The Best Bars in Little Havana, Miami

Cuban art, culture and lifestyle is preserved in Little Havana, Miami
Cuban art, culture and lifestyle is preserved in Little Havana, Miami | © Russell Kord / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Shyla Watson
9 February 2017

Curated by Cuban exiles in the sixties, Little Havana offers everything from Latin American art to cigar specialists and great coffee in Miami, Florida. Of course, it’s not just coffee on the menu in Cuba; you’d be hard pressed to traverse the streets of Havana without passing a lively cocktail bar on most corners – so why should Little Havana be any different? We list the top spots, from traditional bars to some local watering holes that may surprise you.

Hoy Como Ayer

Bar, Nightclub, Cuban, Pub Grub, $$$
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Musicians playing Salsa at Hoy Como Ayer Salsa Club with concerts Calle Ocho Little Havana Miami
Musicians playing Salsa at Hoy Como Ayer Salsa Club | © Ingolf Pompe 9 / Alamy Stock Photo
This Miami New Times “Reader’s Choice” winner was voted Best Latin Club in Miami, and it’s easy to see why. This exclusive club is only open three nights a week, so make a reservation to ensure that you don’t miss out on any of the fun. Dance the night away to the live music and refresh yourself with a cool drink from the bar, or a snack off the extensive tapas menu.

La Esquina de la Fama

Restaurant, Cuban, American, $$$
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La Esquina de la Fama, Miami, Florida, USA
La Esquina de la Fama | © Torontonian / Alamy Stock Photo
This hole-in-the-wall restaurant serves classic Cuban and Latin American dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. However, the real stars of this establishment are the delicious mojitos; locals claim that they are the best in Little Havana. Open all day and well into the night, it’s a great place to stop for happy hour after work or before you go out for the night.

Happy Wine, Calle Ocho

Bar, Wine, Tapas
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Though small, this mom-and-pop shop promises a whole lot of enjoyment for any wine aficionado. There are over 1,000 premium wines available, varying in type, year, price, and size. No wonder they named it Happy Wine. There’s a small menu of tapas, panini, salads, and desserts to perfectly compliment any drink. Beginning at 6:00pm Wednesdays through Saturdays, the atmosphere is transformed by live music. Saturday afternoons feature a free wine tasting and on Mondays and Tuesdays you can enjoy ‘Moët Around the Clock’ – a happy hour where the price matches the time. If it’s 5pm, a glass only costs $5 – get there early.

CubaOcho Museum and Performing Arts Centre

Bar, Cocktails, $$$
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The Cubaocho Museum and Performing Arts Center on Calle Ocho in Miami?s Little Havana.
The Cubaocho Museum and Performing Arts Center | © Daniel Wilson / Alamy Stock Photo
Located on the Calle Ocho, this facility supports all things artistic. Their extensive collection of works, mostly by Cuban artists, spans from 1850 to 1958. The center is focused on educating the community on art, music and literature, and puts on events such as salsa dancing every Thursday, Tango on Tuesdays, and live music and festivals throughout the year.

Batting Cage Sports Bar & Lounge

Bar, Cafe, Restaurant, American, $$$
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This sports bar holds its own against any in the city. Across from Marlins Park, the Batting Cage is equipped with numerous televisions perfect for watching any game. The menu includes all the best game day foods: wings, nachos, fries, and beers. The shrimp cocktails and stuffed burgers are recommended. Whether live or a DJ set, the music gets you moving and ready to cheer on your favorite team.

Casa Panza Cafe

Cafe, Restaurant, Spanish, Tapas, $$$
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Though most of the bars and restaurants in Little Havana celebrate the Cuban culture, Casa Panza is Spanish, which makes it a great place to try something new. Discover Iberian cuisine or enjoy a dynamic performance of flamenco music and dancing. The inner decor resembles a warm cave, so make this casa your own cozy oasis.

Ball & Chain

Restaurant, Nightclub, Bar, Cocktail Bar, Cuban, $$$
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The Ball and Chain in Little Havana, Miami, Florida. Iconic nightclub from the 1930s-1950s, now a live-music venue with Cuban-style food & drink
The Ball and Chain | © James Nesterwitz / Alamy Stock Photo

In 1935, Ball & Chain opened as a saloon, featuring live performers such as Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, and Louis Armstrong. This historic bar and lounge closed down after over 25 years, in 1957. Luckily for all residents and visitors of Little Havana, this once-great establishment has reopened and is quickly building up to its former glory. Don’t miss the live performances, karaoke nights, and free salsa classes that are run throughout the week; all while enjoying their delicious and talked about cocktails.

Casa Juancho Restaurant

Restaurant, Spanish, $$$
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Juancho’s is the place for fine Spanish cuisine in Little Havana. Over the years, they’ve received over a dozen accolades for their warm atmosphere, delicious food, and wine. The wine list is very extensive, featuring bottles from five separate countries. Though this may be a fancier joint than many in the neighborhood, they still know how to have a good time. Live music is played daily and it’s not uncommon for customers to get up and start dancing.

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