Exploring Calle Ocho in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood

Little Havana Tours guides you through the neighborhood as you taste authentic Cuban cuisine, listen to live music, and learn about the history of the area in Miami.

It’s time to stop texting, and start driving! We partnered with Steinger, Green & Feiner to encourage you to put the phone down, focus on the road ahead, and drive somewhere amazing in South Florida. This month, we’re checking out Little Havana Tours in Miami!

“When you walk here, you see these unassuming buildings, landmarks, people, but you don’t know there’s a rich story and fascinating stories behind each and every one of them so that’s what we reveal to you,” said Christine Michaels.

Michaels is the founder of Little Havana Tours. Each tour offers history, sights, sounds, and tastes of the Cuban culture.

“Miami is very diverse,” said Michaels. “Each neighborhood has a different vibe and history and little Havana is just another hidden gem. It’s actually considered a national treasure by the U.S. Historic Foundation.”

If you consider yourself a foodie, as the South Florida Weekend team does, then this tour is for you! Michaels took us around to some of her favorite spots in Little Havana that are highlighted on her tours.  We started with a Cuban sandwich at Old Station Cafe…

“This little building right here belongs to a Cuban American family and they make one of the best authentic Cuban sandwiches and Cuban coffee,” she said pointing to the cafe.

The sandwich was fantastic and the traditional Cuban colada was rich and energizing. A little goes a long way! Michaels said on the Little Havana Tour, the guide will explain how the espresso style coffee is prepared and served.

We also indulged in guava and cheese pastries at Yisell Bakery, one of the most popular Cuban bakeries in Little Havana.

“It’s very light,” said Michaels. “It’s a nice surprise when you take a bite of the guava and the mild white cheese, it’s a very French style so you get that sweet and savory.”

Another stop on the tour was the Cuban Tobacco Cigar Company.  It’s run by the Bello family, now in the 5th generation.

“You’re fortunate when you come here and you find Pedro Bello III,” said Michaels. “He escaped Cuba to continue the family business here. Even if you don’t smoke cigars, a lot of people will buy one cigar or one box of a cigar just as souvenir to put on their coffee table, as a memento.”

For the grand finale, Michaels took us to the historic Ball & Chain jazz lounge. It’s one of the oldest bars in Little Havana and did not disappoint.

“The great thing is, if you can’t spend the evening here, there’s always a live band here day and night,” she said. “And depending on the tour guide, if you get me — you get a free dance lesson. I guarantee anyone with no rhythm and two left feet, I can teach you meringue!”

If you’d like to take Michaels up on her offer — you can follow Little Havana Tours on Instagram and get in touch to set up a tour at this link!

Stop Texting Start Driving is sponsored by Steinger, Greene & Feiner.