Cuban culture helps define the food, night life, language, fashion, and every other facet of Miami. Little Havana is a great place to start if you want to truly experience this vibrant culture.
Located on Calle Ocho (SW 8th St.), this small but legendary cigar shop is a must see for any aficionado. You can watch master rollers busily work at their posts making some of the best cigars in town. Ask for Maria Sierra, one of the few remaining members of a group of women who used to roll cigars solely for Castro and his entourage.
With cigar in hand, you can now take a stroll a few blocks down Calle Ocho into the middle of Little Havana where you will find this small park that is often referred to as Domino Park. The hangout’s name is no mystery, as there are dozens of old Cuban retirees playing dominos and chess in the warm Miami sun. This is a great scene for anyone who wants to hop in a game, enjoy a stogie, or just catch a glimpse of daily life in LH.
No trip is complete without a souvenir, right? Well, instead of an “I’m In Miami Bitch” t-shirt, you may want to go for something a little more classy and authentic. The guayabera is the quintessential shirt of the Little Havana, and you will have seen many of those men in Domino Park wearing them. These button-downs often feature stripes, large breast pockets and short sleeves. Pair it with a bowler hat, and you’ll have the perfect Cuban get-up.
Head down a little farther on Calle Ocho and you will get to this special little Cuban diner. They are famous for their “fritas.” A frita is a small hamburger with a patty made of seasoned ground beef and pork and fried shoestring potatoes on top. El mago (the magician) makes the best patties in town, and his fries are made from scratch by julienning Idaho potatoes. President Obama has even been there!
As the sun sets, head over to this lively bar in the heart of Little Havana. On any night you can find people Salsa dancing in true Latin style. We recommend that you brush up on your Salsa before coming though as things can get pretty hot on the dance floor. And if you don’t know how to dance, not to worry; watching is just as fun!