If you’re exploring Miami you have to head to Little Havana and walk along Calle Oche or ‘8th street’. This is the Cuban quarter of the city and full of character. Although usually packed with tourists, it’s definitely a worthwhile visit to catch a Cuban experience and meet the locals. You will notice straight away that it is different to other areas of the city. Here is a list of things to do as you along Calle Oche, the main street in Little Havana:
- Get a Cuban Coffee
This is a must. Served in a small cup, similar to that of an Italian espresso the Cuban coffee is made with demerara sugar that has been whipped by the first drips of the espresso. Therefore, slightly sweeter in taste but satisfied my high standards of coffee since living in Italy. A good coffee is often hard to find in the States but the Cubans do it well. You can find a Cuban coffee in most places you will pass along Calle Oche. I had mine at Old’s Havana Cuban Bar (see below) and just noticed that it is ranked number one on Yelp.
2. Visit Los Pinorenos Fruiteria and try a freshly squeezed juice or smoothie.
A family owned open air flower and fruit stand serving juices and smoothies made from fresh fruit and Cuban sugar cane.
3. Eat at Old’s Havana Cuban Bar & Cocina
I chose to visit Little Havana around lunchtime as I wanted to try some Cuban food and I stumbled across this place as I walked down Calle Oche. A quick google search of reviews ensured me that it was a good choice. I sat at the bar and tried to make small talk with the bartenders, however their limited english cut our conversation short. Glasses filled with mint leaves and sugar cane lined the bar counter, ready to go if someone ordered a mojito. I didn’t order one but I saw from the menu that they have an extensive list of different types, all served with a cane of Cuban sugar – looked delish but a bit too early for me. I had a look at the food menu and everything was well priced and more reasonable than other places in the area. I decided on the ‘Pollo Asado’ (roasted chicken) and let me tell you it was amazing. For $12 it was a generous portion which included 2 sides (vegetables and a salad which I could not finish). I would highly recommend this spot as a quality place to eat.
4. Watch Games of Dominoes at Parque Del Domino
This park is the local hang out and fascinating to see. Tables upon tables of locals people playing dominoes all day long. Members only may play but you can walk in and watch the games. The park is also known as “Parque Maximo Gomez” and it is the gathering place for older Cuban culture in Miami.
5. Check out the street art and roosters of little Havana
The Cuban roosters of little Havana can be found just outside El Pub Restaurant and across the street.
6. Latin Walk of Fame
Also known as the ‘Calle Ocho Walk of Fame’. Just like the Hollywood walk of fame, stars run along the pavement of Calle Oche including names of Latin stars which have impacted the Latin America Music and entertainment culture.