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Authentic Cuban Restaurant in NYC ?

I'm taking my wife and her friend out for dinner in a few weeks. Her friend is originally from Cuba. She doesn't like fusion. So where is the most authentic Cuban food in NYC

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    1. re: guttergourmet

      I wouldn't consider Sophies authentic. We've eaten their for lunch and she was not impressed!

      1. re: guttergourmet

        Cafecito as mentioned or Cortadito .... but staaaay away from the Sophies (which I think is just open for lunch anyway)....

        There's a place in hells kitchen on 10th I know some Cubans go to for authentic flavors, but it's not actually Cuban from what I know. I can find out the exact place if interested.

      2. Little Havana. I haven't been in over a year, though.

        1. 'Cuba' at 224 Thompson St. is pretty good. I also like Guantanamera at 939 8th Ave. I don't know about authentic since I've never been to Cuba but both places' food reminds me of the Cuban we used to get growing up in S. Florida (though to be fair I'm many years removed from that now).

          1. ideya, in soho, agozar on the bowery

            1. I've been going to Rincon Criollo for years. It's the daily specials of slow-cooked meat that I love. And the history of the place -- that entrances me.

              1. i've never been to cafecito but my parents, both born in cuba, were not impressed. we always go to victor's on 52nd st for the ropa vieja - it's a little overpriced but definitely tastes authentic to me (i too use miami as the standard).

                1. If y'all don't mind, I'm bumping this back up. A dear friend of mine would love to celebrate her birthday in an authentic (but healthy) Cuban restaurant, with mojitos and live music, if possible.

                  I've checked out the above, but wonder if you might have ideas that involve those three elements. Another friend mentioned that I should rather look at New Jersey for that, which I will do, but I thought to check the Manhattan board for convenience sake.

                  Many thanks, as always, and I understand if you don't have ideas beyond what is on this thread.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: drummergirl

                    I had seen an episode of Bobby Flay's "Boy Meets Grill" and he went to Jersey City in search of some Cuban and think he may have mentioned that it has the largest Cuban population outside of Miami.

                    Here's the link to the restaurant he ate at: www.hardgrovecafe.com

                    Hope this is helpful!

                    1. re: billyboy

                      billyboy, you rock. Thanks, I'll check that out. And hey, quien sabe about the Cuban population of Jersey City!

                  2. How about Havana Central? 151 W 46th Street, NYC,NY. I had a Cuban sandwich there that was delicious and their mojitos are authentic, with fresh mint, limes, and sugar cane sticks in them!