While Little Havana is still the main district for Miami’s large Cuban population, it also now encompasses a broader Latin community from throughout Central and South America. This wonderfully colourful neighbourhood is rich in Cuban culture and Hispanic traditions and is just a short walk from Downtown Miami along Calle Ocho (8th Street), Little Havana’s busy main street.
It’s easy to become immersed in the vibrant atmosphere along Calle Ocho and what better way to become acquainted with the neighbourhood than through its authentic Cuban food. From maduros and roasted pork, tamales, tortilla sandwiches and many other delectable dishes, it’s hard to know what to try first. After a meal, visit the Versailles bakery for their famous guava cheesecake or pastries. Coffee lovers must try a cafecito. This dark, rich Cuban style espresso is strong and sweet and a staple of Cuban culture.
The arts, politics and of course cigars also play a large role in the Cuban community. Enjoy the several galleries and museums that showcase some of the finest examples of Cuban art in the U.S. Visit the Bay of Pigs Museum which highlights the events of this historic event in the Cuban American community. Take a stroll through the Little Havana parks where monuments can be found celebrating the Cuban freedom fighters. The laid back atmosphere of the neighbourhood is personified by the men playing chess in these quiet parks.
Little Havana is just west of Downtown Miami and I-95. To reach Calle Ocho (SW 8th Street) exit Interstate 95 or proceed from downtown on SW 7th Street as this is a one way street heading west into Little Havana. Travel on Calle Ocho is one way in the opposite direction.