There may be an ocean between them, but there’s only 531km separating Cuba and the sunny coastline of Miami. This, along with the Cuban revolution in the 50s, helped to inspire a generation of natives to venture further afield, many settling into Florida’s golden coast in recent years.
Today, Cuban culture is proudly embedded in Miami life, bringing its food, fun and flair to the bright lights of the city. In this guide we’ll take a look at some of the best spots to visit.
Historical places to visit
Little Havana is the beating heart of this community, with eateries, salsa bars and a bustling street life reminiscent of Havana, oh na na! Leave your luxury Miami villa behind you and immerse yourself in all that’s great about the Latin spirit. Come on the last Friday of every month where local galleries showcase the art scene and this proud vibrant neighbourhood.
As you scour the streets, look out for craftsmen rolling Cuban cigars – a cultural symbol of its community. The Hispanic neighbourhood of Calle Ocho is a great place to soak it all up, head to El Titan de Bronze for some of the best cigars to bring home with you.
Of course, a trip to Miami would not be complete without a visit to some of the landmarks paying tribute to the people of Cuba. This includes the Freedom Tower on Biscayne Boulevard and The Torch of Friendship monument a few blocks away.
The best Cuban eateries in Miami
At the heart of Cuban culture is good times and good company. Food plays such an important role in family life, that its influence on local Miami cuisine has left an indelible mark. The city is well known for its cosmopolitan food scene, with a Cuban flair, and you can even hire in world-class Cuban chefs to your luxury Miami villa rental.
To understand the culture, you first need to understand it’s food scene, starting with a Cuban sandwich. Head to Sanguich de Miami – an institution known for its authentic cooking and street food, just check out their Instagram page for inspiration.
For sizzling steaks and traditional sides, Palomilla Grill is a top dining spot, along with La Carreta. This also happens to be of the longest family-run restaurants in the area, gracing customers with favourites like boliche (pot-roast) and Yuca with Mojo, to satisfy their cravings.
Don’t forget the coffee…
Hand-in-hand with good food is a classic Cuban coffee – one of the most-loved drinks in this city. There’s a whole host of coffee choices, including the punchy espresso to keep those Cuban heels partying all night and a casual leche (milk) version. Puerto Sagua on Collins Avenue is a great call when it comes to sampling this Latino favorite.
Where to party like a Cuban in Miami?
Salsa and Cuba go together like Miami and cocktails. So, when you’re ready for a Daiquiri, or perhaps a Cuba Libre, the Latin Café in Brickell Plaza is a popular choice for the late-night crowd, conveniently near to the plush Miami villa rentals.
But for salsa heaven, head to Ball & Chain in Little East Havana, which has welcomed jazz heroes like Billie Holiday and Chet Baker in the past. Today it remains a throbbing party place with great cocktails to boot.
Finally, just around the corner Los Altos is a tucked away behind a hidden way for those in the know. This speakeasy brings all the luxury villa vibes with its glamourous design and Mexican-inspired walls.
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