Glenn Lindgren: The store is part of the renaissance of Calle Ocho that is helping revitalize the area.
Raúl Musibay: It's a great place to pick up some Cuban-themed souvenirs of your trip to Miami.
Jorge Castillo: With the closing of her own store, it's one of only a few places where you can purchase the artwork of Cookie Etxebarrieta.
Although the casual tourist might overlook the stretch of Calle Ocho west of 27th Avenue, there are several points of interest. Sentir Cubano is a Cuban memorabilia and food warehouse where one can join the masses posing for snapshots in front of the colorful murals that adorn the exterior of the store. This western section of Calle Ocho is also home to the famous rent-by-the-hour "love motels," a traditional trysting spot for amorous Miami couples since the 1950s.
Glenn Lindgren: One of the best places for Latin music of all types is Lily's Records. Owner Lilia Reyes has a large and very comprehensive collection of Latin American CDs.
Jorge Castillo: She's been in the music business since 1968.
Raúl Musibay: If they don't have it at Lily's, they can get it for you!
Jorge Castillo: One of the best kept secrets for low, low liquor prices in Miami is El Gato Tuerto.
Raúl Musibay: It's also one of the best places in town to buy beer by the keg for your big party.
Glenn Lindgren: They have a decent selection of wine from Spain to complement that paella you're making for this evening.
Glenn Lindgren: We've had more fun checking out a grocery in Chinatown, or Little Italy, Germantown -- whatever.
Jorge Castillo: It's fun to see what people from other cultures are eating.
Glenn Lindgren: It's even more fun to discover new foods.
Raúl Musibay: Sometimes we discover some things we really don't like.
Glenn Lindgren: But that's all part of the fun!
Jorge Castillo: One of the most authentic Cuban groceries can be found right on Calle Ocho.
Glenn Lindgren: The Tropical Supermarket harks back to the early days of Sedanos -- before they went "Hollywood."
Jorge Castillo: No, it's not fancy but in an era of big corporate supermarket chains, it is a little piece of history.
Raúl Musibay: They have all of the Latin foods.
Glenn Lindgren: Stop in to pick up something for a snack, a quick lunch, or enough food to prepare a complete Cuban meal.
Jorge Castillo: Just have fun, come in and browse. I guarantee you will find something that will tempt you.
Jorge Castillo: In the 1940s and 1950s, Cuban bakers took cake baking (a direct import form the United States) to new heights.
Glenn Lindgren: One bakery that has deep roots in Cuba is the La Gran Via Super Cake.
Jorge Castillo: They make beautiful cakes for all occasions.
Glenn Lindgren: Stop by and pick up some "walking around" Cuban pastries for a delicious breakfast or snack.
Glenn Lindgren: Believe me, the Tosca Bakery is worth the trip. It has to be one of the best Cuban bakeries in Miami!
Jorge Castillo: They have everything here -- all of the classic Cuban pastries, pastelitos, brazo gitano, nata cake, capuchinos, torrejas -- with so many great things, you're going to have a hard time making up your mind.
Glenn Lindgren: That's why I always start with a large bag or box! In a few minutes I have a huge load of treats to bring home and share with family and friends.
Raúl Musibay: When you have a box of fresh Cuban pastries, it's just amazing how many friends you suddenly have.
Everything for the tourist and Cuban aficionado including clothing, artwork, posters, flags, and games. Where else can you find your "Made in America with 100% Cuban parts" t-shirt? Line up the family for the ubiquitous snapshot in front of the Mendoza-painted murals that decorate the exterior walls of the store.
Hours: Monday thru Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
El Nuevo Siglo Supermarket even has a large, sit down lunch counter in the back for the immediately hungry.
There is an adventure waiting in every "ethnic" grocery store. If you are not Cuban or Latin, shop where the locals shop and discover some new foods.
A taste of island life with boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables that look like they just came off of the farm. Pick up ripe fruit and vegetables in what has become the most photogenic spot en la Calle.
Cheap liquor and a decent selection and they even deliver to most of downtown.
HOURS: Sunday through Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. | Friday and Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.
CREDIT CARDS: Visa and MasterCard
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87-year-old owner Evelio Guelmes usually mans the counter at this small Calle Ocho factory. His El Titan de Bronze Redemption wins accolades for quality and cost, about $6 per cigar. The factory uses leaf tobacco from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Brazil.
Here 12 rollers turn out more than 800,000 cigars a year. If that seems improbable, stop by and watch the masters in action as they turn out cigars in a blaze of flying fingers. Proprietor Don José "Pepin" Garcia spent 30 years in Cuba honing his craft on Cohibas, Partagas, and Montecristos.
"La Gloria Cubana" reigns supreme at this popular stop on the tour bus circuit. The factory's signature cigars have achieved cult status among the fat tobacco crowd as the best smoke for the money. Cigar Master Ernesto Perez-Carrillo, Jr. oversees the small Little Havana factory and a much larger operation in the Dominican Republic. Caution: Perez-Carillo is an affable man whose lyrical tales of rich loamy soil and tender leaf tobacco can convince even the committed non-smoker to leave with a box.
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