Roam Miami is home to what used to be known as the Miami River Inn, the oldest hotel in the city listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in the early 1900’s, the Miami River Inn was originally a boarding house for transient workers on the river in Little Havana. Much like her geographical location, Miami is colorful, magnetic and exotic. Roam Miami is a quiet refuge amidst a sea of the glistening city’s towering condominiums, where our four historic buildings circle a swimming pool and lawn. Inside Roam Miami, the city feels worlds away. Outside the gate, Little Havana awaits with an abundance of restaurants and street life.
Latin culture is infused into the soul of Little Havana. Vibrant murals, tributes to heroes past and present, elderly men playing dominoes over political discussions and cigar rollers fill the ever-present aroma of fresh Cuban coffee. These scenes of daily life in Little Havana play out amidst a backdrop of pulsating traditional Cuban and Afro-Cuban music, storefronts, unique art galleries and quaint typical restaurants. Here are some of our favorite places in Little Havana.
Doce Provisions: Charming and airy, this new concept features artisanal versions of classic Cuban favorites. Independently owned and operated, the owners source all of the ingredients from local farms. It’s a little off the beaten path, but a trek tends to make the destination worthwhile. Try the fried chicken with sweet plantain waffle, pickled peppers, guava jelly and Sriracha honey sauce.
La Camaronera Seafood Joint & Fish Market: Simple and classic yet unmatchable. What originally opened as a market to purchase fresh fish, this staple spot expanded its offerings over the years as popularity grew. Today, the Garcia brothers fry up Cuban fish-fry at its best—try the Pan con Minuta signature fish sandwich with the tail on it.
Ball and Chain: Ball & Chain is an iconic nightclub offering music set amid a lively backyard patio atmosphere. The bar has historic roots, as the original property opened in 1935 and has held various names. Throughout the years, it has consistently remained a place of social gathering and drinking. Stop in for a show and a mojito; it’s only a matter of time before you start to feel the dance fever.
Versailles: This full service restaurant is not considered the most famous Cuban restaurant in the world for no reason. At Versailles they will whip you up one of the best cortaditos in Miami at their Ventanita, or outdoor coffee window in English. Cortadito, which translates to “short one”, is a popular Cuban Espresso in Miami. It’s sweet, strong, but not bitter, with a splash of milk to balance the flavor. The cafe cubano is another local specialty, made from equal parts espresso and sugar. Try both and you’ll surely be motivated to power-walk the whole city.
Calle Ocho: This is the colorful and popular main drag of Little Havana. Fruit stands, art galleries, Cuban restaurants and cigar shops line the avenue and Walkway of the Stars, which honors Latin American celebrities like Gloria Estefan and Celia Cruz. In the Spring, La Festival de la Calle Ocho rolls through this street celebrating Pan-American culture.
Domino Park: Practice your best poker face over a heated domino match against a local in the picturesque Máximo Gómez Park . You can just feel the easy Sunday morning vibes strolling through the park as it winds around, picking up on various conversations between old friends.
Cuba Tobacco Cigar Co. & Factory: Follow the potent fragrance of cigar smoke to the doorstep of this characteristic shop. Step in to experience the timeless art of rolling up a cigar, and then take it home with you. It is quite common for women to work in these shops, offering nimble efforts to the delicate process of rolling, sealing and labeling each cigar.
Tower Theater: Entertain your arts and culture fancies at this beautifully restored Art Deco Theater and celebrated venue. On the last Friday of each month, Little Havana hosts Viernes Culturales, or Cultural Fridays, a monthly gallery night showcasing the cultural arts scene of the neighborhood.