Little Havana & Art Deco/SoBe must-sees?

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#21
Minneapolis, MN
685 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
We actually got an air BNB in Little Havana at a very reasonable rate, way less than hotels downtown or in SoBe. I think it will give us a much more authentic experience. We definitely don't want to go to "touristy" places that are actually just chains. Like Yardbird, for example. Do people realize that is not a Miami thing, just a corporate thing? We have one ten minutes away in St Louis Park, MN. We want to see real stuff in Miami. Things that are specific to Miami.

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#22
Brickell, Miami FL & Naples, FL
7,141 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
Originally posted by anonmom
We actually got an air BNB in Little Havana at a very reasonable rate, way less than hotels downtown or in SoBe. I think it will give us a much more authentic experience. We definitely don't want to go to "touristy" places that are actually just chains. Like Yardbird, for example. Do people realize that is not a Miami thing, just a corporate thing? We have one ten minutes away in St Louis Park, MN. We want to see real stuff in Miami. Things that are specific to Miami.

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There are only 2 Yardbird restaurants, the first in Miami and they just opened another in Las Vegas so yours is something different. 50 eggs is the company and they have a few others restarurants in Miami that they opened. http://www.50eggsinc.com/our-restaurants/.

I totally appreciate that you got an Air BNB is LIttle Havana and I truly hope that what you got is a good area. Little Havana is really cool and changing every day. I can tell you that the majority of areas are not something that I would be comfortable staying in and I'm originally from NY and live in Miami. Don't be surprised if the homes have bars not he door and windows. Do you have an address of where you are staying?
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#23
Minneapolis, MN
685 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Oh, now I see the 2 different Yardbirds. The one in Miami/Las Vegas does look a lot more interesting than the other one, lol

The Airbnb is on SW 9th Ave & SW 6th St., so only a few minutes away from Ball & Chain on the #8 bus. I'm Latina, so bars on the windows don't bother me. It is pretty common in Latin America.

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#25
Fort Lauderdale, Florida!
15,483 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Little Italy is not a neighborhood I'd want to stay in. FireOfficer is correct, it isn't like visiting Little Italy.

If you want to stay in a Miami neighborhood to get a feel for Miami and experience Cuban Culture, I'd opt for Coral Gables.

Miami isn't the best for things like Craigslist, AirBnB, and VRBO. Tourists are constantly getting ripped off.

There is a reason your AirBnB is much cheaper.

Good luck to you.
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#26
Minneapolis, MN
685 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Hmm, I actually don't think I would like Coral Gables *at all*. This is direct from their Wikipedia page: "Coral Gables was one of the first planned communities, and prefigured the development of the gated community and the homeowners association. It is infamous for its strict zoning regulations."

I'm​ not really worried about the Airbnb being a scam, since if it was, they would have asked me to contact them off the site. As long as you follow the rules and pay through Airbnb, they hold on to the money until after your stay and they guarantee it.

I get that there is a risk of not being satisfied with the room or the location, but that is a risk I'm willing to take. We will only be there one night. If it is truly horrible, I will ask Airbnb for my money back. If it just isn't quite what I expected, that isn't a big problem for me. I'm the type to just roll with things.

So, I'm off to Google Versailles now, because I think that is where we will have breakfast on Sunday morning, assuming they are open then and the menu looks good. We will have a big breakfast onboard on Saturday and will go to ball & chain for dinner/happy hour/dancing around 4pm, so I think we'll just grab a couple of cubanos for lunch on Saturday.

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#27
Miami - Ft. Lauderdale
2,044 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
Miami Native here, just chiming in after following this thread. I too like to immerse in the local culture, but Little Havana ... Okay to visit for a few hours, but not to stay overnight in. Agree with the suggestion for Coral Gables or perhaps look into Coconut Grove.

In Coconut Grove, check these out:


https://www.lokalmiami.com/

https://vickyshouse.com/

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#28
Minneapolis, MN
685 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
So this often happens to me on Cruise Critic. I'll post that I'm interested in going to a place/doing a thing, and a bunch of people tell me I won't enjoy it. I'm not really sure what to do about it. I totally get that people have different tastes and standards. I don't think everyone has to like the things I like. But *I* like the things I like, so I want to do things that sound fun or interesting to me.

I fully understand that Little Havana is a working-class, majority Latinx neighborhood, and that many parts are run down. I'm a working-class Latina. I live in a run-down, working-class Somali/Native/Latinx neighborhood in Minneapolis. I have lived in Quito, Brooklyn, Jersey City and Las Vegas, always in run-down, working-class neighborhoods full of immigrants and other people of color.

In Cozumel, I like to walk out the secret crew exit of Punta Langosta, walk a block south and then go to the No Name Bar, where you can buy one $6 drink and then use the WiFi for free for as long as you want, then walk down the steps into the sea for some no-frills snorkeling.

I wish NCL still sailed to Belize City. We went there a couple of years ago and many people on CC said to just stay on the ship, and that if we did get off, we absolutely needed to book a tour guide. We just walked out of the port toward the bus station and tons of taxi drivers offered to take us where we wanted to go (the Belize Zoo). We kept walking toward the bus station until a driver made an offer we really just couldn't refuse. He drove us to the zoo, waited for us and got us back to the port in plenty of time.

This year, we went to Harvest Caye. It just wasn't our kind of place. Too sterile. No one lives there.

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#29
Scotland
317 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
This is an interesting thread, I can see on airbnb that there are a few very nice looking places that are very well reviewed in the location anonmom mentions, with lots of favourable reviews, none of the reviewers mention problems with the area. I am guessing that this is a generational problem, most people using airbnb are younger and perhaps more clued up about these things while older people are more cautious.
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#30
Brickell, Miami FL & Naples, FL
7,141 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
Originally posted by anonmom
So this often happens to me on Cruise Critic. I'll post that I'm interested in going to a place/doing a thing, and a bunch of people tell me I won't enjoy it. I'm not really sure what to do about it. I totally get that people have different tastes and standards. I don't think everyone has to like the things I like. But *I* like the things I like, so I want to do things that sound fun or interesting to me.

I fully understand that Little Havana is a working-class, majority Latinx neighborhood, and that many parts are run down. I'm a working-class Latina. I live in a run-down, working-class Somali/Native/Latinx neighborhood in Minneapolis. I have lived in Quito, Brooklyn, Jersey City and Las Vegas, always in run-down, working-class neighborhoods full of immigrants and other people of color.

In Cozumel, I like to walk out the secret crew exit of Punta Langosta, walk a block south and then go to the No Name Bar, where you can buy one $6 drink and then use the WiFi for free for as long as you want, then walk down the steps into the sea for some no-frills snorkeling.

I wish NCL still sailed to Belize City. We went there a couple of years ago and many people on CC said to just stay on the ship, and that if we did get off, we absolutely needed to book a tour guide. We just walked out of the port toward the bus station and tons of taxi drivers offered to take us where we wanted to go (the Belize Zoo). We kept walking toward the bus station until a driver made an offer we really just couldn't refuse. He drove us to the zoo, waited for us and got us back to the port in plenty of time.

This year, we went to Harvest Caye. It just wasn't our kind of place. Too sterile. No one lives there.

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I don't think that posters on here are telling you won't enjoy things. Myself, brunello22, BlueHerons, Flymia are locals that do know a bit about the area and neighborhoods. Getting advice about Coral Gables is something I would take from locals and not from Wikipedia personally, but that is just me.

I have also happened to live in Jersey City from 1985-87!

Enjoy your visit to the area. As I had said, you will love Ball and Chain. I'll be there this Sunday again!
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Disney Wonder 7/19/02~Bahamas ---- Disney Wonder 1/5/03~Bahamas
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Golden Princess 10/24/04~S. Caribbean --- Golden Princess 7/11/05~N. European Capitals
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Norwegian Getaway 9/2/16 --- Regal Princess 11/27/16~Caribbean
Norwegian Getaway 4/16/17 ~ W Caribbean

#31
Minneapolis, MN
685 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Maybe this is the issue? If you average my age, my fiance's age, and our daughter's age, it turns out that the average age in our family is only 26!

Seriously, though, I like Cruise Critic because it is specific to cruising, so posters here understand that I have a limited time at each port of call, and they know exactly where I need transportation from, ie that I am arriving at the cruise port and not the airport or the main highway into town.

But the posters here are *very* conservative about what areas they will go into, compared to the internet population in general. Take Belize City as an example. You can Google 'public transportation to Belize Zoo' and get trip advisor threads that tell you, step by step, how to get from the port to the bus station and exactly what bus to take and how much it costs, as well as blogs from people who are backpacking all around Central America. But when I posted about it here, the vast majority of posters insisted that it literally could not be done and that I should just hire a tour guide.

I definitely think it is ok to mention that you wouldn't be comfortable doing a particular thing, but it is weird that people state with such certainty that *I* wouldn't be comfortable doing that thing. How do people know this without meeting me?
Originally posted by ozscotart
This is an interesting thread, I can see on airbnb that there are a few very nice looking places that are very well reviewed in the location anonmom mentions, with lots of favourable reviews, none of the reviewers mention problems with the area. I am guessing that this is a generational problem, most people using airbnb are younger and perhaps more clued up about these things while older people are more cautious.

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#32
Minneapolis, MN
685 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Originally posted by cjskids
I don't think that posters on here are telling you won't enjoy things. Myself, brunello22, BlueHerons, Flymia are locals that do know a bit about the area and neighborhoods. Getting advice about Coral Gables is something I would take from locals and not from Wikipedia personally, but that is just me.

I have also happened to live in Jersey City from 1985-87!

Enjoy your visit to the area. As I had said, you will love Ball and Chain. I'll be there this Sunday again!
Can you help me understand why you don't think staying in LH is a good idea? If there is a certain street where multiple tourists get murdered every year while minding their own business, I would like to know to avoid that street. But if the issue is just that the area doesn't look middle class or that the residents suffer disproportionately from gun violence due to gang/drug/poverty issues or that the vast majority of people one encounters will be non-English-speaking people and/or people of color, then I ask people to believe me when I say that those things aren't issues for me. Or things like Latin music playing until 2-3 am on weekends or feral dogs roaming the streets and barking all night. I totally get that these things would drive some people nuts. They just don't happen to bother me.

Also, there are things that would make me act a certain way, while still not deterring me from my overall plan. Like if the pickpockets are particularly bad on certain streets, or if they have particular tactics they use on unsuspecting tourists, that would be good to know so I can be mindful.

Regarding Coral Gables, are you saying that Wikipedia's characterization of it as being full of planned neighborhoods and strict HOAs is misleading?

As to Jersey City, I lived in Jersey City Heights around 2003-2005. Great neighborhood, but I think non-spanish-speakers sometimes found it intimidating.

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#33
Brickell, Miami FL & Naples, FL
7,141 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
Originally posted by anonmom
Can you help me understand why you don't think staying in LH is a good idea? If there is a certain street where multiple tourists get murdered every year while minding their own business, I would like to know to avoid that street. But if the issue is just that the area doesn't look middle class or that the residents suffer disproportionately from gun violence due to gang/drug/poverty issues or that the vast majority of people one encounters will be non-English-speaking people and/or people of color, then I ask people to believe me when I say that those things aren't issues for me. Or things like Latin music playing until 2-3 am on weekends or feral dogs roaming the streets and barking all night. I totally get that these things would drive some people nuts. They just don't happen to bother me.

Also, there are things that would make me act a certain way, while still not deterring me from my overall plan. Like if the pickpockets are particularly bad on certain streets, or if they have particular tactics they use on unsuspecting tourists, that would be good to know so I can be mindful.

Regarding Coral Gables, are you saying that Wikipedia's characterization of it as being full of planned neighborhoods and strict HOAs is misleading?

As to Jersey City, I lived in Jersey City Heights around 2003-2005. Great neighborhood, but I think non-spanish-speakers sometimes found it intimidating.

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Coral Gables is a large area. Yes, there are planned neighborhoods and strict HOA's and then there are regular streets. Some nice, some not so nice. The entire community is not planned neighborhoods or gated.

Little Havana is a great area filled with lots of wonderful people and culture. It's also an area where in recent years crime, drugs and poverty have spiked again. Many building are falling apart and some new ones are going up. It's a poor area. There are a lot of drugs deals in the area. There are also some very fascinating areas.

Age isn't the issue with my advice. The majority of my friends average around 30! Many are born and raised here.

Remember to hit Ball and Chain for happy hour. Food is great as are the cocktails. One of my favorites there is their Chicharron. Enjoy Miami!!
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Disney Wonder 7/19/02~Bahamas ---- Disney Wonder 1/5/03~Bahamas
Disney Magic 6/7/03~W. Caribbean ---- Disney Magic 1/3/04~W. Caribbean
Golden Princess 10/24/04~S. Caribbean --- Golden Princess 7/11/05~N. European Capitals
Star Princess 3/19/06 (the infamous fire cruise) ~ Western Caribbean
Disney Wonder 7/23/06~Bahamas ---- Crown Princess 11/4/06~S. Caribbean
Crown Princess 3/31/07~S. Caribbean ---- Crown Princess 3/29/08~S. Caribbean
Crown Princess 4/5/09~E. Caribbean ---- Crown Princess 10/30/10~Western Caribbean
Crown Princess 11/12/11~S. Caribbean ---- Norwegian Sky 9/3/12~Bahamas
Majesty of the Seas RCL 1/11/13~Bahamas --- Majesty of the Seas RCL 8/19/13~Bahamas
Ruby Princess 1/18/14~W. Caribbean ---- Ruby Princess 1/23/14~W. Caribbean
Caribbean Princess 9/25/14 ~ Princess Cay --- Regal Princess 11/6/14 ~ Caribbean
Regal Princess 11/9/14 ~ E. Caribbean --Norwegian Sky 2/13/15 ~ Bahamas
Regal Princess 4/12/15 ~ Caribbean --- Emerald Princess 3/5/16 ~ Caribbean
Norwegian Getaway 9/2/16 --- Regal Princess 11/27/16~Caribbean
Norwegian Getaway 4/16/17 ~ W Caribbean

#34
Minneapolis, MN
685 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Originally posted by cjskids
Coral Gables is a large area. Yes, there are planned neighborhoods and strict HOA's and then there are regular streets. Some nice, some not so nice. The entire community is not planned neighborhoods or gated.

Little Havana is a great area filled with lots of wonderful people and culture. It's also an area where in recent years crime, drugs and poverty have spiked again. Many building are falling apart and some new ones are going up. It's a poor area. There are a lot of drugs deals in the area. There are also some very fascinating areas.

Age isn't the issue with my advice. The majority of my friends average around 30! Many are born and raised here.

Remember to hit Ball and Chain for happy hour. Food is great as are the cocktails. One of my favorites there is their Chicharron. Enjoy Miami!!
Can you do me a huge favor and take pics of the menus at Ball and Chain? I'm most interested in the happy hour menu, for both food and cocktails. But I'd be interested in seeing the lunch and dinner menus, too.

This is what I've found online, but it is at a third party website, so I don't know if the prices are to date:







I would also love to see pics of any food/drinks you get there on Sunday!

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#35
Brickell, Miami FL & Naples, FL
7,141 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
Originally posted by anonmom
Can you do me a huge favor and take pics of the menus at Ball and Chain? I'm most interested in the happy hour menu, for both food and cocktails. But I'd be interested in seeing the lunch and dinner menus, too.

This is what I've found online, but it is at a third party website, so I don't know if the prices are to date:







I would also love to see pics of any food/drinks you get there on Sunday!

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They have some of their menus right on their website. If you go to the Yelp review, you can find pictures of the actual menus.
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Disney Wonder 7/19/02~Bahamas ---- Disney Wonder 1/5/03~Bahamas
Disney Magic 6/7/03~W. Caribbean ---- Disney Magic 1/3/04~W. Caribbean
Golden Princess 10/24/04~S. Caribbean --- Golden Princess 7/11/05~N. European Capitals
Star Princess 3/19/06 (the infamous fire cruise) ~ Western Caribbean
Disney Wonder 7/23/06~Bahamas ---- Crown Princess 11/4/06~S. Caribbean
Crown Princess 3/31/07~S. Caribbean ---- Crown Princess 3/29/08~S. Caribbean
Crown Princess 4/5/09~E. Caribbean ---- Crown Princess 10/30/10~Western Caribbean
Crown Princess 11/12/11~S. Caribbean ---- Norwegian Sky 9/3/12~Bahamas
Majesty of the Seas RCL 1/11/13~Bahamas --- Majesty of the Seas RCL 8/19/13~Bahamas
Ruby Princess 1/18/14~W. Caribbean ---- Ruby Princess 1/23/14~W. Caribbean
Caribbean Princess 9/25/14 ~ Princess Cay --- Regal Princess 11/6/14 ~ Caribbean
Regal Princess 11/9/14 ~ E. Caribbean --Norwegian Sky 2/13/15 ~ Bahamas
Regal Princess 4/12/15 ~ Caribbean --- Emerald Princess 3/5/16 ~ Caribbean
Norwegian Getaway 9/2/16 --- Regal Princess 11/27/16~Caribbean
Norwegian Getaway 4/16/17 ~ W Caribbean

#36
Minneapolis, MN
685 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Originally posted by cjskids
They have some of their menus right on their website. If you go to the Yelp review, you can find pictures of the actual menus.
Yeah, for some reason there are no prices on the menus that are on their actual website. Yelp shows the same pricing as the site I posted screenshots from above, so I guess that is probably the current pricing.

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#37
Fort Lauderdale, Florida!
15,483 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by anonmom
So this often happens to me on Cruise Critic. I'll post that I'm interested in going to a place/doing a thing, and a bunch of people tell me I won't enjoy it.
No one on this thread said you wouldn't like Little Havana. Quite the opposite in fact. However, there are other good places to get a great Cuban experience. Coral Gables is one of the most beautiful cities in the US.
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#38
Ft. Lauderdale
170 Posts
Joined Feb 2017
Describing Coral Gables as a planned community is a little misleading. Yes it was planned . . . But it was in 1926. So it is far from the sterile planned subdivisions that plague American suburbia today. It is actually an architecturally beautiful city. One of the reasons it has strict zoning, etc. is so it doesn't turn into cookie-cutter subdivisions.

I will also tell you that when I have asked our Cuban friends for their recommendations as to the best Cuban restaurant. . . They almost universally recommend a place called Romeu's that used to be in Hialeah but moved to the far western part of Davie/Southwest Ranches a few years ago, out among the gringos. Probably too far for you to venture . . . fortunately you'll find plenty of places within a short Uber of your Airbnb.
#39
South Florida
484 Posts
Joined Jul 2016
Right, the OP might be thinking gated suburbia, that's the last thing Coral Gables is. It has great diverse architecture, streets that are not part of the grid, and great landscaping. It's a fantastic city.