• Sink your teeth into some of Little Havana’s finest Cuban cuisine
  • Immerse yourself in the c​ity’s retro renaissance with old-school Cuban jazz

From music to art, Cuban culture has come to define Miami’s urban vibe. But nowhere has the island nation made a more meaningful impact than in Miami’s cuisine scene. For years, the café Versailles, in Little Havana, reigned as the city’s best Cuban sandwich bet. And for good reason. Although hardly undiscovered, Versailles had mastered the art of balancing juicy pork, toasty rolls, and perfectly piquant pickles. Recently, newcomer Puerto Sagua on South Beach has emerged as a serious Versailles rival. Sadly, this cozy, beloved spot is currently closed for renovations following a devastating fire. Until Puerto Sagua reopens, Versailles is still around turning out Miami’s best Cuban sandwiches to visitors and old-timers alike. Just a short stroll away on Calle Ocho, the historic main drag of Little Havana, we can’t get enough of the Ball & Chain bar and nightclub, a 1930s throwback where the rough-hewn wood rafters echo with old-school Cuban jazz and fiery salsa seven nights a week. The menu—heavy on salty snacks like fried plantains and house-made chicharrones (pork rinds)—harks back to pre-Castro, pre-carbophobia days, while the cocktails offer a twist on the classic island playbook, not least the smoky Calle Ocho Old-Fashioned, laced with tobacco bitters.

Versailles is located in Little Havana, right off Calle Ocho, or 8th Street. Just find the intersection of 8th and SW 36th Avenue and you’ll see the large white sign. You can find Ball & Chain on the same street. Just follow 8th Street down until you hit SW 15th Avenue. The bar has a distinct green and white striped awning.​

​​VERSAILLES: 3555 SW 8th St.; 305-444-0240; versaillesrestaurant.com

PUERTO SAGUA: 700 Collins Ave.; 305-673-1115

BALL & CHAIN: 1513 SW 8th St.; 305-643-7820; ballandchainmiami.com