Miami's historic Eighth Street, known locally as Calle Ocho, is America's Cigar Central
From the Print Edition:
The Blues Brothers, Jan/Feb 2008
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Forget Starbucks when you are on Calle Ocho. This street, which seems fueled by caffeine, teems with coffee counters, little restaurant windows that serve bracing shots of Cuban coffee to customers who needn't bother coming indoors. Ask for a café Cubano, the syrupy espresso-like concoction that is slurped back in one or two gulps, just the right amount to get you started for a day of cigar smoking. No need to add sugar: the tiny coffee is loaded with it. You can get one in just about every restaurant in town and at several counters, including one just across 11th Avenue from the El Credito Cigars entrance. For some variety, you might try a cortadito, a small shot of Cuban coffee with a touch of steamed milk, or a café con leche. Expect blank stares if you order a half caf, skim, venti, doppio...you get the point.
OFF CALLE OCHO, WORTH A DETOUR
Although many headquarters of premium cigarmakers are located in or near Miami, only a few are geared to handle visitors.
1575 SW First St., Miami; 305-643-2117
When Padrón more than quadrupled its space with its headquarters, the company kept its customers in mind, with a posh cigar lounge and retail store that stocks all of the company's fine cigars under one roof. Peruse the wall of photographs spanning the family's more than four decades of making cigars. Family members are often there—all the more reason for a visit.
|The nearby Padrón Cigar headquarters.|
114 NW 22nd Ave., Miami; 305-644-1116
This is one part cigar factory outlet, one part smoking lounge (complete with issues of Cigar Aficionado), located next door to the sales office and warehouse. The company, now called Reyes Family Cigars, also makes Cuba Aliados cigars, and president Carlos Diez claims the HQ lounge makes the best Cuban coffee in Little Havana.
Tabacalera Perdomo Headquarters
5150 NW 167th St., Miami Lakes; 305-627-6700
Grassy and suburban Miami Lakes is home to Tabacalera Perdomo, where you can sample and buy its Nicaraguan-made cigars in a cozy smoking room. You may even run into owner Nick Perdomo.
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