Little Havana is one of Miami’s most cultured neighborhoods. Rich Latin culture runs deeply through the veins of Calle Ocho. A visit to this area calls for good food, live music, a game of dominos, and maybe even a cigar or two. Little Havana is an easy to navigate neighborhood with plenty to see and do — make sure to plan a day of it on your next trip to Miami.
Here are five places you must visit when you are in Little Havana:
Ball & Chain
An adventure in Little Havana isn’t complete without a mojito and a little salsa dancing. Ball & Chain is a historic landmark whose live music and fun vibes draw crowds of locals and tourists alike. Established in 1935, Ball & Chain has seen the likes of Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald, while through the years has maintained its status as one of the most exciting spots to hang out in the area. At any given moment, expect to hear live music as you walk past that more often than not will lure you in, and the delicious Cuban bites and cocktails will make you linger. If you happen to find yourself on Miami Culinary Tours’ Little Havana food tour, you’ll get the chance to see Ball & Chain in all its glory.
Maximo Gomez Domino Park
One of Little Havana’s most well-known landmarks is located on the corner of Calle Ocho and 15th avenue. Maximo Gomez Domino Park is open daily and constantly full of local residents telling tales of their childhood, drinking coffee, and arguing politics over riveting games of dominos. There’s plenty of colorful artwork and benches for spectators to occupy as they watch the competitive games go down. You haven’t properly spent the day in Little Havana until you’ve witnessed an old school game of dominos. The park is open to the public, but if you’re looking for a bit more cultural intel, grab a ticket for Miami Culinary Tours’ Little Havana Culture and Bites tour.
Make sure to visit Little Havana on a night out. Los Altos is only open Wednesday through Saturday and is well worth staying up late. Located on top of Taquerias el Mexicano (one of the area’s longest-standing Mexican restaurants), you’ll find Los Altos — a sleek mezcal fueled lounge with DJs, dancers, and light night cocktails. But to be able to enjoy Los Altos, you’ll first have to take a trip through an authentic Mexican candy shop and figure out the secret password.
Can’t do Little Havana without getting a taste of delicious Cuban food. There are plenty of options for Cuban food along Calle Ocho, but there’s something special about Versailles. It’s self-proclaimed “world’s most famous Cuban restaurant” and is visited yearly by politicians and celebrities. Ordering food from the ventanita (or outdoor window) is a rite of passage for any trip to Miami. Grab a full meal or a cafe and a couple of croquetas as a proper snack.
El Titan de Bronze
If you love cigars, then a trip to Little Havana is just right for you. El Titan De Bronze has been around since 1995. It’s a family-owned cigar factory that specializes in hand-rolled cigars with the spirit of Cuban in each of them. The cigar rollers have the highest certifications and their passion is evident in all they do. Due to the high standards at El Titan De Bronze, each style of a cigar is produced in boutique quantities. For those who want to learn more about the cigar factory, make your way in with Miami Culinary Tours’ Little Havana Tour.