Get us in your inbox

Search
Café La Trova
Photograph: Courtesy Café La Trova

The best Little Havana restaurants in Miami for amazing eats

Go global at the best restaurants in Little Havana, featuring wonderful options for Cuban, Mexican and Thai cuisine.

Virginia Gil
Written by
Virginia Gil
Advertising

February 2020: Little Havana is rapidly evolving and expanding and—lucky for you—we’re keeping track of all the changes you need to know. All of our top Little Havana restaurants have stuck around, including Cubano legend Sanguich. But our list of favorites grows with the neighborhood’s first rooftop bar and restaurant, Terras, and Cuban seafood joint Sala’o. Ready to turn up? Take the party to El Santo, LH’s buzzy supper club. 

For culinary landmarks of the Latin variety head to the best restaurants in Little Havana, Miami. The neighborhood encompassing Calle Ocho and surrounding areas is chock-full of good eats, including Miami’s finest Cubanos, plus more surprising fare like Asian street food and Spanish tapas. But you didn’t trek all the way out there just for food, did you? After dinner, sidle up at one of Miami’s best bars for a cocktail before making your way to one of the ’hood’s L­atin music venues to salsa the night (and calories) away.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Little Havana

Best of the city under one roof

  • Restaurants
  • Ice cream parlors
  • East Little Havana

What is it? Little Havana's—and we'd argue Miami—most famous ice cream parlor sells all sorts of irresistible, only-in-Miami flavors.

Why go? The Abuela Maria with crumbled Maria crackers and guava and cream cheese, the flan ice cream with heaps of Cuban rum, the Knaus Berry Farm with bourbon-soaked chunks of those hard-to-get-your-hands-on cinnamon rolls... we could wax poetic all day on Suzy Batlle's flavors but we'll let you go and decide for yourself. 

Best Little Havana restaurants

  • Restaurants
  • Sandwich shops
  • East Little Havana
  • price 1 of 4

What is it? A quaint, 25-seat restaurant with an edited menu of classic Cuban sandwiches and made-to-order batidos (Cuban milkshakes, for the uninitiated).

Why go? The best Cubano in Miami resides here. It consists of mostly housemade ingredients—cured ham, pork brined in-house, fresh pickles and artisanal mustard—plus crusty Cuban bread made specifically to Sanguich's specifications. 

  • Restaurants
  • Thai
  • East Little Havana
  • price 2 of 4

What is it? Chef Bas’ ode to his native Thailand is a compact restaurant serving above-average curries you will most definitely have to stand in line for to try. But every single one is worth it.

Why go? Part of the shtick here is that you’re only allowed to order once, so make sure the pad see ew with beef and khao soi gai find their way to your table. One’s a noodle dish and the other is a golden curry, and both will blow you away.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • East Little Havana
  • price 2 of 4

What is it? Michelle Bernstein and Julio Cabrera’s just-opened cafe and lounge transports you from Little Havana to old-world Cuba with classic cocktails and elevated small plates and bar snacks.

Why go? The inimitable pairing of Bernstein and Cabrera is nothing short of magic manifested in mouthwatering paella croquetas, the Instagrammable chancleta cocktail and so much more contained in a beautifully evocative space.

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • East Little Havana
  • price 2 of 4

What is it? The only rooftop bar and restaurant in Little Havana sits away from the action on Calle Ocho and offers stellar views of its much glitzier neighbor to the east, Brickell.

Why go? It’s a gorgeous garden setting dotted with oversized umbrellas and comfy patio furniture, where it’s easy to spend hours sipping on mezcal cocktails and noshing on the tasty vegetarian fare, such as grilled mushrooms and an heirloom tomato salad—both fresh and bursting with flavor.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Cuban
  • East Little Havana

What is it? Channel Cuba’s most famous expat, Ernest Hemingway, at this nautical-themed restaurant inspired by a character he penned. 

Why go? Sometimes, you just have to hold the pork no matter how delicious the Cuban specialty is. It’s easy at Sala’o where fish stews, fried seafood and other delicacies from the sea are aplenty and made Latin-style. 

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • East Little Havana
  • price 2 of 4

What is it? A taste of South Beach in Little Havana, this Mexican-themed supper club goes from low-key restaurant to full-on party the later it gets. Fuel up with mini tacos, crudos and assorted Latin fare, plus tequila and mezcal cocktails.

Why go? Burn off dinner dancing all night to reggaeton at El Santo’s not-so-hidden backroom, El Diablo.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Cuban
  • West Little Havana
  • price 2 of 4

What is it? The most famous Cuban restaurant in the world. Really, it says so on the sign.

Why go? If you didn’t try a Cubano at Versailles, were you even in Miami at all. Hardly. The Little Havana institution also has the most famous coffee window in the city, swarming with ex-pats and adorable octogenarians sipping their daily cafecito.  

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • East Little Havana
  • price 2 of 4

What is it? A kempt Cuban fish shack doling out all sorts of fried items from the sea, from lobster poppers and fish fingers to popcorn shrimp. 

Why go? It’s been featured on the Food Network and nearly every person in Miami has tried it and vouch for its greatness: the pan con minuta. Fried snapper on a lightly toasted Cuban roll is the holy grail of fish sandwiches. 

Advertising
  • Bars
  • Gastropubs
  • East Little Havana
  • price 2 of 4

What is it? This bilevel gastropub is the place for traditional Venezuelan dishes for the modern palate—think vegan arepas, wine cocktails and other curve balls, like the hangover-curing Miami poutine.

Why go? It’s one of the few decent places grab a craft beer and a bite near Marlins Park. Although, we’d still travel to Little Havana for Edukos’ tequeños no matter the distance. 

  • Restaurants
  • Cuban
  • West Little Havana
  • price 1 of 4

What is it? One of the city’s main purveyors of juicy Cuban burgers—whose name translates to mean King of the Fritas— reigns supreme in these parts.

Why go? A consistently delicious sandwich made up of a chorizo-beer patty between toasted Cuban bread and topped with shoestring fries. It’s simple yet simply outstanding. 

Find more restaurants to add to your bucket list

Recommended
    You may also like
      Advertising