Grab your guayabera, a Cuban cigar and explore Little Havana today!
I am the epitome of a Miami girl. From my accent to my vocabulary, I scream Miami and let me be the first to tell you, I’m very proud of my city.
So let me begin this blog journey with my first post by showing you – my Miami. I’ll be exploring different neighborhoods showcasing good eats, picturesque scenery, beauty finds, my fashion choices and what I love most, Miami.
When my boyfriend Mychael and I decided to move in together (we’ll talk about moving in with a significant-other in the near future), we found a little gem of an apartment in the heart of Little Havana.
As much as Miami continues to grow, many neighborhoods have become gentrified, but not Little Havana. When Fidel Castro came into power in the late 1950s many Cubans fled to Miami and made this community just west of Downtown Miami their own slice of Cuba. Little Havana is a vibrant area that often times makes you forget you’re still in Miami.
Here are some of my favorite places to visit, eat and people watch, which happens to be my favorite past time.
- Domino Park/Maximo Gomez Park |801 SW 15 Avenue, Miami, FL
On any given day you can catch an intense game of dominoes being played by locals. Growing up as a Cuban-American woman, I learned from my Abuelo Pepe and uncles how to play. But don’t come to this park if you’re not ready to throw down. These domino-veterans mean business.
- El Exquisito |1510 SW 8 Street, Miami, FL
If I could eat vaca fita con arroz blanco y frijoles negros every day of my life, I probably would. Swing by El Exquisito, located right on Calle Ocho for a delicious Cuban meal. And before you go, stop by la ventanita (small window on the outside) for your daily dose of Cuban coffee. A cortadito a day, keeps us young and going.
- Azucar Ice Cream |1503 SW 8 Street, Miami, FL
This is a MUST when visiting Little Havana. Their famed Abuela Maria contains homemade vanilla ice cream, cream cheese, guava and Galletas Maria. I, for the most part, never veer from my mint chocolate chip ice cream choice, but if I come to Azucar, I can’t say no to Abuela. Oh and prepare for a line!
- Miami Smokers | 306 NW 27 Avenue, Miami, FL (Currently closed for renovations)
I love bacon but if it’s possible I fell more in love with bacon when I visited Miami Smokers and tried their Havana Club sandwich. This little restaurant and shop has a unique selection of smokehouse and sausage sandwiches, bacon snacks and sweets. If you don’t take my suggestions on anything, the least you could do is visit them and order bacon wrapped plantains. Thank me later.
- Ball and Chain |1513 SW 8 Street, Miami, FL
Live music, delicious food and salsa dancing makes for one of the hottest bars/lounges in the area. Their specialty cocktails will have you up and dancing in no time. If you’re into fruity drinks, try the Pastelito Daquiri, it’s a pastelito de guayaba in the form of a drink. It even comes garnished with one! And don’t forget to grab some tapas to keep your energy up throughout the night. Stop by for ‘Sundays on the Ocho’ and happy hour from 4 PM to 7 PM with live performances at the pineapple stage.
- Tower Theater |1508 SW 8 Street, Miami, FL
Opened in 1926, Tower Theater is operated by Miami Dade College and is one of Miami’s oldest theaters. Programming at the theater includes a mix of Spanish-language films and English-language films subtitled in Spanish, as well as free lectures given by Miami Dade College faculty.
Crack open a cold, fresh Jupiña and drive over to Calle Ocho for a day of heritage, salsa dancing and good eats.