Miami is not only known for its famous beaches, but also for being an international city as well. The city is home to thousands of immigrants from all over the world and it is also visited by a lot of people each year. There are a lot of tourist spots to go to if you are spending your vacation in Miami and one of the must-go places that you need to include in your list is Little Havana. It’s a mix of Cuban culture and American culture and is located in the city itself.
Little Havana is home to Miami’s thriving Latino community. It all started when the Cubans migrated to Florida when Fidel Castro came into power during the 1950s. As more and more Cubans migrated to Florida and during the 1960s, the area where Cubans lived was named the Little Havana and now the area is a very popular spot to go if you want to experience their culture.
Cubans are known to produce the best cigars in the world and when you visit Little Havana, you can see a lot of cigar shops especially in Calle Ocho. One of the more popular shops is the Cuba Tobacco Cigar Company. The shop has its reputation for being managed by five generations of the Bello family and if you are lucky, you might be able to see Don Pedro Bello himself smoking a cigar in the doorway, but of course in a laid back advertisement.
Cuban Ice Cream
Miami is a go to place especially in the summer and during this time, you might be experiencing very hot weather. What better way to fight the hot sun than with some ice cream? Just like the Italians have their own version of the ice cream which is the gelato, the Cubans also mixed a special ice cream called the mantecado which is a mixture of nutmeg, vanilla, and cinnamon.
There are a lot of restaurants that can be found in Little Havana that will let you experience the culinary highlights of Cuban culture. From fruit stalls to ice cream vendors to the bigger restaurants. El Pub is a famous diner in Little Havana and is known for serving Cuban hamburgers made of chorizo, codfish, and plantain chips. You can sit at the counter and spend hours talking to the locals or you can take your food and get one of the restaurant booths that have an awesome view of the restaurant complete with lazy ceiling fans and cabinets that are stacked with sandwiches.
After eating lunch, one of the best ways to spend the afternoon is by watching domino games played at the Maximo Gomez Park. Here you will see the locals playing domino and some are even wearing traditional Cuban clothing. You can also chat with the locals and let them tell you their story about how they ended up in Miami where they will be very eager to share their story with you.