Alright, so if you live in Miami and/or you’re familiar with the South Floridian city, you have probably heard about its synonyms “North Cuba” or “Miami, D.C. (District of Cuba). Here is my little guide to a super Cuban experience in Miami.
- Ball and Chain (Calle Ocho, Little Havana)
If you’re giving Ball & Chain any less than 5 stars we can’t friends. But honestly, this place is off the chain (pun intended). This iconic bar is right in the heart of Little Havana. The business first opened in 1935 until the end 50’s and just got remodeled recently. I can guarantee you’ll have a great time there especially on Sundays. They have live music outside on the pineapple stage (there is no stage that is more Miami than this one) and a great atmosphere. They have modern Cuban tapas for about $8 dollars and drinks around $12. I highly recommend the Cuban egg roll, the Elena Ruth sandwich and the Pastelito Daiquiri that comes with Bacardi Rum, guava puree, house-made honey syrup, lime juice and has a guava pastelito on top.
2. Versailles (Calle Ocho, Little Havana)
This restaurant is almost like a Cuban landmark. You’ll get authentic Cuban food. They have a little ventana (window) where you can pick up Cuban coffee and pastelitos (pastries). You’ll also hear a lot of Cuba-related political talk there which is quite entertaining. I’ll be forever grateful that Versailles was one of the first restaurants to open right after hurricane Irma to feed us.
3. Son Cubano (Coral Gables)
Why are these people so loud? Son Cubano(s)!
I went here for a spontaneous date night to see if this place lives up to its hype!
And I wasn’t disappointed! There was some entertainment going on with a live band playing Cuban music and people dancing to it. It’s not a good place to talk but rather to have a good time. I ordered the Cuban Mule which was delicioso. We ordered a salad, the short rib and the Cuban egg roll. The latter was my favorite! I would recommend this place for the appetizers and some drinks.
They have a cigar lounge upstairs that was closed when we were there. Huge plus is that they had Voli305 vodka. I always support places that have local products. They also have valet parking .
If you happen to be in the beautiful heart of Coral Gables, you should swing by and check it out!
4. Azucar (Calle Ocho, Little Havana)
I fully support any place founded by a local that tries to only use local produce and reps the 305! Azucar stands for all that! It’s in the heart of Little Havana on Calle Ocho across from the Domino Park and next to Ball & Chain. I read that the owner used to go to the Domino Park and have the viejitos (old men) sample new ice-cream flavors. You’ll see paintings of Cuban legend Celia Cruz and the cups have Cuban and Spanglish dichos (sayings) on them. Azucar offers different flavors all the time and sometimes they even have the highly sought after cinnamon rolls from Knaus Berry Farm in Homestead. My favorite ice-cream of all time is the Abuela Maria ice-cream with Abuela Maria crackers, Guayaba and cream cheese. Just note that this is not gelato but self-made ice-cream. If you want to try out a place that’s a 100% Miami , go to Azucar!
5. Take a pic with a rooster in Little Havana
Super touristy thing to do but these little guys are just are part of Little Havana. And as you can see – I’m enjoying myself!