Less than 5 miles from your Yard 8 home, you’ll experience a journey into Little Havana and a street known as Calle Ocho. Jam packed with cultural opportunities, Calle Ocho is perfect for a special night out, a Saturday afternoon with family or friends, or a quick stop for an ice cream or cafecito any day! You won’t want to miss the sights, sounds, and flavors on this famous street just west of downtown Miami.
At the corner of SW 15th Avenue and SW Eighth Street you’ll find Maximo Gomez Park, fondly known as Domino Park after the favorite game played here by the local Cuban men (women now play their favorites, Canasta and Continental). Since 1976, this has been the popular spot for locals to meet, socialize, and, of course, compete. A great way to begin your journey on Calle Ocho? Start with a cafecito or Cuban cigar in the shade, watch a game, and if you’re lucky, join in!
Colorful Roosters? Sure!
You can’t miss the rooster sculptures as you stroll down SW Eighth Street. Just the beginning of the colorful artistry that is Calle Ocho in Little Havana, these Cuban mascots came about in 2002 and are now staples in the neighborhood. The emphasis on color continues at La Isla, where you check out artist Eliott Prada’s Smoking Roosters and Cuban Einstein pieces. Walk east, less than a block, and you’ll find yourself at Cubaocho Museum & Performing Arts Center. Take in this museum’s historical Cuban art in the day and come back in the evening and dance to a local orquesta or hot Cuban drumbeat. Turn left on your way out of the museum and walk across El Paseo de las Estrellas. Keep your eye out for Cuban stars like Celia Cruz, Julio Iglesias, Gloria Estefan, and Thalia.
When your appetite takes over, you won’t have to look far on Calle Ocho! Stop and cool off with a scoop of El Mani Loco, Platano Maduro, or Guarapiña at Azucar Ice Cream Company. For the best Cuban comfort food, stop in El Rey de las Fritas and try the original Cuban hamburger. Exactly what is in that sauce? Who knows, but it’s delicioso! For more Cuban specialties and a menu that goes on and on, catch the No. 8 bus on SW Seventh Street to Versailles. Since 1971, this has been the happening place for politicians to gather and discuss local and Cuban issues. If you want to experience the food and get a feel for the political scene, this is the place for you. Cap off your evening on Calle Ocho at Ball & Chain. Belly up to the bar for some chicharrones with chipotle aioli and a Calle Ocho Old Fashioned while you listen to the rhythm of live salsa or jazz.
¡Chao pescao! For more tips on places to visit in your neighborhood, check out our Yard 8 blog.