City Guide: Vamos a Calle Ocho, Señorita!

City Guide: Vamos a Calle Ocho, Señorita!

When I moved to Miami I remember thinking to myself, “I’ll be here 9 months maybe a year – no mas!” I absolutely hated Miami. I moved here in the brink of the 2008 economic meltdown and Brickell was a pretty boring place to live. The only place to grab a beer and chill was Tobacco Road, which at the time offered $0.96 burgers every Friday. Those burgers were the only things that kept me in Brickell! Nine years later I’m still here, and I’ve learned that in order to appreciate something you have to walk a mile in it’s shoes… in this case you have to drive down a few miles to Calle Ocho.

Calle Ocho in 2008 wasn’t the touristy location that it is now. Ball & Chain didn’t exist and tour busses definitely weren’t stopping  for photos. I would drive down to pick up a pastellito de guayaba at Versailles. I would park my car and apprehensively explore the area because I was ridin’ solo and I’m a cute chick. But after a few of these trips, I realized I loved the area and I started dragging out my new Miami friends to grab food with me. The abuelitas would serve me extra because I was “muy flaka!”

It was a different place and time, and like the rest of Miami it’s also evolving and modernizing however the richness of the culture still exists within the streets today. If you’re looking to branch out of your normal weekend routine or want to try some yummy authentic Cuban food, read on for my favorite spots in Little Havana!

{CLICK FOR MY INTERACTIVE LITTLE HAVANA MAP}

Maximo Gomez Park

Also known as “Domino Park,” Maximo Gomez Park is a Little Havana landmark, and meeting spot for older Cubans, at any time of day you will find residents sipping coffee, playing Dominoes and chatting with their friends. I’ll bring my ice cream from Azucar and watch the games unfold.
801 SW 15th Ave, Miami, FL 33135
+1 305-859-2717

Ball & Chain 

Formerly a gambling den, mobster-owned club and jazz venue hosting luminaries like Billie Holiday from the 1930s–1950s, this storied nightspot reemerges in Little Havana once again!

1513 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33135
+1 305-643-7820

Azucar Ice Cream Company

Azucar Ice Cream Company creates artisanal gourmet ice creams and sorbets in Cuban and tropical flavors in the heart of Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood. My indulgence is the Abuela Maria made with vanilla ice cream mixed with bright jewels of ruby red  guava, rich cream cheese and crispy, sweet galletas Maria.

1503 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33135
+1 305-381-0369

 

Los Pinarenos Fruteria

Los Pinareños Fruteria provides a taste of island life in a building that looks like it was airlifted from a rural town in the Vinales region of Pinar del Rio in Cuba. On the weekends you can find locals picking up fresh fruits. Insider tip: they serve one of the best cafe con leeches in Miami.
1334 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33135
+1 305-285-1135

Cafe Versailles

When my family comes in town from Puerto Rico you can rest assured we will dine here. Their pastellito de guayaba is one of my favorite treats on Calle Ocho.
3501 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33135
+1 305-441-2500

El Exquisito 

One of my favorite spots for yummy cuban food is El Exquisito. Tucked inconspicuously along Calle Ocho, Little Havana’s main drag, Exquisito Restaurant’s appeal is no secret. For more than 30 years the Coro family has been serving their Cuban cuisine to hungry locals
1510 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33135
+1 305-643-0227

{CLICK FOR MY INTERACTIVE LITTLE HAVANA MAP}

Alice & Olivia Dress (Similar Seath or Fun Cocktail version)// Shutz Shoes // Hand Painted Panama Hat // Color Block Handbag (Similar) //  Smith & Cult Nail Color // PANDORA Bracelets (Cuff & Pink) // PANDORA Rings (Midi, Ring 1, Ring 2) // PANDORA Necklace

Jewelry c/0 PANDORA

Panama Hat c/o Isla + Mar  

Thank you to Azucar Ice Cream for the yummy treat. 

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Evelyn Torres

As one of Miami’s top bloggers, Evelyn Torres has become one of the leading voices in fitness, fashion, and Miami. Brickellista started as a Twitter alias in 2009 and has expanded to become a lifestyle blog capturing a Miami girl’s perspective. Evelyn is a businesswoman, entrepreneur, brand ambassador and on the pulse of the Miami social scene.

Today as founder and Managing Director of BrickellistaFiles.com, Evelyn is not only the face of BrickellistaFiles, but oversees the strategy and direction. She is the driving force behind the brand and has built the go-to site for everything Miami.

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