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Aug 11, 2006 10:29 PM

Cuban Restaurants in North Carolina...?

Does anyone know of a good Cuban place in NC?

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  1. Carmen's, off Airport Blvd on the access road at the outlet mall in Morrisville, 100 yards off I-40, RDU Exit. See

    1. There's also Havana Jax on Capcom Blvd. in Wake Forest. I can't say I can really recommend either, though. Some of the best cafe cubano I've had is made by the owner of the printing shop I use.

      1. yeah, i'd have to agree. any cuban restaurant that can't do a cubano sandwich properly probably isn't worth a visit. carmen's certainly fits that bill, unfortunately.

        4 Replies
        1. re: HeelsSoxHound

          Count me as another who isn't thrilled with Carmen's. I learned this food in NYC where there are literally hundreds of places that make to-die-for chicharonnes de pollo, fried pork chop, Cubano sandwiches, etc. Carmen's falls far short. I've just learned to make these dishes for myself.

          1. re: Tom M of Durham NC

            For me, half of the cubano's charm is in the bread, which is non-existent in the Triangle as far as I know. Having said that, using NC-style pulled pork can actually make a pretty darn good cubano I've learned.

            Carmen's is okay, not great. If you've got a hankering, that's where you go (or havanna jax) since there seems to only be about 2 options in the area.

            1. re: Nab

              Is Carmen's the place in a small strip across from a larger mall? If it's the place I'm thinking about, half is a bar/dance floor and the other is a dining room. It's been a while, but I did have good ceviche and cocktails at what I think is Carmen's.

              1. re: veganhater

                We had a good meal at Carmen's. Maybe it was that we didn't order the sandwich Cubano....the flan was to die for...mine is good, but what we had there was better

        2. Taste of Havana in Charlotte is OK.

          A few years ago, there was a place in Charlotte I liked a lot better but it is long gone and I cannot remember its name.

          4 Replies
          1. re: brentk

            I like Taste of Havana, but avoid it on weekends. The live music was more annoying than enjoyable as it was too loud.

            1. re: brentk

              Carlo's Cafe in Rock Hill was good, but sadly is no more.

              I remember a place called La Gran Havana in Charlotte. Again, it also closed.

              I liked the media noche at A Piece of Havana. And I thought there empanadas were good also. Here's a link to their website:

              1. re: lynnlato

                Carlos Cafe in Rock Hill is open. It was bought by a Cuban woman named Flor and her Italian husband Joe. Unfortunately, we haven't had a chance to try it yet

                1. re: lynnlato

                  Carlos Cafe in Rock Hill is open under new management. A Cuban woman from Pinar del Rio (Flor) and her Italian husband Joe bought it. We haven't had a chance to try it yet.

              2. Bolero Cafe is on Market Street in Wilmington. Never been, but it looks good and gets great reviews.

                2 Replies
                1. re: joshuahmel

                  Bolero Cafe is excellent. Great food and decent, cheap mojitos.