Cuba Libre - DC
Cuba Libre - DC

Cuba Libre - DC

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.cubalibrerestaurant.com/
  • Phone: (202) 408-1600
  • 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
216 reviews since July 25, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food4
    Service3.7
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
82% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
good for groups (89)fit for foodies (87)special occasion (77)vibrant bar scene (56)hot spot (53)neighborhood gem (49)romantic (42)great for lunch (38)late-night find (30)great for brunch (27)great for outdoor dining (15)kid-friendly (12)scenic view (12)notable wine list (7)Show More
  • bleh
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/19/2014
    not a good time. food was cold - service nonexistent. will not return.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Tapas Extraordinairre
    Steve
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    The place is right in the heart (or so) of Chinatown - a few blocks from the Pagoda thingie that stretches across H Street at 5th or so. Anyway, the place is known for it's Mojitos and they didn't disappoint. The drinks were yummy and the server and hostess were both very friendly and helpful. We weren't sure what or how much to order and they were somewhat of a help. I have to say that your eyes should not be bigger than your stomach when you come here. You can easily end up with way too much food. It's best to show up hungry with several people in your party. All that being said, the Tapas brunch was excellent and well worth the price - it's unlimited.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • At least the food was okay
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    Our waiter pushed the 'strongest' drinks (knowing alcohol content of each) and the more expensive items on the menu (but couldn't explain more than just reading the descriptions to us) - when we just ordered small plates, he rolled his eyes and our drinks arrived after our food did. No apology, generally we were ignored. Mentioned it to management on our way out and received an equally 'oh, I'll look into it' blasé response. The food was good, but not worth the price or overall dining experience.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    I don't remember the name of our server but she was very friendly.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great for brunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    Let me get the negative out of the way, which is forgivable due to all the positive aspects of our dining experience. - Couple of the tapas that we ordered didn't come out when we asked for them. We had to ask for them again on the next set of orders. - The waitress took FOREVER to come back to bring us the check. Positives: - The rest of my group didn't get there until after 1:30pm (the time you have to be seated by in order to partake in the all you can eat brunch tapas). The waitress & management allowed us to take advantage of this special since the initial group that arrived was there by 1pm. - The waitress was very kind & accommodating. - The food was amazing. Wasn't a big fan of the crust on the wings though.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, kid-friendly, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing!
    DCTourist
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    My friends & I had the best time at Cuba Libre! So happy to have discovered this place. I will definitely come back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food highlight of our DC trip
    Travlinfoodie
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    What a wonderful, total dining experience! Our server Antonio was so attentive to us, providing detail regarding our food choices. We began with three tapas, the shrimp fundito stood out, the char on the shrimp lent a deep flavor that complemented the corn and cheese. We loved the Cuban spring rolls; great texture and flavor and the pickled vegetable accompaniment was a bonus. Out entrees were equally outstanding. We've already recommended the restaurant to friends and will make a point to return!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • chaotic
    eatwell
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Very noisy, long time for waiter to come then longer for drinks. So many good tapas restaurants nearby that i'd prefer to go to than to deal with poor staffing and so so food.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Too salty
    Localman355
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Mojito was too sweet.....was there alcohol in this drink? Food was too salty, couldn't eat it. The plate was a mushy brown blob...no presentation other than a banana chip.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Noise
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    Come for the food, the friendly service, the nice environment. Don't come if you want to converse. Noise level is too high to allow for conversation.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Phil
    HappyHour2014
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    Went for dinner to celebrate my sister's birthday. The bread was exceptional. Disappointed in the limited entree and wine selection. Would go back for happy hour as the Cuba Libre drink was sensational.
    Special Features:
    scenic view, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Food!
    Allison
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    This place was very good, the food tasted great. My only concern is that we had a dietary restriction and we were asked about it by the host when we walked in. It was noted there for the chef. We noted it to the server when we sat down and the we STILL had items placed in the dish that were not able to be eaten due to the dietary restriction. The servers/ chefs need to be much more conscious of what is happening when they're ordering/ preparing the food. This is an issue that needs to be worked.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Pre-concert dining
    Gaylezee
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    We went before the Fleetwood Mac concert at the Verizon Center on Halloween and it was perfect. The food was great, the place was jumping, several staff, had good costumes, and we were perfectly primed for a great concert!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • BethesdaDinerVIP
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    This was a fun place. The rum bar is a nice offering, although drink size was a trifle small for the price. Food was tasty. Food delivery seemed very haphazard.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIP
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    Food was excellent, wine list is weak, too much of a hodge podge
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Never a Let down
    Pleased
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    My Husband and I ate at Cuba Libre in Orlando a year ago and when we saw one in DC we had to go, and it was once again an amazing food adventure, our waiter was friendly and engaging and we will certainly go again regardless of which state we are in.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not quite as good
    Sittingseeker
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    This has been a favorite for years. Had the arroz con pollo, it was extremely salty. The rest of the dishes at my table seemed better. This place has slipped from "great" to "pretty good" for me.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Cuban Tapas and more
    safetylawyerVIP
    Dined on 10/27/2014
    This was my first time dining here and I was meeting clients for a late lunch/early dinner before an awards ceremony. At 4pm, it was an odd time and the place was pretty empty but the food was still excellent and was delivered promptly to us. I had black bean soup which was one of the best versions I've ever had due to the aromatic broth. My colleagues had the seafood soup, which they said was also excellent. We tried a variety of tapas ... we chose poorly as pretty much everything we ordered was fried, but they were all tasty. I especially liked the potato and meat croquettes and the spinach and goat cheese balls. Next time I would mix it up with fewer fried dishes. My friends enjoyed the "flights of rum" (three different shots).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A Taste of Cuba
    Akil
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    I asked my lady friend to choose a cuisine for her birthday dinner, and she chose Cuban. So in my search, I came across Cuba Libre. I loved the menu immediately and it was a great choice, location-wise. We drove down from Baltimore, and the drive wasn't too bad. There was a parking garage less than a block away, so she had no complaints about the walk in her four inch heels. We chose the chef's tasting menu, and it includes 15 small courses, each offering different Cuban tastes (as well as some from neighboring islands), and it was well worth it. We particularly enjoyed the Haitian Eggplant Salad and the Mahi Mahi entree. I definitely recommend Cuba Libre for the service, food, drink selection (amazing, btw), and ambiance.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • duck
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    to much expensy for food.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Special Features:
    scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Loved this restaurant
    SabhiVIP
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    It has a Cuban feel. The ambiance, the food the drinks everything gives you a a different experience. Staff is very courteous and quick to serve. We had tapas and everything was good. Dessert trio is awesome. Recommend it to my readers. Will go there again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 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.