Hialeah, FL

Overview

An incorporated city in Dade County, Florida, situated along U.S. Route 27 northwest of downtown Miami, Hialeah serves as home to 225,000 residents and ranks as the sixth-largest city in Florida. Hialeah houses a large number of locally owned retailers and restaurants that compete successfully even in the presence of many chains and franchises. Spanish-style architecture characterizes the city's real estate, which features construction from every decade since the 1920s. Hialeah's tight-knit community feel, low prices and proximity to downtown Miami attract many families and young people to the area.

Restaurants & Nightlife

Hialeah doesn't feature a centralized district of bars and restaurants, but the city provides convenient options for eating and socializing all over town. Cuban restaurants dominate the culinary scene, which includes other diverse international fare such as Argentinean, Peruvian and Chinese. Diners head to Chico's Restaurant on West 12th Avenue no matter the time of day or night for Cuban comfort food served fast and at low prices. Menu favorites include garbanzos fritos, which are fried chicken peas served with rice and plantains, and salpicon de ternera, consisting of home-cooked meatloaf also accompanied by the same two sides. Seafood lovers have a broad selection of fish and shellfish from which to choose. Featuring premium wood-fired meats and a wine list that spans several pages, Graziano's on West 16th Avenue ranks as the Miami area's top Argentinean steak house. Locals love the Argentinean skirt steak accompanied by Spanish potatoes. Oenophiles descend on Graziano's for the premium wine selection, and top picks include the Trumpeter Pinot Noir and the Las Perdices Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon. When diners leave room for dessert, the creme brulee hits the spot. Pacifico Chinese Restaurant doesn't appear luxurious from the outside, but the food receives high marks from diners all over the Miami metro area. The beef with bean sprouts and shrimp with broccoli rank especially high on regulars' lists of favorite menu items. Pacifico keeps diners' wallets as full as their stomachs, as most of the restaurant's entrées cost under $10. Hialeah lacks an expansive nightlife scene, but it provides a few local spots. The best selection of nightclubs, bars and live music venues sits on South Beach and in Miami's Brickell District, both only a short drive down the highway from Hialeah. For a real upscale pub on Brickell, try the Irish owned and operated Fado Irish Pub. From awesome food and drink to lively banter, this place epitomizes Ireland’s pub culture.

History & Culture

Aviator Glenn Curtiss and cattleman James Bright developed Hialeah in the early 1920s, and it quickly flourished as a favorite residential and entertainment district in South Florida. The 1926 Miami Hurricane erased much of the work accomplished by Hialeah's early developers, but the city was slowly rebuilt, and following the Cuban Revolution in 1959, it became a popular enclave for refugees from the Communist country who were seeking a better life. Hialeah claims the unique distinction of being the only city in America with an industrial economy that has continued to grow in the 21st century. The city features numerous museums celebrating its Cuban heritage, such as the Cundo Bermudez Museum and Gallery and the Museo Historico Cubano. Hialeah has a strong arts scene that includes the annual Art on Palm street festival each February.

Transportation

Many of Hialeah's residential streets are wide, flat and pedestrian-friendly, though they do not contain bike lanes. However, the city is large and its main thoroughfares busy, so most residents use their cars to get around. Hialeah offers plenty of options for those who wish not to drive. Numerous taxi companies operate in the area, and Uber maintains a presence. You cannot hail a cab in Hialeah, but most companies provide fast pick-up. Public transportation options include the Miami Metrobus and Metrorail as well as the Florida Tri-Rail, providing commuter service throughout South Florida's three counties.

Cost

Hialeah's cost of living is lower than average for the Miami metro area. One-bedroom apartments rent for an average of $995 per month, a beer in a local pub costs about $3 and $2.25 purchases a bus ticket to downtown Miami. Area gas prices hover right around the national average.

Shopping

Hialeah houses a large shopping mall, the Westland Mall, which serves as home to a broad mixture of chain stores and locally owned retailers. Big box retailers and high-end stores also populate Westland Mall. Elsewhere in the city, local boutiques and specialty stores fill out the shopping landscape. Leslye's Boutique, a locally owned shop on West 60th Street specializing in formal wear, provides women and men alike with attire for weddings, proms, military balls and quinceaneras. The friendly staff works with customers to ensure the best fit and style for whatever the big occasion may be. Residents head to Discovery Clothing Company on West 49th Street for its assortment of trendy, chic fashions at discount prices. Also featuring shoes and accessories, the store manages expeditious service and checkout times despite always housing a large crowd eager to tear into its endless racks of bargain-priced attire. Hialeah features numerous Publix locations that are popular for large grocery trips, including two locations specializing in Latin food. Victoria Grocery, a small neighborhood store, carries international cuisine. The closest farmers market, located inside the Opa-Locka Hialeah Flea Market, sits just outside the city limits on Northwest 42nd Avenue in Opa-Locka.

Parks

The city serves as home to 15 parks featuring a variety of recreational options, including sports fields, tennis courts, playgrounds, exercise facilities and organized sports leagues. McDonald Park provides exercise facilities, an outdoor play area and even a water park. Children can participate in the park's many organized youth sports leagues. Parking and admission are free, although certain amenities such as the water park and sports leagues carry a small fee. McDonald Park does not permit dogs. Four-legged family members have a blast at Amelia Earhart Bark Park on East 65th Street. Divided into play areas for dogs over and under 35 pounds, this dog park is free during the week but costs $6 to park at and enter on weekends. Goodlet Park on West 8th Avenue hosts one of the country's largest Easter egg hunts each year, featuring over 50,000 eggs.

4 Neighborhoods in Hialeah, FL

  • Country Club

    Country Club lives up to its name in style and convenience for residents who enjoy golf, shopping, and South Florida's best attractions all within a short drive of home. Northwest of downtown Miami by about 18 miles and roughly 25 miles southwest of Fort Lauderdale, this neighborhood allows commuters to reach either destination with relative ease due to the proliferation of routes.

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  • Essex Village

    Although it sits about 10 miles northwest of downtown Miami, the apartments and houses of Essex Village offer much more than just a convenient location. The 18.5-acre Babcock Park provides residents in the Essex Village area with a terrific recreational go-to that includes baseball fields, basketball, tennis and racquetball courts, in addition to a swimming pool and children's playground.

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  • Hialeah Acres

    Hialeah sits just outside of Miami in a prime location for residents and visitors to enjoy the nearby beaches of South Florida. The neighborhood contains the highest Spanish-speaking population in the entire United States, and a majority of the residents are of Cuban decent.

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  • Lower Hialeah Gardens

    Known as the City of Progress, Hialeah, Florida bursts with culture and diversity. The Lower Hialeah Gardens neighborhood lies west of the Palmetto Expressway and downtown, putting residents within 20 minutes of two cultural centers, Garden of the Arts and Leah Arts District.

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