Café La Trova


Julio Cabrera is a celebrated ambassador for Cuban culture in the cocktail world – both him and his signature fedora seem present wherever fine rum or cigars are to be found. In 2019, the ex-pat opened Café La Trova, a virtual embassy for his native island’s culinary culture in Miami’s aptly-named Little Havana neighbourhood. Thanks to his lifelong contribution to the bar sector, it’s no surprise Cabrera took home the Roku Industry Icon Award in 2023. 

A collaboration with James Beard-winner Michelle Bernstein, Café La Trova is a joyous celebration of Cuban hospitality. Stepping into the space, you’re instantly transported to the Caribbean through sight and taste. The bar team adheres to the traditional (and theatrical) cantinero style created by Constantine Ribalaigua at Havana’s El Floridita. Typically, the bartenders are busy throwing Hotel Nacionals (rum, apricot liqueur, pineapple juice, lime juice)through the air or dramatically shaking Magic City Daiquiris (rum, lime juice, sugar and ‘elixir of life’). Yet, the dinner jacket-uniformed staff also find time to pick up maracas and play along with the house Son Cubano band.

Bernstein’s food is equally harmonious. Authentic empanadas and croquetas provide accompaniment for the rum-forward drinks. Full entrées are also available, like the crispy whole boneless snapper served with avocado, or the divine mojo-marinated lechon (pork shoulder). Be sure to leave some time – and room – to dance after dinner.