The Best Way to See Little Havana

The Best Way to See Little Havana

When I visit an area for the first time, I want to know all of the places that are a MUST SEE or DO. Our family knew that we wanted to visit Little Havana in Miami but it was a bit intimidating because we didn’t know what to order or which places that were best to stop at.

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That’s where the Little Havana Food Tour from Miami Culinary Tours came into play. They offer daily tours that last about 2.5 hours to Little Havana with 5 restaurant stops within 8 short city blocks.

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I LOVE taking food tours when I visit a city because I feel like you get to know more about the local culture by their food and from learning about the stories behind the places that you visit.

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We began out tour at Agustin Gainza Arts Gallery. Agustin is a Cuban-American artist who has been creating art in various mediums for over 4 decades. His art is available for sale at price points for all budgets inside the gallery. He learned more about his history and an overview of our tour guide Ralph, who is an American born Cuban.

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Little Havana Tour

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The next stop on our tour was at one of the oldest restaurants in the area called El Pub Restaurant that’s a local favorite for empanadas.

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The empanadas did not disappoint! A flaky crust on the outside and a wonderful combination of flavors with meat on the inside.

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The recipes displayed on the wall  have been passed down for generations. Make sure that you take a few moments to look at all of the walls because they are a time capsule of history.

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As you walk the streets, you will notice the stars that recognize famous Latinos who have made an impact on the community.

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Our tour gave us behind the scene access to where the cigars are being prepared at our next stop. Everyone knows that Cuban cigars are hailed as the best, but it’s an incredible experience to witness the craftsmanship behind making a Cuban cigar.

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Cuban Cigar shop Little Havana

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Check out that GIANT cigar inside the glass case pictured below!

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Of course we had to try a Cuban sandwich while in Little Havana.

Cuban Sandwich in Little Havana

Our stop was at El Exquisito Restaurant. My younger son deemed it the best sandwich that he has ever tried.

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At the same location we also tried Cuban coffee for the 1st time. It’s a game changer! It’s similar to an espresso and comes in the size of a shot. It’s sweet with punch and the perfect pick me up. I might have tried 3 of them and the experience was a bit of a tease because now I wish that we had Cuban coffee where we live.

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Our next stop had a lot of charm. This popular nightspot dates back to the 1930’s and was frequented by legendary singers who graced the stage.

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We enjoyed a mojito made with crushed mint leaves, a squeeze of lime, island rum with ice added at the end.

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There were virgin mojitos available for the kids and anyone who didn’t want alcohol to try.

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If you love art deco architecture, you will love the design of the theater that you pass by on your way to Domino Park.

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We were told that this was actually a quiet day for Domino Park during our visit.

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It didn’t look or sound very quiet. I wish I would have paid more attention in Spanish class. It was really interesting to observe this popular game in action. I loved the sense of community here.

Domino Park in Little Havana

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Street art fans will enjoy the vibrant murals in a variety of styles.

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We stopped Yisil Bakery for a popular sweet treat call guava that had a flaky crust and fruity filling.

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Ralph really made our tour so interesting and fun. We would have missed out on so much if we would have tried to replicate these stops on our own. You really need an insider to get the whole experience.

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Have you ever tried straight sugar cane juice? It’s amazing!

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We watched them pressed the sugar cane to create Guarapo. We learned about various produce at a fruit stand called Los Pinaderos Fruteria that has been around for over 100 years at our next stop.

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We learned more history at the Cuban Memorial Boulevard and Bay of Pigs Monument that honors the soldiers who died in the 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba.

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The last stop ended with a sweet treat at Azucar Ice Cream Company.

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They are famous for their Abuela Maria flavor (premium vanilla ice cream mixed with bright jewels of ruby red  guava, rich cream cheese and crispy, sweet galletas Maria)

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I sampled several other options that were equally delicious but I like to try things that I can’t have anywhere else.

ice cream in Little Havana Miami Culinary Food Tour

Our last stop was the perfect ending to our tour and we were beyond FULL! It was the good kind of hurt so good. I can’t speak highly enough about our tour. It was a great way for our family to experience the city within a short amount of time connecting with the local culture.

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You can find out more about the Little Havana Tour from the Miami Culinary Food Tour website.  You can also check out the South Beach and Wynwood Food & Art Tour. You can check out my post about our visit to Wynwood here.

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Thanks to Miami Culinary Food Tours for hosting our tour. We had a wonderful time! All opinions are my own. 

 

 

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