Gringa Favorites: Viernes Culturales and Little Havana
A typical tourist to Miami, Little Havana was high on my list of things to do when I first visited the city. Yet quickly upon arriving to Little Havana on my trip, I was disappointed as I walked around clueless trying to figure out what all the talk was about. After taking a picture with the painted rooster, wondering if I had somehow driven to the wrong 8th street and looking through a few of the small tourists shops, I left defeated.
Now as a Miami resident and Little Havana aficionado, I wanted to share a few of my favorite things to do for all of you visiting the 305 and for those of you living here who should check out things other than Versailles (we know, we love it too).
1. Viernes Culturales
Every last Friday of the month, Little Havana comes alive as art galleries open their doors and music pours into the streets full of people stopping at restaurants and checking out the scene. A different live band plays every month starting at 9:30 PM, so make sure to make end up at Domino Plaza (SW 15th Ave & 8th St.) for the show.
You should go ready to dance, and if you don’t have a dance partner, don’t worry—there is no shortage of caballeros ready to ask you to dance. They may be 50 years older than you…but they can dance.
To find out who is performing and more details about the monthly festival you can also visit the website.
2. Cuba Ocho
This is one of my favorite places to go on Calle Ocho. The space is so cool—covered with wall-to-wall art and tables scattered around the space. It’s always best to check the website to see who is performing, but cover is pretty consistently $10 for a great environment, dancing (always important) and live Cuban music. I once got to see Orquesta Aragon here when they were visiting from Cuba. Definitely the only gringa present and loved every moment.
1465 SW 8th St #106
No real secret here—Azúcar hace mucho está conocido por some of the best ice cream in Miami. Just wanted to remind you all.
1503 SW 8th St, Miami
4. Mr. Yum
Yes, we all know about La Carreta, Versailles and Casa Juancho, but have you ever tried Mr.Yum? I will admit…the name Mr.Yum had me picturing anything but a place where I wanted to eat, but as soon I as tried the ÑO roll, I was sold. Sushi with a Latin twist, the ÑO roll is Shrimp Tempura and Avocado topped with Sweet Plantain and Mango Sauce, and it is a Gringa must.
1945 SW 8th St .
5. Hoy Como Ayer
Recently featured in the movie Chef with Sofia Vergara and Jon Favreau, Hoy Como Ayer is one of those things everyone should experience once. I had the luck to see at 12-person Cuban band visiting Miami, and I think I may have been one of the only few non-relatives present. I think a gringo friend I took along said it best, “This is the most foreign experience I have ever had.”
Every night has a different vibe, so best to ask around or check out the website to see who is playing.
2212 SW 8th St.
So those are a few of my favorites, but we would love to hear from you! Only being in Miami a year, me falta conocer mucho todavia, so send along suggestions of other Little Havana spots I should visit next!