Going back out into the world might still feel intimidating to many of us in the era of pandemic re-opening. The options for having a good time outside the comfort of our homes seem minimal, but we’re here to assure you that you can still have loads of fun discovering Miami’s most beautiful neighborhoods responsibly. When we’re craving a burst of color and culture, Little Havana is easily the best option for a vibrant exploration into our own backyard. Take a look at some ideas:
Little Havana is home to some of the city’s best restaurants and not all of them are Cuban. In just a few blocks you can try fresh oysters, Asian specialties, Caribbean fusions, and beyond. Cafe La Trova is a great spot to get fully immersed into the Cuban experience. Of course, if you want to try some of Miami’s most authentic Thai food, head to Lung Yai Thai Tapas. We love Taquerias El Mexicano for their classic Mexican bites and outdoor courtyard. Top that off with some sweet indulgence at Azucar Ice Cream.
There’s no surprise that Little Havana and Calle Ocho are packed with culture, so whatever your poison is when it comes to entertainment, the neighborhood has it. Head to Futurama 1637 for some locally-made and Cuban-based artist on full display. While live music venues remain closed, you can still catch some tunes at smaller spaces like Bar Nancy with nightly performances starting on Wednesdays. The Tower Theater is finally re-opening with strict precautionary measures in place.
Tower Theater Facebook
Walking down Calle Ocho is one of our absolute favorite things. From the homegrown architecture and vintage storefront lettering, to the spaces filled with murals by local Cuban artists. You know it’s time to walk off that feast so we suggest starting with the Cuban Memorial Blvd Park for a slice of neighborhood history. Make your way up to Domino Park and get a game in or watch as the OG masters give each other a run for their money. Take your stroll up and down Calle Ocho and see the cigar rollers, La Isla gift shop, and the many creative quirks along the streets.
If you spend the day in Little Havana, which you easily can do, you’ll eventually find yourself in the neighborhood during happy hour. If you’re not much of a cocktail person, Union Beer Store is a great place to browse delicious craft brews to sip in-store or take home in growlers and packs. For a tourist-style experience, pop into Old’s Havana and order a Cuba Libre or mojito. Not feeling the Cuban immersion? El Santo Taqueria boasts some of the best margaritas in town. And if you’re still there in the evening on Fridays & Saturdays, make your way up the steps to the Los Altos speakeasy.
Courtesy of Los Altos
Little Havana keeps on growing, with new beloved spots opening on a constant stream. But there are still the landmark places that every first timer needs to say they’ve been to before truly getting the stamp of approval. El Palacio de Los Jugos is a tried and true, popular fruit spot also specializing in spectacular mojo and homemade delicacies. Of course, Little Havana technically begins (or ends, depending on which direction you’re driving) at Versailles. The ultimate institution.
Cover photo by FujiFilmGirl.