While it might be one of the most concentrated hubs for this cultural cuisine, the best Cuban restaurants in America extend well beyond the borders of Miami. From New York all the way to the West Coast, we wanted to hear from our readers as to where the 25 best Cuban restaurants in America are.
The enchanting blend of Spanish, African, and Caribbean cuisines melts together to form the base of what is Cuban cuisine. And, there’s nothing like biting into a tasty Cuban tamale, indulging in a Medianoche, or preparing to devour a mouthwatering grilled pork feast with your family.
If you’re not drooling yet then you’re about to be. Check out the 25 places in America where our readers think whip up some of the best Cuban food in the country, ranked according to authenticity, taste, and ambience. Your tastebuds are about to go on a journey all the way to Havana and back.
Looking for other tasty Latin food suggestions? Check out our list of the 25 Best Puerto Rican Restaurants in America.
Best Cuban Restaurants In America
Texas, in general, is a state full of Tex-Mex and some of the best authentic Mexican food in the country. However, there’s one small spot in Houston where you’ll find impeccable Cuban dishes: Rincon Criollo. Offering an expansive menu that extends to include salads and dishes suitable for kids, flavours here taste just as if they’ve been sourced straight from the streets of Havana.
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Okay, so we know this is going to create some waves, but numerous people thought Florida Cafe in Vegas served more authentic food than some restaurants in Miami and New York. Perfectly cooked tostones and flavourful chicken rice were some fan favourites, with nearly everybody noting just how authentic it all tastes. This makes sense, as chef Sergio Perez has worked tirelessly to bring a taste of Cuba to Vegas ever since he moved to the States over 20 years ago.
Cuban food might not be what you immediately think of when you think of the New Orleans foodie scene. However, Que Rico! Cuban Cafe is bringing Cuban culture to Louisiana in a flurry of flavour and style. Cuban tamales are pretty hot here, and we can’t argue with the fact that they’re some of the best in America. But, really, everything on the menu here is tantalising and delicious.
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Where do Cubans go in Georgia when they’re craving a taste of home? Cuban Island Cafe in Bonaire. This quaint little cafe has perfected the art of combining traditional flavours to create modern, delectable dishes that everybody loves. While their menu is pretty extensive, it’s a great idea to start with their Cuban Tour dish. You’ll be able to sample a variety of traditional meat dishes, such as Lechon Asado, Ropa Vieja and Picadillo.
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Havana Harry’s is where you go if you’re looking to enjoy a full night out paired with some tantalising Cuban food and music. Cosy little nooks are tucked away in corners of the restaurant, and the rustic decor makes it feel trendy and inviting. While the restaurant might seem a little modern and mainstream, the food features the same authentic, traditional tastes you’d expect of any great Cuban restaurant in America.
Looking for the absolute best Cuban sandwich in America? It’s at El Conchinto. Really, they just won a competition for the best Cuban sandwich in the country. So, it’s worth heading here just to get a taste of excellence. However, don’t forego sampling other menu items as well. Their Lechon Asado is particularly savoury, but really anything you get here is going to taste like abuela’s cooking.
What was once the first mojito bar in Louisiana is now one of the best Cuban restaurants in America. Cafe Habana City was opened by a first-generation immigrant Cuban family who has worked hard to preserve the flavours and rich heritage that makes Cuban cuisine so delicious. If authentic is what you’re after, then it’s hard to beat this place. Three generations of passionate Cubans craft dishes daily.
New Jersey is full of quality Cuban eateries, but El Artesano Restaurant is quite arguably one of the best. It’s been owned and operated by the Alfonso family since 1974. And, while they serve everybody’s favourite dishes, they’re best known for their Cuban sandwiches. Order one and a few empanadas on the side, just be sure to save room for some churros.
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A Cuban musician-turned-chef is behind the irresistible food at Havana Cafe in Dallas. Head here early to enjoy the freshly-made sofrito as you sample Cuban tastes, starting with the classic Ropa Vieja and working your way through to rice and pork. Our pro tip is to visit on a Friday when you can relax with some tasty, hand-crafted mojitos and the sounds of live music in the background.
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If you’ve never tried a Cuban burger before then you’re in for a truly tasty treat at El Mago de Las Fritas. Cuban burgers, which are made up of ground beef or chorizo and then topped with potato sticks, are the specialty here. They’ve perfected this age-old recipe and know how to season the beef and pork to create such a delightful explosion of traditional flavours. You’ll be addicted after just the first bite.
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Get to rollin’ and make your way to Plantain District, one of the best Cuban restaurants in America that just so happens to be on wheels. This famous Missouri food truck is known for taking their Cuban roots and infusing the cuisine with international flavours. They use only fresh, natural ingredients to craft some of the tastiest Cuban dishes you’ll try anywhere in the country. Definitely start with the Cuban sandwich.
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Cuban croquetas are one of life’s most decadent treasures and Cafe La Trova in Miami serves them nearly just as good as what you’d find on the actual island. This restaurant is one of Miami’s hottest spots where friends and family gather to sip cocktails and enjoy live music. It’s this combination of vibrant culture and exciting entertainment that makes the spot so hot. But, it’s the Cuban food, and the croquetas more specifically, that keep guests heading back for more.
In terms of trendy, The Latin Pig is certainly one of the trendiest Cuban restaurants in America. Glass chandeliers hang over the cosy booths in a place that’s reminiscent of an upscale Havana diner. The food is just as authentic as the decor, with Picadillo, Lechon Asado, and numerous other dishes filled with flavours you’d only expect to find in your grandmother’s kitchen. If you’re not sure where to start, order the entrée sampler. It’s a great introduction to the wonderful flavours of Cuban cuisine.
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While this trendy Boston restaurant works to pay homage to the essence and spirit of Cuban women, their menu works to inspire hundreds of hungry eaters looking to get a taste of true Cuba. A few dishes stuck out amongst numerous readers, with the Arroz Imperial Con Maduros and Cuban pork tamale being top favourites. The owners also manage the Puerto Rican hotspot Vejigantes, so stop by for other flavourful fares there as well.
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This family-run eatery specialises in serving a full menu of Cuban delights, ranging from tasty yucca appetisers and black bean soup on through to the famous Lechon Asado and delectable Ropa Vieja. While the latter is a favourite amongst the locals, we suggest heading here hungry to sample more than one thing on the menu. Take your tastebuds on a tour through Cuba and order one of everything. You won’t regret it.
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Rincon Criollo in Queens is perhaps one of the most authentic Cuban restaurants in America. This charming little diner was once featured on Guy Fieri’s famous Food Network show the food is just that good. Despite all of the fame and attention, the service and ambience remain laidback and unpretentious. Expect to be treated like family here, and expect to enjoy a family-style meal that’s brimming with local flavours. It’s home to some of the best Cuban food in all of New York City.
While it’s perhaps due to the sheer convenience of numerous locations across Miami, La Carreta beat out hundreds of other Cuban restaurants in America to take the No. 9 spot. If you’re from Miami, you likely know it as a city staple in terms of Cuban food, both for full meals and tasty treats. Head to the coffee window to order a Cuban cafecito and some sweet pastelitos in the morning. Then, visit again for lunch to enjoy a lunch full of plantains, rice, beans and more.
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Tucked away in a small strip mall in Hollywood you’ll find one of the best Cuban restaurants in America. We’re talking about El Floridita, a local institution that’s been serving hot, tasty plates of Arroz con Pollo and Masitas de Puerco to hungry guests for over 30 years. The restaurant itself feels quaint and cosy, and the food that comes out smells just so authentic and mouthwatering that you’ll immediately feel as if you’ve been transported to a family home in Cuba.
Authentic Cuban food doesn’t have to come from a local family diner. Case in point, Gustazo Cuban Kitchen & Bar in Boston. This trendy, upscale restaurant serves traditional dishes with a modern twist. Expect to enjoy all of your Cuban favourites but with a fine-dining flair. To top off the experience, they serve world-class cocktails that pair perfectly with everything from their golden empanadas to the Bistec Encebollado.
Looking for the best Cuban sweets in Texas? Head to the International Bakery Cuban Dulceria. It’s owned and operated by two sisters, Rita and Sara Vasquez, who specialise in crafting creative, tasty pastries for hungry guests. From cream-filled, caramel pastries to meringues and dulce de leche, this place is a dessert lover’s dream. However, it’s their famous Medianoche that’s got everyone buzzing. Order more than one, as you’re going to want to take some home to enjoy later.
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Georgia is actually home to one of the largest populations of Cubans in America, after states such as Florida and New York. So, it comes as no surprise that Papi’s Cuban Grill in Atlanta is home to some of the best Cuban food in the country. This restaurant originated with just a family recipe, and they’ve kept it going ever since. From the delightful blend of spices in their Vaca Frita to the delectable sweetness of the golden-brown maduros, there’s nothing here that’s not deliciously full of flavour.
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While not at all related to the Versailles Restaurant that takes the No. 1 spot, Versailles Cuban Food in Los Angeles is without a doubt one of the best Cuban restaurants in America. Serving up food that’s just about as authentic as it gets, Versailles specialises in their Famous Pollo Versailles. It showcases juicy roasted chicken marinated in the restaurant’s original garlic Mojo sauce. Are you drooling? We are.
So, hear us out here. There are so many great Cuban restaurants in New York, but this survey revealed that when it comes to the most consistent authentic dishes, Victor’s Cafe reigns supreme. Particularly, locals love how deliciously authentic their black bean soup and maduritos taste when compared to their abuela’s recipes. Stop by to try for yourself and let us know which tastes better: Victor’s or your own family’s recipe.
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Numerous locals tipped us off to the fact that 90 Miles Cuban Cafe, despite being located in Chicago, serves up quality dishes that taste like they’re straight from the coast of Miami or even Cuba itself. Authenticity runs through the veins of the kitchen at this Logan Square hotspot, easily making it one of the best Cuban restaurants in America. They even offer Cuban brunch and an all-you-can-eat pig roast. Yes, please!
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While every family will have their opinion about the best Cuban restaurant in America, it’s widely regarded that Versailles Restaurant is at least perhaps the oldest. Despite there being so many quality Cuban restaurants in Miami, Versailles Restaurant wins out in terms of flavour and authenticity. From their delectable Ropa Vieja to the mouthwatering way in which their fried sweet plantains practically melt in your mouth, there’s nothing here that’s not going to evoke sensations of Cuba.
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