El Titan de Bronze. A mom and pop cigar shop.

El Titan de Bronze.  1071 S.W. 8th Street, Miami, Florida, USA


Until this year, I’d never been to Little Havana, sticking to the glitzy art deco strip of Miami’s South Beach and its mostly big name shops.  Crawling along Calle Oche in a rental car on a deserted Saturday morning, looking for El Titan, I wondered if I was in the right place.  Glamorous, it ain’t.  Little Havana is what you’d call ‘authentic.’  It has its own energy: gutsy, kind of edgy, but a little sleepy, too.  The heart of the neighbourhood, between SW 11th and 17th avenues, is best explored on foot.  Art galleries catering to tourists sit alongside Cuban cafes, juice bars, theatres, antique and furniture stores.  An older generation of Cuban-Americans meet to play in ‘Domino Park’s’ brightly tiled concrete square.  Wander over to the corner of SW 11th and 8th  and step inside an unremarkable-looking little stucco building; you’ll find a smiling face, a strong, rich smell of cigars and if you’re lucky, a warm cup of café cubano.


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