When I moved to Miami I remember thinking to myself, “I’ll be here 9 months maybe a year – no mas!” I absolutely hated Miami. I moved here in the brink of the 2008 economic meltdown and Brickell was a pretty boring place to live. The only place to grab a beer and chill was Tobacco Road, which at the time offered $0.96 burgers every Friday. Those burgers were the only things that kept me in Brickell! Nine years later I’m still here, and I’ve learned that in order to appreciate something you have to walk a mile in it’s shoes… in this case you have to drive down a few miles to Calle Ocho.
Calle Ocho in 2008 wasn’t the touristy location that it is now. Ball & Chain didn’t exist and tour busses definitely weren’t stopping for photos. I would drive down to pick up a pastellito de guayaba at Versailles. I would park my car and apprehensively explore the area because I was ridin’ solo and I’m a cute chick. But after a few of these trips, I realized I loved the area and I started dragging out my new Miami friends to grab food with me. The abuelitas would serve me extra because I was “muy flaka!”
It was a different place and time, and like the rest of Miami it’s also evolving and modernizing however the richness of the culture still exists within the streets today. If you’re looking to branch out of your normal weekend routine or want to try some yummy authentic Cuban food, read on for my favorite spots in Little Havana!
Maximo Gomez Park
Ball & Chain
Formerly a gambling den, mobster-owned club and jazz venue hosting luminaries like Billie Holiday from the 1930s–1950s, this storied nightspot reemerges in Little Havana once again!
Azucar Ice Cream Company
Azucar Ice Cream Company creates artisanal gourmet ice creams and sorbets in Cuban and tropical flavors in the heart of Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood. My indulgence is the Abuela Maria made with vanilla ice cream mixed with bright jewels of ruby red guava, rich cream cheese and crispy, sweet galletas Maria.
Los Pinarenos Fruteria
Alice & Olivia Dress (Similar Seath or Fun Cocktail version)// Shutz Shoes // Hand Painted Panama Hat // Color Block Handbag (Similar) // Smith & Cult Nail Color // PANDORA Bracelets (Cuff & Pink) // PANDORA Rings (Midi, Ring 1, Ring 2) // PANDORA Necklace
What are our favorite spots in Little Havana?
Let me know your favorite Little Havana hot spots in the comments below. Also if you know of any spots that have newly opened in Little Havana in Miami give them a shoutout in the comments too!