By: Dana Rozansky
Little Havana, which is home to the well-known “Calle Ocho” or Eighth Street (for all my gringos out there), holds an important piece of Miami’s culture. This neck of the woods is bustling with tourists, classic Cuban restaurants, viejitos playing Dominos in the park, and so much more. As a Miami local, I never truly explored Little Havana growing up because I was unaware of all that it had to offer. And in recent years, that offering has continued to grow beyond belief, attracting locals and tourists from near and far.
So if you have yet to explore this part of town, here are a few reasons to entice you to do so. Without further ado, below are my top 5 Little Havana hotspots:
One of the first reasons I ventured to Little Havana was to try Doce Provisions, and it did not disappoint. Delicious, Cuban cuisine with a twist that will leave you wanting more. Locally sourced, quality ingredients bring life to standout items like BBQ short rib tacos and vaca frita tostones. They also have a killer Sunday brunch featuring items like key lime pie waffles.
Azucar is one of my favorite places to get ice cream in all of Miami. This quaint Cuban ice cream shop boats a wide variety of unique flavors, but first timers MUST (I repeat, MUST) try the iconic Abuela Maria flavor packed with guava, cream cheese & galletas Maria. A family recipe and a true Cuban classic.
This fun Cuban bar will transport you far away from the South Beach club scene people often envision when thinking of nightlife in the 305. Trade in your stilettos for your dancing shoes because this lively, casual bar is calling you to the dance floor. Live music and a wide-open patio set the scene for a good time at Ball & Chain – no matter the occasion.
This authentic Cuban restaurant and bar is the newest on the Calle Ocho scene. With grab-and-go Cuban pastries being sold in the front, and a trendy bar in the back, there’s something for everyone here. Plus, with a full food menu created by award-winning Chef Michelle Bernstein, La Trova has all of the ingredients for success.
This brand-new boutique hotel is nestled in the heart of Little Havana and it exudes charm from the second you walk in. You can enjoy cocktails in the outdoor courtyard, with herbs and garnishes picked straight from the garden. The cocktails are just a precursor to the delicious food at Life House. The on-property café, Parcela, has a delicious array of healthy items created by the amazing Chef Perse. In need of a staycation? This is the perfect spot to sneak away from the hustle & bustle of daily life and enjoy some peace & quiet.
So for a true taste of Miami, make Little Havana your next stop.