Mandy Baca

Miami, FL

Mandy Baca

Author of The Sizzling History of Miami Cuisine: Cortaditos, Stone Crabs & Empanadas and Discovering Vintage Miami.


19 Weird Things Only People From Miami Do

From the good to the bad, the mundane to the crazy (and what highways to avoid during rush hour), we Miamians know our way around the city. And through our journeys, we’ve noticed we happen to do things a bit... well, differently from everyone else. From our fervent love of air conditioning to non-stop complaining, here are 19 Miamisms in no particular order.
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The Most Underrated Bars in Miami

Back in the good ol' days of Miami, hanging out somewhere "underrated" meant going anywhere that wasn't a highly promoted, fashionable club. Now, with seemingly normal bars opening left and right (dare we say too many?) , it's easy to forget about the haunts that were there for you when you needed them most.
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Everything You Absolutely Need to Do in Miami This Spring

Manatees hate the cold just like Miamians do. And on cold winter days, the 16,000 sqft center is where you’ll find herds basking in the warm-water outflows from FPL’s adjacent Riviera Beach Next Generation Clean Energy Center.
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Stand-up Comics Explain How To Nail Your First Time On Stage

Before you get up there and attempt what is widely considered one of the hardest forms of performance there is, you're going to need to accept that you will most likely be frighteningly, nuclear bomb-unfunny. But "nailing" your first performance isn't about necessarily taking the house down; it's about being good enough to keep going for that second time and beyond.
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Famous Chefs on Their First Nights in the Kitchen

It’s a long road to becoming a chef, but it can be a fun ride if you’ve got the chops. We asked some of the country’s coolest chefs about their own first evers in the kitchen. From peeling fibrous vegetables to fighting through a possible blood clot to working in 115 degree kitchens -- here are their stories and some of the lessons they learned along the way.
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Local-Approved Miami Spots for Avoiding Tourists

Urban Dictionary -- the MOST trusted dictionary -- defines a tourist trap as “a place specifically designed to attract stupid tourists and take their money.” This definition is particularly apt for describing around 80% of the places in Miami. But hey, it's only normal.
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16 Mouthwatering Meals in Miami for Under $10

We've told you about the 18 best spots for cheap eats in Miami, but we’re taking it one step further, and lowering the proverbial bar (monetarily, that is) to $10, making sure you have enough moolah for tax and tip (for the most part, at least). Otherwise, you can scour pants pockets and couch cushions for loose change.
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The Definitive Eating Guide to Kendall

Most people will tell you that any land west of Coral Gables is “Kendall”. This presumption is false. The area is mainly comprised of Kendale Lakes, The Crossings, The Hammocks, Kendall West, Three Lakes, Sunset, and -- at its furthest point -- Country Walk. Then after ignoring you as you explain that they are wrong, they will make some highly obvious joke about Kendall’s lack of “cool”.
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20 Miami Bars That Are Open on Christmas Day

Around the Miami area, Christmas Eve (or Nochebuena) is when everyone is spending time with their friends and family, drinking eggnog, and really diving head first into the holidays spirit(s). But what about Christmas Day -- where the hell can one go to find solace away from angry Uncle Bob and your Great Aunt Edna, who’s slowly drifting into lunacy?
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Caja China: All You Need to Know About Miami’s Cuban-Style Whole-Pig Roasts

Sansgibin (Thanksgiving) and Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) are the Cuban occasions reserved for caja china, a tradition that -- along with many Cuban refugees -- made its way to Miami in 1959. It also happens to be one of the most delicious ways to experience eating pork.
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What It's Like Growing Up in Miami & What You Learn When You Leave

“Sun, sand, and surf.”. “Vice City.”. “Bienvenido a Miami" (thanks a lot Will Smith). That’s how most people writing about Miami begin their stories. And then they go on to pontificate about how the city’s maturing. How we’re finally this estranged bourgeois definition of “cultural” now, a burgeoning metropolis.
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These Two Out-of-Towners Ate and Drank Their Way Through Savannah

PayPal and Airbnb’s “Meet Halfway” tool (which gives you $50 off now) lets any two far-flung friends discover the exact middle point between them. Thrillist decided to have two of their trusted writers -- Mandy Baca from Miami and Leo Schmid from Washington D.C. -- try it out and meet halfway in Savannah, Georgia.
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Mandy Baca

I am a freelance writer covering the topics of food, history and culture. I am also the author of The Sizzling History of Miami Cuisine: Cortaditos, Stone Crabs and Empanadas (The History Press, 2013) and Discovering Vintage Miami (Globe Pequot Press, 2014). I reside in the vibrant city of Miami where I continue my quest to inspire and advance the interest in local history. I am available for freelance work and would love to hear from you.