Finally, the rest of the country seems to be catching on to the amazingness that is Cuban cuisine. Bright, flavorful and fun, it reflects the completely charismatic culture of Cuba. In America, Miami and Tampa have long been in the running as hot spots for some of the most incredible Cuban cuisine. Here are 5 of the most must-try Cuban restaurants in America beyond Florida.
1. 90 Miles Cuban Café – Chicago, IL
Here, you’re encouraged to “Taste the Forbidden” from a handful of traditional and perfectly executed Cuban dishes. Try one of the house specialties like roasted pork (Puerco Rostizado), Marinated Steak (Bistec de Palomilla), and oxtail in red sauce (Rabo Encendido). You can’t get wrong with the sandwiches either. This unpretentious place welcomes you in for counter service seating and encourages you to BYOB. Thanks to its welcoming atmosphere, it’s always at maximum capacity, but it’s worth the wait.
2. Cuban Pete’s – Montclair, NJ
Gorgeous décor painstakingly created to make diners feel as though they’ve gone back in time to a different era in Havana. And the food brings so much more to the table with traditional dishes and incredible tapas. The tapas here give you one of the best ways to sample all kinds of Cuban dishes. Plus, they have a sangria bar. Need we say more?
3. Pambiche – Portland, OR
It’s Cuban comfort food served up with genuine Cuban hospitality. Warm and welcoming, the food here reflects the atmosphere with dishes like arroz con pollo and Lengua en Salsa. Wholly satisfying on every level, it’s a must-try for sure.
4. Alma de Cuba – Philadelphia, PA
The owner grew up in Miami and transported everything he knew with him to Philly. It’s a trendy spot with a lit up bar and a chill dining room, very much like the kinds of lovely places you’ll find in Miami. The dishes here are more modern spins on traditional Cuban cuisine with a flair of Caribbean and Latin influence. Crispy roast pork (Lechon Asado) is incredible, as are the sea scallops. So many interesting dishes pop off the menu including the whole roasted branzino, giving diners an electrical experience.
5. Paseo – Seattle, WA
The Cuban sandwiches here are legendary. But wait! It’s much more going for it than just sandwiches. The pork you’ll find in these sandwiches is heavenly, almost melting in your mouth. You can get it outside of sandwich form too. Plus, platters of shrimp or scallops in Paseo’s own famed red sauce are hard to beat. Lines flow well out the door and once inside, it’s very easy to see why people will stand outside hungry, knowing that the wait is so completely worth it.
Floridians have long enjoyed the melting pot of tastes they get with every bite of Cuban food. Miami, in particular, has more Cuban restaurants than you can shake a stick at. Even if you’re not Cuban and you live in Miami, you learn what makes good Cuban food. There are so many places, and everyone has their favorite. But for those that venture out of state, they might get a little homesick for those bright flavors that Cuban food is so revered for. And for those people, when you’re traveling around the country, you can take heart, because Cuban people love to spread their love with their incredible food around.
With this sharing of Cuban culture and food, more and more Cuban restaurants outside of Miami are landing on the list of top Cuban restaurants. But of course, no one can knock Miami off the charts. Here are the top 10 Cuban restaurants in the US.
1. El Palacio De Los Jugos
One of the best destinations in Miami for Cuban food is this family-friendly place. You get heaping portions for tiny prices. One of the best bets here is the Lechon Asado. Another can’t miss dish is the Pescado de Aguja, a remarkable fish dish that’s so fresh, you can taste it.
2. Havana 1957
It’s a classic Cuban establishment tucked into the fancy Coral Gables neighborhood. The traditional flavors pouring off the menu along with the décor that transports you back to Cuban in the 1950s will give you one of the most unforgettable Cuban dining experiences ever. It’s a classy place that still feels inviting and comfortable. Sit down to a traditional Cuban breakfast or dive into Pollo a la plancha (grilled chicken with onion), delectable desserts made in-house, and don’t forget to grab a drink from the full liquor bar.
3. Puerto Sagua
Out on trendy South Beach in Miami, you can skip all the fancy places and head to Puerto Sagua, where you’ll get authentic Cuban comfort food at its finest. It’s famed for shrimp in garlic sauce as well as Cubano sandwiches. Plus, it’s open very late making it a prime choice for late night munchies after hours.
4. La Caridad
Outside of Miami, way outside, over in Los Angeles, you’ll find this gem that started way back in the 1960s. It’s known for one of the best servings of ropa vieja on the west coast, perfectly simmered in tomato sauce and shredded. Other fantastic eats greet you here, so there’s no chance of having a bad Cuban meal at La Caridad.
5. Porto’s Bakery and Cafe
Another California entry that also came about back in the 1960s, this establishment has several locations throughout Southern California where you can get your fix on with authentically-crafted Cuban pastries. Guava-filled goodness, fired potato balls and some of the best café con leche you’ve ever tasted are all here for the taking.
6. Victor’s Café
This family-owned New York City Cuban eatery has reflected the changing times through the Cuban cuisine offered here. You’ll find classic Cuban dishes as well as some innovative combinations that will bring you back time and time again. Celebrities love to frequent this place, known for exceptional gazpacho and custards, among other things.
7. Cuba Cuba
This Denver, Colorado Cuban restaurant tastes just like something straight from Miami. While its menu isn’t large, the classic is all there like Lechon Asado, ropa vieja, and vaca frita. The prices are extremely reasonable and even this far from Cuba, they know how to make a Cubano the right way. It’s probably the best thing to happen to Denver.
8. Cafe Piquet
Over in Texas, something majestic happens when you serve Cuban food there. Because Cuban food is typically served in gigantic portions and Texas food is also served in the same way, what you get is enough food for an army! While the menu here isn’t as large as the platefuls of food you receive, everything is done exceptionally well. The picadillo here is out of this world. Try it!
9. Florida Café
Over in Vegas, you’ll have to search very hard to find this Cuban restaurant. Find it, and you’ll be treated to all kinds of Cuban delights for the senses. The menu is large and bursting with traditional favorite. Among them, Bistec de Palo Milla is done perfectly. It’s so tender you can cut it with your fork and has the perfect balance of mojo flavor. Other popular dishes to try here are the Pollo de la plancha and the Pollo Asado. Both chicken dishes are cooked just right so you’re getting a moist and tender chicken breast that hasn’t dried out.
10. Habana Cuba
It was named one of the “Top 50 Best Spanish Restaurants” by Hispanic Magazine. With that kind of accolades, you know they’re doing Cuban food right. A simple menu means that great focus, care and effort go into the dishes that are offered. Everything is made to order. Try the Masitas. It’s so juicy and tender you don’t even need to cut it. Tamales are also done well here, and while the Cubano sandwich is tasty, the bread isn’t authentically Cuban. But if you can overlook it, you can find a fantastic Cuban meal in San Jose.
Where is your favorite Cuban restaurant located? In or outside of Miami, we’d love to hear about it and why you think it is the best choice for Cuban cuisine!
It’s hard not to find a good Cuban restaurant in Miami, often described as Cuba outside of Cuba. But when you want one of the best, you’ve got to try Little Havana in North Miami. Located on Biscayne Boulevard, it’s easy enough to find. Once inside, it’s a fairly cavernous place that welcomes you in with the wafting scents of the heavenly Cuban food drawing you further in.
Sit down and enjoy some sangria with your meal. It were strong and made with fresh fruit. And unlike most things in Miami, it’s not overpriced. Mojitos are made well here too if you’d prefer a different flavor. And of course, they’ve got a handle on curves if you’d rather a beer.
Complementary Cuban bread is served with your meal but tries not to fill up on that, or you’ll be taking plenty of food from your meal home with you for leftovers. Not that that’s a bad thing, but the authentic Cuban dishes are what you came for, right?
The shrimp in garlic sauce is a wonderful way to start off. Use that Cuban bread to sop up every last drop of that sauce. For entrees, the lamb shank never disappoints. It’s cooked to perfect, almost melting in your mouth with every bite. The oxtail in wine sauce is a savory treat for the senses. The chicken Havana style is one of their signature dishes and is something you must try. But don’t forget the whole fried snapper, a Cuban delight. Crispy on the outside and moist, flavorful fish on the inside make this an incredible dish.
The menu goes well beyond these offerings with a bounty of choices from land and sea. Of course, you simply must save room for dessert too. Ideally, you’ve gone with a group of friends and family so you can share all these resplendent tastes with one another. The guava cheese flan is uniquely delicious, as are the other plan offerings. Tres leches is another classic dessert done proper justice here.
All in all, Little Havana offers a brilliant slice of Cuban tastes to Miamians and visitors alike. When in Miami, make sure you visit Little Havana for a truly authentic Cuban dining experience.
Miami has Cuban food dialed in, but guess what? So does Orlando with a Cuban restaurant you’ve got to try. Havana Bistro and Café on Orange Blossom Trail is just the place to get the Cuban food you’ve been craving without taking the Turnpike south.
Havana Bistro and Café does it all up just right with tasty Cuban staples like the ropa vieja and tostones. Hefty portions mean you might just be taking some of that back home with you for a late night snack.
Breakfast, lunch or dinner, Havana Bistro and Café is open for you. Get a café con leche and some past elites to start your day. Come back for lunch and try a Cubano, the best-pressed sandwich you’ll ever have, filled with ham, roasted pork, cheese, pickles, and mustard. Or try the second favorite sandwich of Cubans everywhere, the medianoche, which is a similar offering on a different type of bread that’s just a little sweeter. Side options like yucca and plantains are spot-on and make your meal complete.
Whatever meal you order, don’t skip out on the sangria. It’s excellent and makes for a nice refresher with your meal. There’s an ample selection of beer and wine too. Don’t think about skipping dessert either. The plan is spectacular, plus they also have a Caramel Napoleon filled with this glorious custard. It’s worth all the extra calories.
Perhaps best of all are the prices of this small and unassuming café that’s tucked into a little strip mall. You can’t find a better deal in Orlando. Skip the overpriced tourist traps on International Drive and get to Havana Bistro and Café for an authentically homemade Cuban meal today.
Coming to Florida for an epic theme park adventure but don’t have time to head down to South Florida for a taste of Cuban cuisine? No problem! Even Orlando is a haven for Havana-style cookery. When you visit Orlando, be sure to try out one of these epic Cuban eateries for a truly authentic taste of Cuban food.
1. Padrino’s Cuban Bistro
Ask the friendly staff to bring you a mojito and look over the menu as you sip this Cuban concoction. You’ll find the steak with chimichurri sauce, a must-try for those new to Cuban food. Lechon Asado and paella are amazing here so be sure to give them a try. If that sounds like a lot of food, it is! But go in a big group and share, and you will see why Cuban food is one of the most lively on your palate.
2. Zaza New Cuban Diner
You simply must try the café con leche here. Up for breakfast before a big Orlando day? Get here and fill up on a spectacular breakfast. They have breakfast specials every day. But if you’re not up for breakfast, no problem. The rest of the menu shines as brightly as the sun with an incredible Cubano, the traditional Cuban sandwich. Don’t forget to snatch up some pastries too. The Quesitos, Guava Con Queso and Guava pastries are worth the wait alone.
3. Havana’s Cuban Cuisine
This is some of the best Cuban food you’ll find outside of Miami. With fresh plantains, tasty pork bites and a Churrasco that is so tender you’ll cry, you’ve got many things to taste. Feel like sampling some Floridian seafood? Try the seafood mofongo for a real treat. The portions are enormous so come hungry or be ready to take leftovers with you.
4. Los Autenticos Cuban Café
Here, you’ve got to try the other Cuban sandwich Cuba is known for…the media noche. It’s very similar to the Cubano except that it’s served on a different, sweeter bread. The difference sounds very simple, but the taste is much more complex than it seems. It’s a simple, casual place so come hungry for the huge portions and leave triumphal with a wallet that doesn’t get hit too hard with the price.
5. Black Bean Deli
Another great Cuban place, the Orlando locals often argue that this one might be the best. Havana Pork is not to be missed. It comes with a bounty of sides including a salad, plantains, yellow rice and black beans. Count on taking some of it home with you. Even the sandwiches are huge here. A half should do you justice.
So what are you waiting for? Have an authentic Cuban meal in the heart of Orlando today!
Cuban cuisine is never dull. That’s thanks to the bold flavors it melds together from Spanish, Creole, African, and Caribbean flavors, making it a unique and distinguished cuisine all its own. If you’ve never had the pleasure of letting Cuban food dance across your palate, it’s time to do the mambo with your mouth. The good news is you don’t need to hop a plane down to Havana to get authentic Cuban food. You can find it right in the heart of the big city. Here are 5 of the very best Cuban restaurants in New York City.
1. Cafe Cortadito
The impeccable quality of the food served here shows in the lines of people that wait patiently to eat here. You’ll find all the typical Cuban dishes, but they are prepared so perfectly and enthusiastically that they’re truly hard to beat. The grilled skirt steak with chimichurri salsa is a winner, as are the fried yucca fingers. It’s a tiny place with great Cuban eats that people willingly line up for. That should tell you something about how good it is.
2. Amor Cubano
It’s a restaurant that doubles as a nightclub. It seems a little confusing at first, but one bite of the food here and you’ll be transported to Havana. You’ll find traditional favorites like ropa vieja with a side of fried plantains, and you’ll find less common selections too like the Lechon Asado and Garbanzos Fritos. Also, if you like mojitos, this place rocks them with wild flavors like pineapple, mango, coconut, and guava. If you’re looking for a lively and fun place to get your Cuban fix, this is it.
Tucked inside Greenwich Village, you’ll find this gem named for the very country it represents. It’s simple and purely good Cuban cuisine at its best. Prepared classically, dishes like braised pork belly and Cazuela Marinara will win you over while the snapper in a crispy green plantain crust will steal your heart clean away. Friday and Saturday night are even more reason to come with live music that gets everyone from the other diners to the wait staff dancing along.
4. Havana Central
Havana Central dishes out authentic Cuban cuisine in a handsomely decorated environment reminiscent of the old rum and cigar days of yore. You’ll find empanadas, tapas, and plenty of spiced meats. Cuban sandwiches are amazing here, as are the fried plantains served alongside them. Dessert is a must with the donut sticks, served with a fine dusting of cinnamon and sugar and a choice of sauces (chocolate or dulce de leche) for dipping.
You might know the song “Guantanamera” but once you know the restaurant of the same name, you’ll be back for more. The music and the food here will make you feel more alive than you’ve ever felt. The menu is a wonderful mix of traditional offerings as well as unusual things like plantains stuffed with shrimp. Everything here is a delight, especially the long list of specialty mojitos that will surely make your night.
Cuban food has gained a lot of steam in America lately. Once upon a time, you’d only find it in Florida, particularly in Miami and Tampa thanks to the huge Cuban population residing there. But as Cubans spread out through the country, they brought their exceptional cuisine with them to share with the other states to show them what they were missing. Now, New Jersey can boast about having some of the best Cuban restaurants. Here are the top 5 Cuban restaurants in New Jersey.
1. Rumba Cubana
A full liquor bar and a stacked menu mean that at Rumba Cubana, you’ll have quite the fiesta for your senses. Try the Ceviche de Camarones, shrimp marinated with lime juice, for a refreshing start to your meal. Go for a mofongo, mashed green plantains mixed with bits of crispy fried pork skin. Or even try out a tamale to start. Then fill up on robust entrees like Vaca Frita or Pollo Asado. Whatever you try here is a sure winner!
2. Havana Tropical Café
Late nights and big parties can all find a home here. But for any meal, this place definitely won’t let you down. The menu is smaller, but rest assured that everything on it is done to absolute perfection. Lechon Asado, Cuban roasted pork, is sublime here. The chorizo and the Papa Rellenas, beef-stuffed potato balls served with red chimichurri sauce, won’t disappoint either. Grab a bite here tonight!
3. Martino’s Cuban Restaurant
For Cuban specialties cooked with flair, you’ve got to get to Martino’s Cuban Restaurant. If you can’t decide from the monstrous menu selection, start off with the Combo Cubano for a little taste of everything awesome. Move on to mains and get ropa vieja prepared expertly, or take in the Churrasco a lo Martino, their perfectly-cooked skirt steak with chimichurri sauce. For dessert, flan or tres leches will make for a beautiful finish.
4. Cuban U
It’s the best of old Cuba with a twist. Majestic mojitos are a must here to go with any of the amazing menu choices. Start things off right with Tostones Rellenos, green plantain cups filled with ropa vieja, or go for the Cha Cha Cha Sampler if you can’t choose from all the other mouth-watering items. For your main dish, try the mofongo or the famous Lechon Asado. Everything is served hot and fresh by a friendly and knowledgeable staff that will make your experience incredible.
5. Cuban Pete’s
This place has a sangria bar. We repeat sangria bar. That alone should send you running in there for the next table. But the food is also spectacular too. They have Cuban classics like ropa vieja and Nuevo Cubano cuisine, like island shrimp conga that will dazzle your senses. Delicious desserts and a Cuban coffee menu make for the perfect ending.