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.
Whether you’re travelling across North Carolina on a roadtrip or are out on a quest for the best Cuban restaurants in the state, we’ve got you covered. Check out the seven best places in the entire state of North Carolina where our readers think whip up some of the best Cuban food in the country.
If you’re not drooling yet then you’re about to be. Your taste buds are about to go on a journey all the way to Havana and back.
Looking for Cuban food in other parts of the United States? Check out our list of the 25 Best Cuban Restaurants In America.
Best Cuban Restaurants In North CarolinaHow do these rankings work?
The owner of Hemingway’s Cuba grew up in Havana and frequented the famous El Floridita. So, when we say that this is one of the most authentic Cuban restaurants in North Carolina, we mean it. The Ropa Vieja here practically melts in your mouth, and the tostones are topped with delectable ingredients that make it impossible not to order seconds. Add on a pretty spectacular rooftop lounge and it’s easy to see why this is one of the best Cuban restaurants in North Carolina.
Havana Carolina is a family-owned restaurant that puts its heart and soul into everything they do. From sourcing quality ingredients to whipping up tasty dishes that taste tantalise your tastebuds, this restaurant knows exactly how to infuse authenticity into each and every plate. Along with tasty dishes, however, there’s something quite familiar about the locale itself, and the restaurant’s staff. It doesn’t get much more authentic than this.
Carmen’s Cuban Cafe serves Cuban comfort food at its finest. Guests consistently rave about the quality of the service and the size of the portions. This restaurant is not only integral to the local Cuban community, but it’s also a huge part of North Carolina’s salsa and dance community. So, if you’re in the mood for delightful, authentic Cuban food, head here and save some energy for a post-meal salsa dance or two.
Looking for an authentic Cuban cuisine and cultural experience? Head to Charlotte and treat yourself to a little piece of Havana. On Fridays they serve something called a Super Mojito, which is strong enough to ensure that you’ll need to order a full plate of oxtail or empanadas to go along with it. Definitely take time to work your way through the menu here, while paying special attention to the Cuban sandwich.
Caribbean cuisine is king here, and while they serve a variety of well-known, familiar Colombian, Dominican, and Puerto Rican dishes, we’re focused on their irresistible Cuban plates. The Cubano is Miami-style and their patacon Cuban sandwich is just as delicious. Two golden, crispy patacones wrap around pulled pork, ham, and fried cheese. Simply put, it’s one of the most delicious things you’ll ever eat.
At Tacos Estilo you’ll find a variety of Cuban, Mexican, and Salvadoran food. And, while some might say that means it’s not authentic Cuban, we challenge you to head to Cary in order to sample some of their famous Cuban sandwich. It’s mouthwatering and delicious from start to finish. Flavours are balanced and the bread is pressed just right to make it easy to devour it in just a few bites.
If you’re in the mood for dessert then Havana Cafe is one of the best Cuban restaurants in North Carolina for you. Numerous travellers noted just how delightfully delicious and authentic the flan here is. Their entire menu is full of flavourful surprises. But, it’s the Cuban sandwich that has hungry eaters heading back for more. It’s seemingly simple, but after one bite, you’ll feel as if you’ve just been dropped on the streets of Havana.