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
207 reviews since May 26, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4.1
    Service3.8
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
85% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
good for groups (89)fit for foodies (85)special occasion (74)vibrant bar scene (52)romantic (49)neighborhood gem (43)hot spot (43)great for lunch (40)late-night find (33)great for brunch (31)great for outdoor dining (31)kid-friendly (15)scenic view (10)notable wine list (8)Show More
  • 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
  • Delicious food and amazing drinks
    KeddieGogo
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    We hit this spot up because the menu looked amazing. The food was delicious. The tapas were little bites that were big enough to share and allowed us to sample more than a couple plates. The drinks were a good blend of flavor and alcohol. Really enjoyed this place.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Cuban Cheesecake Factory
    Daav
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    And I actually like the Cheesecake factory, for what it is: a stage set with food. Cuba Libre wants to make you feel like you're in a pre-revolution Cuban club. I get it. But I long for the other Cuban scene of home cooking, styrofoam plates, plastic table cloths under fluorescent lights. Simple, hearty, filling flavorful food at working class prices. I know that's hard to deliver in the current downtown DC real estate market. But it's odd that the Cuban staples: ropa vieja, carne asado, sticky and sweet plantains were not even on the lunch menu. I was told I could come back on Sunday for brunch and have all my favorites then. What we had there was all very tasty. Just not what I remember Cuban dining to be like at all.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I'm so full. And happy.
    mewantbamboo
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    I went here for restaurant week and definitely got the bang for the buck. Two tapas for the appetizer. I went with a friend so we each got something different and shared. My favorites were the springrolls and the seafood soup. We got full off the bread and tapas alone. When the Lechon Asado came out, we could only eat a couple bites but man was it delicious! The desert was perfect- one of the best flan I've ever eaten. Small, but tasty. Our waiter made excellent recommendations and the staff were overall attentive and friendly. Also, they're known for their rum bar. We had a couple caipirinhas with the perfect combination of alcohol and sweetness. I would definitely come back and highly recommend this place. The food is spectacular!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Restaurant Week find!
    DCgirlVIP
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    First time diner and it is a lovely restaurant with a "lively" area with more music and a quiet area - very considerate seating options. The decor was beautiful and tasteful. Restaurant week choices were good, and we all enjoyed our meal very much - will definitely bring others to give it a try - looked at the regular lunch and the brunch menus and am already planning a brunch in the next month or so - a nice find and a keeper!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Havana in DC
    nfwsnotes
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    From the moment we entered the dining room we felt we had entered the island destination...or at least Ybor City in Tampa! An energetic hostess and eager wait staff made sure our experience was memorable. The manager checked in with us as well. The restaurant week menuvwas generous and appeared to offer the highlights of the regular menu. From 2 tapas to a main dish to a double dessert, each dish was tasty and just enough pop to alert the taste buds. I recommend the red sangria...just right! I've already recommended Cuba Libre...and will return myself as soon as possible.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Highly recommended!
    Meyling
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    We were there for lunch on Aug. 10th and were immediately impressed by the decor inside the restaurant. The Cuban Hacienda feel was very beautiful as soon as you walk in. Our waiter, Roberto, was spectacular! He explained the menu very well and made some great recommendations! By far, the best service we've had in a long time!! The food was very tasteful and delicious as well! A MUST GO while in DC!!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Average Spanish Food
    DJPFUSSY
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    A bit disappointed with the experience. Seems like more of a drinks/dancing place on Saturdays that a restaurant. The paella was okay, not great. Service was very attentive. Won't return, however.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not open table friendly!
    Khashayar
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    I reserved three seats a week ahead for a special occasion. They called me a day before to conform the date which was good. Then two hours before the reservation they called me told me that They have only hour and half for us to eat there since they have a special event. They did not let us in at the entrance because the event despite of the reservation and two phone confirmation at first. They gave us 5 min to look at the menu and pressure us to leave in 45 min. They said it is all because of open table missmanagement to book the event despite their attempt to close off reservation.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Stay away
    Phil
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Took over 1 hr to get entrees. Food was cold and portions very small. Did not see server for more than 45 minutes! No where to be found.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • expensive.
    sdca2hnlhi
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    We were surprised with the $50 tab for a pitcher. Our fault thought for not looking like cheapskates and asking beforehand.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Refreshing treat
    OnTheGo
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Three of us ate lunch here for the first time and found it a refreshing treat. The food was unique and delicious; the atmosphere was upbeat , yet personal, tucked away near the back so we could talk. I also was lucky to go a second time for a group gathering and found Cuba Libre an engaging and lively place to interact and enjoy novel and scrumptious food. Great place for many kinds of meals and meetings.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Flavorful food!
    DueJustice
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    The food was so good and so flavorful! Our waitress tried to oversell their mojitos, which she says their known for. That was annoying, on top of the fact that she was forgetful! But overall, it was an enjoyable experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love the nightclub, NOT the food
    foodforthought
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    Being a food addict I have to say this was not the best experience. We went when the place was empty, I don't see any reason why the seafood in the paella would have been burnt and my steak was over done. To top it the food was way over priced. I still love the night club atmosphere though.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good food, mediocre service
    turboturtle
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    I love the brunch, but had horrible service last time I went. This visit was a little better. The food is amazing! The waitress took 10-15 minutes to bring us drinks and walked past us a few times without checking on us, but checked on the tables nearby. She was a little snippy in the beginning but I think she heard us complain and was nice by the end. The cubano eggrolls, pork fried rice, the bread are my favorites, but everything was good!!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate