Bar Profile: Cafe La Trova in Miami

by | Nov 19, 2023 | bars | 0 comments

Cafe La Trova is a Cuban-inspired bar located in Little Havana, Miami. The bar is famous for its handcrafted cocktails and contemporary take on Cuban-styled dishes. The world-renowned Julio Cabrera and his team of Cantineros bring the retro Cuba atmosphere to life with their artisanal cocktails, while James Beard Award-winning Chef Michelle Bernstein lends her culinary expertise to the menu.

Cafe La Trova has received various awards and recognitions for its exceptional service, ambiance, and drinks. In 2023, the bar was named one of the “World’s 50 Best Bars” by Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards, ranking at number 24. It was also named a “Best Bar in the World” for the second consecutive year by Axios in 2022. These awards are a testament to the bar’s commitment to providing a unique and memorable experience to its patrons.

The bar’s interior design is a tribute to the golden age of Cuba, with vintage posters, photographs, and artifacts adorning the walls. Live music performances, including traditional Cuban music and jazz, add to the bar’s vibrant and lively atmosphere. Cafe La Trova is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the rich culture and flavors of Cuba in the heart of Miami.

History of Cafe La Trova


Café La Trova is a bar located in the heart of Little Havana, Miami. It was founded in 2019 by Julio Cabrera, a renowned cantinero, and his long-time friend, Chef Michelle Bernstein. The bar is an ode to the rich culture of Cuba, and it has become a virtual embassy of Cuban culinary culture in Miami.

Julio Cabrera is a well-known figure in the bar industry, having worked as a cantinero in Cuba for several years before moving to Miami. He is known for his expertise in creating classic Cuban cocktails, and his passion for preserving the cantinero tradition. Café La Trova is the culmination of his lifelong dedication to the craft.

Influence of Cuban Culture

Café La Trova is deeply influenced by Cuban culture, from its name to its décor and menu. The bar is named after Trova, a style of guitar-led Cuban music that originated in the eastern part of the country. The walls of the bar are adorned with vintage Cuban posters and photographs, and the music played is a mix of classic Cuban songs and contemporary Latin music.

The menu at Café La Trova features classic Cuban dishes with a modern twist, such as the croquetas de jamón, empanadas, and ropa vieja. The bar also offers a wide selection of classic Cuban cocktails, such as the daiquiri, mojito, and Cuba libre. The cocktails are made using traditional Cuban techniques and ingredients, such as fresh sugarcane juice and aged rum.

Overall, Café La Trova is a testament to the rich cultural heritage of Cuba, and a celebration of the cantinero tradition. The bar has quickly become a must-visit destination for anyone interested in experiencing the vibrant culture of Little Havana.

Bar Profile

Cocktail Menu

Café La Trova in Miami is known for its artisanal, handcrafted cocktails that are inspired by Cuban culture. The cocktail menu is designed by Julio Cabrera, a celebrated ambassador for Cuban culture in the cocktail world. The menu features a variety of rum-based cocktails, including the classic daiquiri and the Cuban old-fashioned. The bartenders use fresh ingredients and house-made syrups to create unique and flavorful drinks. The menu also includes a selection of non-alcoholic cocktails for those who prefer a mocktail.

Bartending Staff

The bartending staff at Café La Trova is knowledgeable and passionate about cocktails. Led by Julio Cabrera, the team of Cantineros is well-versed in the history and culture of Cuban cocktails. They are skilled in the art of mixology and use their expertise to create innovative and delicious drinks. The staff is friendly and welcoming, making guests feel at home in the vibrant atmosphere of the bar.

Bar Design and Atmosphere

Café La Trova has a retro Cuba atmosphere that transports guests to a different time and place. The bar is designed with vintage Cuban decor, including old photographs and memorabilia. The bar features a stage where live Trova musicians play traditional Cuban music. The atmosphere is lively and energetic, with guests enjoying their drinks and dancing to the music. The bar is spacious and comfortable, with plenty of seating options for guests to relax and enjoy their cocktails. Overall, Café La Trova offers a unique and authentic Cuban experience in the heart of Miami.

Customer Experience

Customer Service

Café La Trova in Miami is known for its exceptional customer service. The staff is attentive, friendly, and knowledgeable about the menu and drinks. They are always willing to make recommendations and answer any questions customers may have.

The bartenders are skilled and take pride in their craft, often going above and beyond to create unique and delicious cocktails. They are also known for their cantinero style of bartending, which involves a theatrical and interactive approach to making drinks.

In addition to the excellent service at the bar, Café La Trova also offers table service for those who prefer to sit and enjoy their drinks and food in a more relaxed setting. The staff is just as attentive and friendly when serving tables as they are at the bar.


Café La Trova has a diverse clientele, ranging from locals to tourists. The bar attracts a mix of people, from young professionals to older patrons who have been coming to the bar for years.

The atmosphere is lively and welcoming, with a mix of Cuban and Miami flair. The bar is known for its live music, which adds to the overall experience and draws in a crowd of music lovers.

Overall, Café La Trova offers a unique and memorable customer experience, from the exceptional service to the lively atmosphere and live music. It’s no wonder the bar has been recognized as one of the best in the world.

Awards and Recognition

Café La Trova, located in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, has received numerous awards and recognition for its impressive bar program. The bar has been named one of the World’s 50 Best Bars in both 2021 and 2023, cementing its reputation as a top-tier establishment.

In addition to these prestigious awards, Café La Trova has also been recognized by the Spirited Awards, which honor bars and beverage professionals. The bar won the award for Best Restaurant Bar in 2022, further solidifying its position as a leader in the industry.

Café La Trova’s success can be attributed to its unique approach to cocktail-making, which combines traditional Cuban flavors with modern techniques and ingredients. The bar’s signature cocktails, such as the Café Colada and the Guava Daiquiri, have become fan favorites and are often praised for their balance and complexity.

Overall, Café La Trova’s awards and recognition are a testament to the bar’s commitment to quality and innovation. With its impressive track record and talented team of bartenders, it is no surprise that Café La Trova has become a must-visit destination for cocktail enthusiasts in Miami and beyond.


Café La Trova is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a unique bar experience in Miami. With its expertly crafted cocktails, lively atmosphere, and dedication to preserving Cuban culture, this bar has rightfully earned its place among the world’s best bars.

The bar’s commitment to using fresh, high-quality ingredients in its cocktails is evident in every sip. From classic Cuban drinks like the daiquiri and the mojito to innovative creations like the Cafe con Leche Martini, every drink is expertly balanced and delicious.

Beyond the drinks, Café La Trova’s atmosphere is lively and welcoming. The bar’s decor is a mix of vintage and modern, with colorful tiles, exposed brick, and neon signs creating a vibrant ambiance. And with live music playing every night, the bar is always buzzing with energy.

But what sets Café La Trova apart is its dedication to preserving Cuban culture. From the cantineros behind the bar to the live music on stage, the bar is a celebration of Cuban history and traditions. And with its inclusion on the World’s 50 Best Bars list, Café La Trova has become a global ambassador for Cuban culture.

Overall, Café La Trova is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a unique bar experience in Miami. With its expertly crafted cocktails, lively atmosphere, and dedication to preserving Cuban culture, the bar is a true gem in the city’s vibrant bar scene.