Zafra Cuban Restaurant & Rum Bar
Zafra Cuban Restaurant & Rum Bar

Zafra Cuban Restaurant & Rum Bar

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://zafrarumbar.com/
  • Phone: 2038595342x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Tuesday - Friday: 11:30am - 4:00pm
    Dinner: Sunday - Wednesday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm
    Thursday: 4:00pm - 11:00pm
    Friday - Saturday: 4:00pm - 12:00am
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Cuban, Latin / Spanish
  • Executive Chef: Chef Haya Tadahiro
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Catering Available. Please call owner, Dominick 2 weeks prior to event @ 860-227-5195
  • Special Events: Check www site for special event listings such as Carribean steel drums, rum tastings and others.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Elm Street
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Street meetered parking as well as 2 public lots within 30 yards from the restaurant.
A word from Zafra Cuban Restaurant & Rum Bar
Zafra is a great place for a date or celebration of any type. Amazing food and cocktails combined with the feel of Old Havana make Zafra a great choice for a night out. With the largest Rum selection in New England you are sure to find some delicious Rums that are new to you.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerCuban
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked 1000-Point Tables
Zafra Cuban Restaurant & Rum Bar reviews from OpenTable diners
45 reviews since May 1, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.2
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
87% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (23)fit for foodies (21)vibrant bar scene (17)hot spot (12)romantic (11)good for groups (10)late-night find (8)special occasion (7)great for brunch (3)great for lunch (3)notable wine list (2)scenic view (1)Show More
  • Spike
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Great roast pork, tostones and a heavenly mojito. Service was wonderful, everyone had a smile and a willingness to substitute to make the customer happy. And I was!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing Food!
    corkygal
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Went to dinner there for a family dinner. First, the service was excellent! The food was AMAZING! We all ordered something different and shared and everything was to die for! The roast pork I could have ate all night! Don't pass this wonderful restaurant up! You won't be disappointed!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great place!
    Seabee88
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    I found this place online through Travelzoo.com, and I decided to check it out the next day. It took my wife and I about an hour to get to, but I must say it was well worth the drive. Highly recommended, just don't plan to have any drinks with a hangover like I did. Couldn't enjoy the selection of rum like I wanted to.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Will return again
    Karie
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    The service was excellent and our waitress was attentive to every need. The Ceviche was one of the best I have ever had, the main courses we had were coked to perfection. Only criticism was that dessert was clearly not given as much attention as the savory dishes and drinks but still yummy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great atmosphere!
    mflorenzo
    Dined on 7/28/2014
    Very pleased, service,food excellent . Better to visit during week as place is small so reservations are necessary on weekends but overall great dining experience. Will go back again
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pleasant Surprise!
    Umpqua
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    This was our first time dining here and the food and cocktails were first rate. We had the special chorizo empanadas appetizer and the special coconut tilapia curry at our server's suggestion and the were phenomenal! We'll definitely be coming back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    Overall, the restaurant was a pleasant find. The Cubano was the best I have ever had with the roast pork being particularly flavorful. I would like to return for dinner sometime to sample the full entrees.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Little Restaurant
    mper08
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    Great food and an extensive selection of rum. Service is top notch. I highly recommend the tostones rellenos, shrimp skewers, and the lechon asado.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    We had a great meal at Zafra. Service was friendly and helpful. Food was delicious. Large drink menu. The noise level was a little high, I think it is the space - since there was no loud music.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious food, 200+ Rums
    KennyVIP
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    This is a nice place, not too big providing an intimate setting. The staff was very attentive without being annoying. They have 200+ different rums, many you would sip like a fine scotch. I enjoyed one and a mojito with fresh mint, lime and a real sugar cane stick. I ordered the daily special - a coconut-encrusted tilapia dish in a tasty curry sauce. The curry was a good compliment to the coconut. It was delivered hot - I had to wait for it to cool a bit before eating it. It was accompanied by rice and fried plantain. I will return to try more of their rum selection.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • happy hour
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/23/2014
    tried 3 of the 4 happy hour appetizers: Tostones Rellenos Crispy were great, Cuban Dumplings were okay, and beef Empanadas were disappointing good service
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good Ethnic Cuisine
    Will
    Dined on 6/12/2014
    Zafra was not busy when we had a business lunch for 9 in this relatively small restaurant. The atmosphere is modern, but with nice touches of Cuban flair. The lunch menu is diverse and reasonably priced. Even if you don't think you're a fan of Cuban cuisine, you'll find something you'll like at Zafra's.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great little place
    DonR
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    Ate every single bit of food on my plate... So did my wife. Great taste, portions perfect.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Zafra - New Haven
    MikeDC
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    Zafra is a neighborhood gem and a "hot-spot" for folks that like great eating and a very reasonable price.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/27/2014
    I was pleasantly surprised. I was expecting good food, but my rib eye was perfectly seasoned and cooked. The boiled yuca were fantastic! I will definitely be visiting again and will be recommending to everyone I talk to.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • New Haven Gem
    MikeDC
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    Great restaurant with excellent food, service and a vibrant atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Not good
    prisia
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    The appetizer was delicious (we had the tostones rellenos) so we were excited for the main dishes. What a disappointment. My husbands Churrasco steak was super cold, so they took the dish back, put in the microwave for 10 sec and got the plate back to us. Of course the steak by then tasted like rubber. The rice was horrible. They probably use the Uncle Ben's prepared bagged rice that you just put in the microwave for a minute and it's done. My Lechon assado was salty and also pretty cold. The servers were excellent and so was the mango mojito (the regular mojito was watery and we couldn't taste the rum). Since the staff was so nice we didn't have the courage to complain about the food. Def not coming back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Nice atmosphere, average foot
    lsmith
    Dined on 5/12/2014
    This restaurant has a nice bar scene with great Happy Hour specials and a nice atmosphere perfect for conversation. The downside is the food. Small portions that are not worth the price and average at best.
    Special Features:
    romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Cuba comes to New Haven
    MikeDC
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    The restaurant is quietly tucked in on a small, side street which makes it a gem once you get inside and see the vibrant bar and receptive staff making your arrival, stay and departure an exceptional one. I truly enjoyed stopping in and having a great glass of sangria along with a main encore.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Food Great Rum Bar!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    Ventured over here last friday. Saw it on open table figured why not give it a shot. Had the Churrasco Steak and paired it with a house mojito. Not only was the steak perfect but the mojito was just as good! The staff is friendly and easy to talk to. This will definitely be turning into my new mid week getaway!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, scenic view, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Don't waste your money!
    Grouponlover
    Dined on 5/5/2014
    Arrived at 6:30 pm....only one other table with people at the time and 4 ppl at the bar. Gave the waiter our drink order...took 20 minutes to bring our drinks! We asked him twice...trust me - this place is small enough to look right at the waiter/ bartender at all times. We ordered Cuban nachos to start... They took 40 Minutes!!!!! And arrived cold! The black beAns on the nachos were cold, (ugh) the cheese wasn't even melted....we ordered 3 dinners which were moderately tasty at best. The Cuban sandwich was probably the best... The coconut tilapia was pretty tasteless, the house pork dish was hard to taste because there must have been 15 garlic cloves on it. There is a much better Cuban restaurant in new haven...don't waste your money here.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 24 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 1, 2014
    • Overall Rating4
    • Food4.1
    • Ambiance3.8
    • Service4.1
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 18 reviews are from the Zafra Cuban Restaurant & Rum Bar reviews archive.
  • Third time's a charm.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    Visiting my niece at Yale over the weekend. Suddenly trying to make Saturday evening reservations for six at the last minute. No luck on the first two tries. Called Zafra - no problem. Food and service were excellent. A rum bar with well over 60 "sipping" rums awakened a table of wine snobs to joys of sophisticated rums (I learned that lesson long ago in Jamaica). I would go back in a heartbeat.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Late-Night Find, Hot Spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great place!
    Nancy
    Dined on 4/18/2014
    Friendly service, great food and drinks -- what more could you want!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Bad service always ruins the meal!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    Although we were seated promptly the service was awful and set the tone of the dining mood. We ordered apps that never showed. The waitress blamed the kitchen but we think she did not put the order in. She was not apologetic at all. The apps came AFTER the meal was serve. There were no accommodations made for the the mistake until we said something. And even after the apps still showed up on the check at the bottom of the check like it was an afterthought. When we brought this to her attention, still no apologies given but she was willing to delete those items off the menu. the food was pretty decent though small portions. I would have loved to take my leftovers home but they took my plate away while I was away from the table!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Decent food, poor management
    Robert
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    Arrived early when the restaurant was nearly empty. Insisted on sitting us next to a loud talking couple. Decent food, but not worth putting up with the unfriendly management.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good, Semi-Cuban Food
    Bird
    Dined on 4/10/2014
    As a Cuban from Miami, I was a taken aback by their selection and what they considered Cuban food. They had some traditional Cuban dishes, like tostones, picadillo, vaca frita, flan, and empanadas. However, they missed some quintessential items such as croquetas, mariquitas, bistec empanizado, polla a la milanesa, pastelitos, to name a few. Many of their dishes threw in a plantain to give it a Cuban spin. The food was good, just not Cuban. Also, the men's bathroom has a picture of Fidel Castro on their door. Why they put a picture of a ruthless dictator on their door is baffling.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food!
    Nurse
    Dined on 4/6/2014
    Only thing is a table for 2 people in a odd location, directly infront of the kitchen door.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not the neighborhood gem
    TTwilliams
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    Overall, I wasn't impressed by the food, service, or decor. We were seated next to the bathroom. There was nothing special about this restaurant- and the rum isn't even enough to make this a reservation worth while.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great place. Great food!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    Will definitely be returning, this was my first visit & I was very impressed with the service and the food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • First time visit
    JoyJoy
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    Tiny restaurant with big flavor! Found Zafra through Opentable. Cuban food and rum bar in one. Classic mojitos are great and dishes taste homemade. We loved that it's in New Haven but off the busier sections.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Neighborhood Cuban
    branforddinerVIP
    Dined on 3/21/2014
    Lively/ energetic neighborhood spot just around the corner from the Green. Reasonably priced creative dishes, all that we tried were delicious. Try the Cuban latte after dinner, not to be missed.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Glad we found this restaurant
    romilesdining
    Dined on 3/16/2014
    What a great place to eat. The waiter was very knowledgeable of the menu items and drinks. From the appetizers to the main entrée everything was amazing! Even though the restaurant was packed due to the St. Patricks day crowd, our table was ready without a wait. Great first impression and excellent end of the evening with a coffee rum instead of dessert (waiter suggestion). We found this place with travelzoo. Great way to get people to visit.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • All you need is Rum
    linsgriffin
    Dined on 3/14/2014
    A friend and I met for a drink on a Friday night. It was a little difficult getting in the door, even with our reservation... but only because a large group of 8 had shown up at the exact same moment, and we had to wait for the staff to meticulously set up their tables before being seated. The service was fine, but it could have been a little more attentive. We ordered mojitos (which were perfect) and two appetizers, which were fine. As the bar filled up, it became very difficult to talk to each other as we had to shout over others' shouting and laughing. It is a good place to have a good time, but we were in the mood to be a little more mellow than that.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • You can't get to Havana....
    twodox
    Dined on 2/22/2014
    ... but you can experience Cuba on Orange Street. ' Zafra looks like a neighborhood spot on Calle Ocho, with period posters, high tables and stools. The food was exceptional, full of tropical tastes and surprises. The ceviche was light and fruity, with a zesty cilantro overtone. My wife raved about her scallops. I have had many salmon filets, but this was something special. The crispy guava crust and avocado topping made it a Caribbean treat. The service was warm, friendly and efficient.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Valentine's Day Dinner for 2
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Awesome rum selection and very knowledgeable bartender. Great for drinks, appetizers and background music. Entrees were disappointing and made even more so after a rather long wait. Honest feedback was well received by restaurant staff. Apparently they rushed cooking our dishes given the wait. None of the entrees were well seasoned and the tilapia dish needed mojo sauce to give it flavor. I would go back to see if they get it right.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • mediocre at best
    joesnow
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Took forever for meals and the portions were abismal for price
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Small but tasty
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Food was tasty. Drinks were ok. I should have ordered a mojitos. Very cute place. Would have liked a little more personality. Would go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • New Chef?
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 1/31/2014
    This was my 3rd visit to Zafra. The first two times I thought the food was awesome. I would rate the food on my third visit as average. Is there a new chef? Something was missing.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Find!
    MellieRose17
    Dined on 1/31/2014
    I'm Cuban and I have been searching for a restaurant that makes authentic Cuban food. When I ate at Zafra, I felt like I was back home eating my grandmother's food. It was delicious!! I chose the Ropa Vieja, my favorite dish as a child. My husband enjoyed the food as well. The place was cozy and intimate. There was an sophisticated, adult crowd (which I loved!). Five stars for me!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.