Miami Neighborhoods: Get Lost in Cuban Culture in Little Havana
Miami’s Cuban culture is unique in the United States, weaving the food, music, art and community into the fabric of the region. Little Havana offers year-round Cuban culture, but the neighborhood is extra special around the Calle Ocho Music Festival and the Gay8 Latino LGBTQ music, food and arts street festival.
Eat: Get your cortado, pastelito and Cuban sandwich fix at the one and only Versailles Restaurant, a landmark since 1971. For an always new experience, try bites from a rotating selection of chefs at the open-air pop-up space, The Wharf. Finish it off with a delectable dessert at Azucar Ice Cream Company. The beloved ice cream and gelato spot serves up flavors made from seasonal and locally grown fruit and vegetables.
Drink: Prepare to sip and be stunned at Cafe La Trova, an absolute-must for craft cocktail fans. The bar is committed to maintaining the legacy of the Cantineros, a Cuban bartending tradition that extends its expertise from mixology to hospitality to even the music at the bar. Freshen up your drink and your Instagram grid with some sipping selfies at Casa Florida. Belly up to the bar on the deck, a transformed shipping container, or in the 1969 GM bus converted into a cocktail lounge.
See: Art and camaraderie are on full display at the Cubaocho Museum and Performing Arts Center, featuring live entertainment, a cafe with a wide rum selection and an impressive collection of 19th and 20th Century Cuban art. For a more casual cultural immersion, visit Máximo Gómez Park, commonly known as Domino Park, where locals regularly throw down intense games.
Do: Get the inside scoop on the history and landmarks of Little Havana with a two-hour tour from Little Havana Cultural Tours. Third Friday of each month is Viernes Culturales, a hopping art and culture festivial at Domino Plaza.
Also Consider: Have a different, but just as deep cultural experience in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood. Of course it’s rich with Afro-Caribbean culture and history, like the Little Haiti Cultural Complex, but there’s also a vibrant arts scene, including vinyl lovers’ paradise Sweat Records and Miami’s one and only queer improv troupe, YAAAS Improv, at the Villain Theater.
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