Little Havana

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Overview

Explore Miami's vibrant Cuban heart - known for its street life, restaurants, small businesses, political passion, and overall warm among residents.

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Tripshepherd
Miami, FL 33135, USA, United States

Discover the lively Cuban heart of Miami, brimming with Latin American art galleries, mouth-watering restaurants, and Cuban coffee walk-up windows. Little Havana, named after the Cuban capital city, is a renowned Cuban exile neighborhood that's a must-visit destination in Miami.

The neighborhood is a hub of social, cultural, and political activity, teeming with street life, cultural activists, small businesses, high schools, music, political passion, and the welcoming spirit of its residents.

Don't miss out on the neighborhood's vibrant festivals, including Viernes Culturales, a monthly artistic and social fair that takes place on the last Friday of every month. Here, you can enjoy outdoor musical performances, and art exhibits, and sample delicious cuisine!

What to Know

Looking for a vibrant neighborhood in Miami that'll get your heart pumping and make your tastebuds dance? Look no further than Little Havana (or Pequeña Habana in Spanish). This is the place to be for Cuban exiles, as well as many immigrants from Central and South America.

Named after the Cuban capital and largest city, Little Havana is a hub of social, cultural, and political activity in Miami. 

Make sure to catch the highly celebrated events in Little Havana, such as the Calle Ocho Festival, Viernes Culturales/Cultural Fridays, and the Three Kings Parade, which are broadcasted to millions worldwide.

You'll also find some of the area's most iconic landmarks, like Calle Ocho (or SW 8th Street/Tamiami Trail), and the Walk of Fame honoring Latin personalities like Celia Cruz, Willy Chirino, and Gloria Estefan.

You might wanna rent a bedroom apartment in Little Havana if you want to explore this neighborhood more than just as a tourist. The typical cost to rent an apartment in Little Havana, Miami, FL each month is approximately $2,532. But those with deep pockets can secure a swanky pad in Altis Little Havana.

Don't forget to research rent trends and average rent in Little Havana before your trip for a worry-free stay. Plan your budget and make informed decisions about accommodations to ensure a secure and enjoyable visit! 

Not only is Little Havana a must-see destination, but it's also a historic treasure. The National Trust for Historic Preservation named it one of the 11 Most Endangered Places in 2015 and later declared it a national treasure in 2017.

So what are you waiting for? Come experience the street life, restaurants, music, and cultural activities of Little Havana and be swept up in the passion and warmth of its residents. To make the most of your trip to Miami, consider visiting the vibrant neighborhoods of Coconut Grove, and Coral Gables after you visit Little Havana! 

Best Time to Visit

While Little Havana is open 24 hours a day, the best time to visit is between 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm. This is when the neighborhood comes alive with vibrant music, bustling streets, and the delicious aroma of authentic Cuban cuisine.

In the early evening, visitors can enjoy live music and dance performances at various venues, as well as take part in the popular Calle Ocho Walk of Fame. It is also the perfect time to experience the energetic nightlife scene in Little Havana.

To fully explore and immerse yourself in the culture, plan for at least three hours to enjoy all that Little Havana has to offer.


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How to Get There

To reach your destination, hop on the 207 or 208 Little Havana Connecting lines when traveling by bus. These lines can be boarded at the Government Center and Brickell MetroRail/MetroMover Stations. When you arrive at SW 8 Street and 12 Avenue, be sure to get off the bus.

In and around Little Havana, there are various locations where you can find free parking spots if you get there by car, such as Lot 82 in the Cultural District and certain residential streets. For a hassle-free experience, book a Walking Tour which will take you on a Cuban culinary journey that will leave you craving more! 

Artistic Heritage

Discover the cultural heart of Little Havana at the Cubaocho Art and Research Center, where you can immerse yourself in the rich artistic heritage of Cuba. Marvel at the stunning collection of Cuban art, including the incredible 113-inch long oil painting "La Rumba" by Antonio Sánchez Araujo.

Savor a hand-rolled cigar or a chilled rum drink while enjoying the company of Cuban artists, musicians, and intellectuals who gather at this local venue.

Step back in time at the Tower Theater, one of Miami's oldest cultural landmarks, and experience the vibrant history of the Cuban immigrant community.

Originally a movie theater in the 1920s, it became a popular spot for Cuban immigrants to watch American blockbusters with Spanish subtitles, helping them to understand life in the United States and the English language.

Today, the Tower Theater hosts a variety of cultural exhibitions, performances, educational lectures, and films in both Spanish and English, sponsored by Miami Dade College. Come and be a part of the rich cultural heritage of Little Havana!

Cuban Cuisine & Nightlife 

Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Cuba through its mouth-watering cuisine. Start your culinary journey at Los Pinareños fruit market (1334 SW 8th St.), owned by locals from the region of Cuba with the same name. Stroll around the market and try a batido de mamey, a sweet milkshake made from fresh tropical fruit.

Don't miss the chance to indulge in authentic Cuban dishes at El Cristo Restaurant (1543 SW 8th St.). Savor a Cuban sandwich, croquetas, or a plate of ropa vieja, a juicy shredded beef dish with black beans, rice, and platanos maduros (sweet plantains). With your belly full and your heart content, you'll be enchanted by the friendly people and lively culture of Little Havana.

For a memorable night out, head to Ball & Chain, a Cuban-style restaurant, lounge, and music venue located in the heart of Little Havana. Sip on a mojito and savor a Cuban cigar while enjoying great music, people-watching, and strong cocktails. Let loose and dance the night away to the sounds of salsa, jazz, and other Latin rhythms.

Don't miss the chance to experience the authentic Cuban culture of Little Havana through its food, music, and people. Plan your visit now and book your spot at Ball & Chain for an unforgettable night out.

If you're overwhelmed by these food options, book a guided Little Havana Food & Walking Tour to sample the best foods this place has to offer! 

Features 

Little Havana, Miami, FL is a place where visitors can experience authentic Hispanic culture, enjoy delicious Cuban cuisine, sip on strong cafecitos, and witness a thriving arts and culture scene with a distinctly Cuban flavor.

It is a must-visit destination for anyone planning a vacation to Greater Miami & Miami Beach, as it offers a unique and genuine experience of Cuban culture.

At the heart of the neighborhood is SW 8th Street, locally known as Calle Ocho, which is lined with locally-owned businesses including bakeries, coffee stands, restaurants, and fruit markets.

The area has a quaint and neighborly feel, with a tight-knit community where people meander down the street and greet their neighbors with Que tal? Como esta? The streets are colorful, adorned with painted and mosaic tile murals depicting Cuban symbols and legends.

Little Havana is also a hub for arts and culture, with the Futurama Building at 1637 SW 8th Street serving as the epicenter for art in the neighborhood. The creative workspace features 12 studios and galleries occupied by local artists, which are open to the public. There are also numerous galleries around the area showcasing a variety of art styles.

The neighborhood is vibrant day and night, with Viernes Culturales (Cultural Fridays) being a monthly celebration of the arts and cultural offerings of local restaurants, bars, shops, and galleries.

The annual Carnaval Calle Ocho Festival in March is also a significant event, drawing huge crowds to celebrate the neighborhood's culture. Little Havana is an excellent destination for those looking to immerse themselves in Cuban culture and experience the warmth and vibrancy of this unique community.


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History 

Little Havana's history is a fascinating one. Originally, it was a middle-class neighborhood with a thriving Jewish population in the 1930s. But it wasn't until the 1960s that the area truly became known as Little Havana.

That's when a vast influx of Cuban refugees settled in the Shenandoah and Riverside neighborhoods, immediately west of Downtown Miami, making it a center for the Cuban exile community.

In the 1960s, the neighborhood became a hotbed of counter-revolutionary activity, as many Cubans were fleeing the Castro regime. The residents thought their stay in Miami would be temporary, but Castro remained in power, and the neighborhood became a stronghold for Cuban-owned businesses.

Today, Little Havana is home to the highest concentration of Hispanics (98%) in Miami, with a significant decrease in the Cuban population and an increase in groups from other Central American countries. Although the neighborhood has become more diverse, the majority of businesses in the area are still owned by Cubans.