Cuba Libre - DC
Cuba Libre - DC

Cuba Libre - DC

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.cubalibrerestaurant.com/
  • Phone: 2024081600
  • Hours of Operation:
    Brunch: Saturday & Sunday: 11:30am - 3:00pm; Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 3:00pm; Dinner: Sunday 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm , Monday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 11:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 4:00pm - 11:00pm , Friday & Saturday 11:00 pm to 1:00 am Limited Bar Menu ,
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Latin American, Caribbean, Cuban
  • Executive Chef: Guillermo Pernot
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Dancing, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Smoking Area, Smoking Area (patio only), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Entertainment: Join us as our residents DJs spin Merengue, Salsa, Bachata and House music beginning at 11:00pm every Friday and Saturday for your dancing entertainment. Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar also regularly features performances by our professional dancers & master percussionist, theme parties and special guest DJs.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Corner of 9th & H Streets
  • Public Transit: Two Blocks away from Chinatown Metro Stop (Red, Yellow, Green Lines). Four Blocks from Metro Center Stop (Orange & Blue Lines)
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Cuba Libre is located on corner of 9th & H Streets NW in the Penn Quarter neighborhood of Washington DC. Street parking / meter parking may be available in the neighborhood. Several paid lots are close by, and valet parking is offered by a private company nightly.
A word from Cuba Libre - DC
Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar features Nuevo Cubano cuisine by two-time James Beard award-winning Chef Guillermo Pernot. Pernot's menus feature tantalizing tastes that are derived from the exotic island"s culinary traditions, which include Spanish, African, Creole and Asian influences. The restaurant's atmosphere transports guests to Old Havana circa the 1950s. One-of-a-kind millwork and architectural salvage including unique doors, gates, cabinetry, furniture and accessories help capture the essence of old Cuban architecture. Colorful exotic foliage and large potted palm trees add to Cuba Libre's open-air, tropical ambiance. Featuring a selection of over 70 rums, Cuba Libre's uniquely refreshing house specialty, the mojito, is made from the authentic Cuban recipe of combining rum, fresh lime juice, fresh mint leaves, a splash of soda and most distinctively, guarapo, sugar cane juice pressed daily on site.
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Cuba Libre - DC reviews from OpenTable diners
195 reviews since June 23, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food4.1
    Service3.8
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
84% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
good for groups (83)fit for foodies (77)special occasion (67)vibrant bar scene (52)neighborhood gem (43)hot spot (43)romantic (39)great for lunch (37)late-night find (29)great for outdoor dining (22)great for brunch (22)kid-friendly (11)scenic view (10)notable wine list (8)Show More
  • Sat at bar
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    We sat at the bar and enjoyed the happy hour offerings. The food, service, and ambiance were great. Its a great after work spot. I haven't been there for late night, but that is a good time, too.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Oh What a Night
    Cindy3
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    I brought my boyfriend to Cuba Libre for his birthday and we had a blast.The service and the ambiance was the best. The food tasted even better and there was plenty to choose from. We didn't feel rushed to eat and the staff was very helpful and informative about the menu and food selections. I recommend Cuba Libre for family gatherings, group events, business meetings, celebrations or just a wonderful dinner with the one you love. I can't rave about this restaurant enough.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not what we expected
    DecantersVIP
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    I had lunch here a couple years ago so thought we'd try dinner on this visit to DC. We sat outside and ordered a bottle of wine within 5-10 minutes of being seated. It took another 20 minutes and hunting down our server before it got to the table. My wife's salmon was fine but my flank steak was way too chewy, even after thin slicing with a steak knife. When asked by the manager how things were, I let him know and they replaced my dish with another that was much better, but altogether we ended up spending two hours at the place for an ok meal.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • great service, mediocre food
    MexiCubanBoy
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    Cheerful and attentive service, limited faux-Cuban menu at lunch, a few Cuban dishes hidden under bar-style sauces and inauthentic, taste-challenging meat combos. Dinner menu a few more items with some Cuban derivation but many more fake-Caribbean (Cuban salmon?) food. The black beans hinted bay, the maduros were real, but Cuba Libre is really for the drink-your-lunch crowd.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Transport me to Cuba
    DezzoVIP
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    with the decor reminiscent of a Cuban street scene, you feel the place is special when you walk in. With many rums to choose from, you can preetend to be The Old Man Hemmingway in a beach bar. Tables are very close but the noise was ok and we were able to converse without shouting. Staff were amenable and pleasant and the food was great - we 4 shared 4 tapas and one main course and it was enough to allow us room for deserts which were also very good. Wine list was reasonably priced and server gave good recommendations.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lucky Find
    WindsorFoodie
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    I was looking for a place for our group to eat while in DC, and stumbled on Cuba Libre. It was the highlight of our trip! Dinner menu has all the traditional Cuban dishes and does a good job of explaining what they are. Our very loud group was silent for an hour after the food arrived, apart from a few "mmmmmm"s and "ahhhhhh"s. Try the bunuelos and empanadas before the main course. I had bass and it was prepared perfectly. Most of us had dessert. Flan was awesome, and they can make a real Cuban coffee! I will be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wow, service was way off!
    AlexVIP
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    We ordered a ham empanada and a chicken empanada; they brought two chicken ones. We corrected them. Our main dishes took so long in coming they gave us an extra round of mojitos on the house. (And the place was largely empty on this Tuesday night.) We ordered the three-dessert sampler, they brought us the two-dessert. After several minutes another server awkwardly brought out the third dessert. (These are all pre-made, so it wasn't a question of preparation, etc.). Time for some serious RETRAINING!!!!! The food remains great but the experience, and the unfortunate people that are available for hire, were extremely poor.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect
    McGoogle
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    We had dinner based on recommendation of the hotel concierge. There was so much on the menu we decided to have the tapas. Each plate was a wonderful taste sensation. The shrimp cerviche and ribs were fantastic, but so was everything we ordered.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Cuban Food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    I went to this restaurant for my birthday. I am glad I did. The restaurant is beautiful and the food was delicious.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Have you changed your chief?
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    The quality of food is not as it used to be. The steak was dry and the fish was un edible
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Birthday Celebration!
    MsAnneluvvedChefGeoff
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    A few of us celebrated my daughter's 35th birthday here and we were not disappointed. We had been to Cuba Libre- DC before so we expected great food and great service. Each one of us loved our drinks, appetizers, and entrees. The wait staff was very accommodating. In particular, I would like to single out "Reagan?" and Jerrel/Jarell. They met our needs with ease and did not seem to be annoyed by our requests. Reagan took the cake I brought and--on cue-- brought it out with candles lit after our meal. It was a "ooh-ah" moment for all in our vicinity. Thanks, Cuba Libre-DC, for another pleasant dining experience!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Host rude
    8globetrotter
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    We were celebrating my sons 10 birthday,and my 81 yr old mom was with us. We had traveled from Ca.,an it is my sons favorite restaurant in DC. The restaurant does not have anywhere to seat while you are waiting for your table. When my brother asked if we could please have a chair for my mom to sit in while we wait, The host snapped an said did we want him to get our table or a chair. Very rude an not what I ever experienced or expected from a high end restaurant .
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Service was terrible. We had food we didn't order brought to our table, then the food we did order never came. The waitress never was at our table and thought the wrong food was what we ordered.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Pretty and cool atmosphere
    oschama
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    I love the decor of inside with old Cuba house, I've never been to Cuba but I think this is as close as you can get :) delicious food, tried both steak and fish, both dishes were very delicious, awesome deserts and really good drinks, a must go. You can stay and dance after 11pm.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    So disappointed in Cuba Libre. It has the potential to be great but needs new management! You were not allowed to enjoy happy hour at your table!!!!?? We got there early with hopes of enjoying some drinks prior to dinner and was surprised to find out we could only enjoy happy hour prices if we sat at the bar.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Cuba Libre
    worldcuisine
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    This was my family's second time to Cuba Libre. Both times we went for a special occasion and the food is incredible. On Friday nights (which is when we went this time), they start clearing up the eating area to turn it into a dance floor while the guests are still seated. It does say on their website that the restaurant turns into a lounge/dance bar after hours but I assumed they would wait until all the guests had left. It was a little awkward since it was just us and another table and they cleared all the other tables around us. However, our server was very pleasant. I wish I recalled her name - she had reddish/dark hair and was very patient and attentive.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Murdog
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Food was good- it was different . We liked the atmosphere
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Awful service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    We waited almost an hour before a server even came by to get a drink order. It was a birthday celebration and we didn't even want to remind them of this so we could get out of the restaurant.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Unbelievable Food and Experience
    EnrPeace
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    I almost don't want to write this review and give it a high rating because at this point I am feeling very selfish and a part of me wants to keep Cuba Libre to myself. But in this sometimes maddening world we live in I think it important that we share all the good we can. With that I share with you Cuba Libre and the incredible wait staff, chefs, and bartenders who are nothing short of absolutely amazing! If you love yourself, please go! This place is a cut above anything I've experienced in the city.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Really good experience!
    DCgirlVIP
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Four of us enjoyed drinks, fresh guacamole and Cuban sandwiches for a really different dining experience. Food was very good and it was nice to have lots of choices and a different taste than so many other restaurants. Really enjoyable evening with the beautiful atmosphere, too.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Can't wait to come back
    JylStar
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    I had the Cuban spring rolls which I thought were delicious until I tried my husbands seafood platter. It had the best grilled octopus I've ever had in my life. Our waitress was fabulous, the host that sat us was friendly, and the bartender even catered to my husbands request to have a splash of champaign added to his mojito. Overall, I was very impressed and will be back next time I'm in the DC area.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food / puzzling service
    Charlotte
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    Cuba Libre lived up to it's OpenTable reviews of charming décor and great food with puzzling service. We had dinner on Labor Day with 8 tables and 5 wait staff. The 2 waitresses were good, but disappeared into the kitchen for long periods. The bus boys need training. They failed to deliver bread to some tables, carrying it around looking confused and taking it back to the kitchen. They were unresponsive to our requests. They were highly inefficient clearing tables and left some dirty long after the diners departed. The classic Cuban Ropa Vieja and lechon asada were fabulous. The mushroom ceviche and fritters were very good. Cocktails were excellent. The wine was perfect. The manager could see, but didn't fix, the service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great place!
    Mnerdy
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    I loved this place! My family visited the restaurant for the first time and was amazed by the wonderful food, atmosphere, and the mojitos.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Worth a second visit
    RestondinerVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    This was our first time at this restaurant and we were not disappointed - the small plate brunch while not very extensive, gives a good idea of the kitchen's range and what to try next time as an entree. Well done!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • LivingInAnExperienceEcon
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Awesome place! My boyfriend is Cuban and doesn't get to enjoy true Cuban food as often as he would like. He and I both loved the food, drinks and dancing. We had a late reservation after another event we attended that evening. We ate, enjoyed a few cocktails at our table then hit the dance floor. Amazing time had by all!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Frustrated
    Tata
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    I've been here many times. Really liked their food. This time appetizers were burnt and obviously dry. When waiter came asking how everything was, told him appetizers were burnt and he left. Not a word, not a gesture to sympathise. High prices, not as good service as before. Saddened. Used to be my favorite place for special events.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Find another spot
    OpenTable Diner Since 2003VIP
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    Lunch was nothing special. Too gimicky and the food was not that great.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Outstanding atmosphere.
    BandB
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Outstanding atmospher/decor. Noisy with Cuban food somewha modified for American tastes.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • will definitely be returning
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    5 of us good friends went to Cuba Libre for drinks and dinner during the extended restaurant week. The servings were ample that we even had to take our entree home. Everyone was satisfied with her food. The food was very good. Even without us saying, the waiter had separate checks for each of us, which made paying quite easy and stress-free. We will definitely be returning.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Lousy Host
    Pepperfoodie
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    When we arrived for our luncheon reservations 15 minutes early, we were met by a male host that rudely informed us that we were early and that he could seat us but service would not start until 1:30 pm. However, we waited another 15 minutes at the host station while the host had social conversation with another staff member before I interrupted and reminded him to seat us. Also, I inquired why the delay in seating us especially since the entire dining room only had 9 occupied tables. Once again the host rudely reminded me that I was early and grudgingly had us seated. The food was very good and the waitress service was also very good but the damage had already been done by the hostess.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious Heavenly Delight
    kgould4
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    You feel like you are actually in Cuba from the decor. The food is downright righteous. Anyone who enjoys good tasting Cuban food, I totally recommend it. Its a diamond in the ruff. Great for dates or friends. More upscale, but worth it at least once.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • diningenthusiast
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    This was my third visit to Cuba Libre, 2 brunches, 1 dinner. All three the same. Great service, helpful staff, great food. we live about 50 miles to the South, so we don't come here often. When we do visit, the experiences have been awesome. I'm not a Spanish speaker, so some of the menu is confusing, but we've always had great staff that schooled and recommended brilliantly.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent brunch option
    cprin6VIP
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    This place is a bit themey (Disney-like) - even your check comes in a cigar box. But the food is delicious, and the service is outstanding! Probably the best coffee I've ever had. The brunch menu is varied and suits all kinds of appetites. Don't believe them when they say it's tapas style though - went for restaurant week and ordered the three items for 20 for the whole table - all five of us had way too much to possibly eat. Portions are quite generous for tapas.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The Best Cuban Ever
    TheGazzVIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Food, Service, environment -- the best ever. The reception was a bit antisceptic (host) but once seated -- WOW - what a great plate. We were there during Restauraund Week and the menu was a choice of two Tapas each, a main course, and then you both get BOTH deserts for something like 35 bucks. Top that off with some of the most creative and delicius Ciaparinheas (serious spelling mishap there) and you have got a date made in heaven. We will be talking about our experience here for a long time to come. And it was so unexpected. We had no idea of what we had found in finding Cuba Libre.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • loved it
    beeindcVIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    My first time at Cuba Libre was for Dine and Dash. After that I knew I would be back. Its such a pretty place, the wait staff were wonderful and the food amazing. We had an awesome time. Best Sangria ever! The only thing I would change is the seats along the edge of the restaurant are freezing from the overhead airconditioner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious
    vegheadfoodie
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Pros: The service was friendly and refills kept coming - something kind of hard to find sometimes! The food was great - dishes were unique and greatly inspired by cuban cuisine. Others that we tried were the most authentic I have had. The Mango Mojito was amazing. And the Flan was also great! Creamy and with a great caramel sauce (and I normally don't like caramel). Cons: We went during Restaurant Week, which boasted a separate menu, but I didn't feel like the hostess or waiter really highlighted this menu. For a table of two, the hostess only provided us with one Restaurant Week menu (the waiter eventually gave us another one so we didn't have to share). Getting the check also took some time. Overall it was a good experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Restaurant Week Dinner!
    NeoMax
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    This was really a pleasant surprise for us and the food was awesome! We were blown away by the ambiance and atmosphere! :)
    Special Features:
    romantic, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delightful Restaurant
    Turn2food
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Cuba Libre was wonderful! I came for restaurant week. I had Guacamole, Spinach/manchengo, Arroz con pollo, flan, chocolate tart. Every dish was savory, full of flavor. I also had the passion fruit mojito. The flavor was awesome, but could have used a little more rum. I'd definitely come back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    We went for Restaurant Week but ended up just ordering from the menu because we didn't like the idea of "tapas" The food was great. The drinks were nice but pricey. We will be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Food good but service poor
    cheapcurlz
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Our waitress had poor serving skills for a large party. She was extremely slow. The only good thing about the experience was the food. I will try this place again, but I will switch tables if I find out she is my waitress. And if the service is poor again, I will not go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate