpo Taco-
You cannot come to Caja Caliente and not try their pulpo taco. Octopus in a taco? No, they aren’t kidding. They top the sliced pulpo with avocado, black bean pico and their house aioli. Fear not, Caja doesn’t skimp on the serving of superbly grilled octopus and fresh avocado. This was the staff’s favorite and it will be yours too.

Pro Tips: If you can get in on a Tuesday they celebrate with $4 tacos all night. Happy hour is from 5-8 on weekdays. Street parking is available and seating is limited, call to secure a spot