During our recent travels to South Florida, we found many smoke-free salsa dance venues. Near both Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, in the Hollywood area, there are many places to dance (not all smoke-free). We visited Gloria Estefan’s restaurant Bongos Cuban Café, which was a huge, trendy but elegant, entertaining venue that offers food and drinks along with a decent dance floor and often live entertainment. Located at Seminole Paradise at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, FL., Bongos Cuban Café is said to draw its inspiration from classic Cuban supper clubs. The 7,000 square foot multi-level restaurant, lounge and bar also has a 5,000 square foot rooftop lounge.
We visited the restaurant on a Wednesday night when a local salsa dance studio organized an event. Parking was free and the night we attended the restaurant did not have a cover charge. The food ranges approximately $25 or more per entre. Unfortunately I wouldn’t recommend the food. The steak was chewy and the fish didn’t seem fresh. The service was quite poor featuring waiters with rude and aloof attitudes.
However, the venue was impressive: chic and spacious with modern décor. The restaurant is smoke-free and has decent space for dancing. The floor is concrete and seemed clean enough to use suede dance shoes. The temperature on the dance floor was a bit toasty. The restaurant needed to pump up the AC for the crowd.
The DJ played a combination of salsa and bachata. The night we visited, the crowd made it challenging to have enough room to dance. Regardless, this is a must visit venue in South Florida.
Rating (1: Lowest, 5: Highest)
Dance Floor: 3
Dance Space: 3
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