North America,  Travel

Exploring Little Havana in Miami on an Epic Gluten-Free Food Tour

When planning a trip to Miami, there are many things to see and do. Instead of going to the beach or strolling through the arts district, you should definitely add a visit to Little Havana on your list. This area of Miami is full of history, culture, and beautiful food. 

You can spend all day or just a few hours in Little Havana. All these options have gluten-free food & drink you will enjoy. Here’s a list of places to eat and drink while strolling through Little Havana, Miami.

Indulge in a Fantastic Tamale From El Pub Restaurant

Start your afternoon right by enjoying a gluten-free tamale from El Pub in Little Havana. While their famous empanadas are not gluten-free, their tamales will be your best bet. Located near the famous Calle Ocho, El Pub will get you started for a day in Little Havana.

The best way for you to order will be to simply stop at the window and order your tamale while the rest of your group enjoys empanadas. While waiting for your food, you might be greeted by a peanut vendor, this man is the only vendor in the area with a permit to sell. You kind of have to buy some peanuts from him since he’s official. When your delicious tamale is ready at the window, you’ll be transported to the flavors of Cuba. Sooo delicious. 

Sip on Mojitos & Enjoy Live Music at Ball & Chain

No trip to Little Havana is complete without a stop at the iconic nightclub, Ball & Chain. Known for its live music and famous performers including Billie Holiday, this venue is a must for those who want a peek into Miami’s history. This was one of the few locations where African Americans were allowed to play Jazz back in the day.

While enjoying the music, sip on an authentic Cuban mojito. Made with mint and white rum, this drink will have you smiling and dancing in no time. If you stop by on the weekends, I highly recommend a table reservation for you and your friends. This place is popular and a lot of fun!

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth With Ice Cream From Azucar Ice Cream Company 

This local, female-owned shop, Azucar Ice Cream Company is a must for anyone who enjoys sweet treats. Their menu is always changing, giving residents and tourists the chance to experience Cuban culture through sugar. They offer ice cream & sorbet, which guarantees that you and your friends will have something they enjoy. 

While I was there I tried the créme de vie (eggnog) and coconut in a cup. It was a decadent, melt in your mouth treat. Stop by this shop for a cultural experience for authentic Miami flavors. You may have missed their “Burn in Hell, Fidel!” flavor (a limited-time flavor available after Fidel Castro passed away), but you can’t go wrong with coconut.

As I have shown, a visit to Little Havana in Miami is really easy to do through food & drink. You will immediately be immersed in Cuban culture once you arrive at Calle Ocho. Knowledge of the Spanish language will get you further, but you can manage in English.

There is much more to see and do in Little Havana, including cigar demonstrations, sipping curado (Cuban coffee), and visiting domino park. As you walk past another rooster on Calle Ocho, you’ll be transported to Cuba without ever leaving the States.

Enjoy a tamale, indulge in ice cream and try an authentic Cuban mojito while you dance the night away in Little Havana.  And if you don’t want to do this on your own, book a food tour with Miami Culinary Tours (highly recommended! They have great options on their tours for those who eat gluten-free and/or don’t drink alcohol).

What did you do in Little Havana? Let me know what you did while visiting Little Havana Miami in the comments below.

The Basics – Little Havana, Miami

Best time to visit:

Spring-May to avoid hurricane season 

How to Get There:

Uber from the Airport or your hotel

Getting Around:

Your own two feet (start by taking a taxi to Calle Ocho)




Spanish, but many people speak English

What to Eat:

Tostones Rellenos at Old’s Havana Cuban Bar & Cocina

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