HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
What's your latest food project?
TELL US

Your Favorite Cuban Restaurant

j
jsmitty Jan 15, 2009 09:14 AM

I prefer south of 14th street. thanks

  1. princeofpork Jan 15, 2009 10:28 AM

    South of 14, great prices, fun atmosphere and good food....must go to Cafecito on 11th and ave C.

    3 Replies
    1. re: princeofpork
      LeahBaila Jan 15, 2009 10:50 AM

      Second cafecito. Though I've not been in a couple of years, I found the food, live music and pitchers of mojitos at Cuba to be good.

      www.thelunchbelle.com

      1. re: LeahBaila
        e
        eameyer Jan 15, 2009 11:24 AM

        Third Cafecito. One of my favorite restaurants in the city. Love the Vaca Frita and the Tostones with a side of garlic mojo. My mom still talks about the Tres Leche Cake. Great Sangria too.

        1. re: eameyer
          LeahBaila Jan 15, 2009 11:50 AM

          The tres leches cake is amazing. We used to cater from cafecito at work, and the company loved that cake.

          www.thelunchbelle.com

    2. s
      sugartoof Jan 16, 2009 12:45 AM

      I thought Cafecito was awful, and far from worth the both.

      I would suggest Cortadito nearby instead, but they can't handle the attention and my last trip was a downer.. They don't really have a waitstaff, it's the owner, and one woman, and she was snapping at people asking "what" as her greeting at the door. Lovely. She wouldn't take a name at the door, so most people standing around in the cold with their BYOB bottles eventually just lef. The food was rushed, and tasted like the chefs were overworked. The once great Yuca Fritas were slightly stale tasting and dull. The Ropa Vieja which I loved the first time just didn't wow me. It was the best Cuban meal I'd had in NY though.

      Cubana Cafe on Thompson makes a good steak sandwich. It's very cramped so I'd suggest it for off hour eating.

      6 Replies
      1. re: sugartoof
        princeofpork Jan 16, 2009 04:02 PM

        In other words you dont seem very happy with any of the places you mentioned. Any recommendations that you actually like?

        1. re: sugartoof
          l
          lawstud Jan 17, 2009 07:41 AM

          Uh, I didn't have that experience at Cafecito at all though I was there for brunch on a Saturday morning. The place is small and cozy with a vibe reminiscent of Little Havana. I truly enjoyed my meal and would recommend it enthusiastically.

          1. re: lawstud
            l
            lawstud Jan 17, 2009 07:41 AM

            I meant Cortadito, not Cafecito. Sorry about that.

            1. re: lawstud
              s
              sugartoof Jan 17, 2009 10:55 PM

              I had recommended it enthusiastically, previously.

              The abrasive female server, understaffing and confusion with people being turned away at the door (some with reservations even) would prevent me from currently recommending it.

              Food was was worse for the wear as a result, and the prices, which I once thought a bargain, have creeped up. This is for a weekday dinner, later in the evening about two weeks ago.

              1. re: sugartoof
                l
                lawstud Jan 19, 2009 07:42 AM

                Do you think this was a one time flub (understaffed maybe) or a real change? I had been meaning to return anyway so I think I'll head over there soon to settle this once and for all :-).

                1. re: lawstud
                  s
                  sugartoof Jan 19, 2009 09:48 AM

                  It seemed pretty clear to me they couldn't handle the attention.

                  Maybe you can luck out and get a mellow night, but if they don't know how to greet patrons with a simple hello, or put their name on a list, then they lack the professionalism to run a popular restaurant. They change is they have a liquor license now, and attracting big groups who are sitting all night. There were a lot of tables just waiting for their checks, while people were crowding under the heat lamp in the door tent.

                  It was a real change in quality from the food we were served exactly a year ago.

                  Let us know how it goes.

        2. m
          mrnyc Jan 16, 2009 06:24 AM

          CASA HAVANA on 8th ave bet 19th-20th sts. love it!

          1. j
            jsmitty Jan 16, 2009 06:41 AM

            what about havana alma de cuba on christopher?

            Show Hidden Posts