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

Zafra Cuban Restaurant & Rum Bar

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://zafrarumbar.com/
  • Phone: (203) 859-5342
  • 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.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerCuban
Zafra Cuban Restaurant & Rum Bar reviews from OpenTable diners
51 reviews since July 29, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.4
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance3.8
    Noise LevelModerate
86% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (27)neighborhood gem (25)vibrant bar scene (20)hot spot (16)romantic (11)special occasion (10)good for groups (9)late-night find (5)great for lunch (4)great for brunch (2)notable wine list (2)Show More
  • Great Cuban Cuisine
    insidepitch
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    Authentic Cuban cuisine - from apps to entree to dessert. And the rum bar has enough choices to keep you intrigued for many visits.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Eating is believing!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Tori was sweet enough to seat us at opening, as we arrived earlier than our reservation. The staff was still settling up and our patience was rewarded with outstanding service and flavorful food! Looking forward to visiting my nephew at Yale so we can taste more dishes at ZAFRA!!!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not so much...
    Philly
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    We went during restaurant week because I wanted to try Zafra. We were not permitted to order off the regular menu. Ok. I guess I should have known better since it's a rum bar. I simply wasn't blown away by the food. The salad wasn't fresh or crisp. The mahi mani was good but the toppings didn't meld - the salsa and vegetables weren't married well.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Restaurant Week Find
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    Enjoyed restaurant week dinner with friends here. Very attentive staff and delicious food!
    Special Features:
    hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • too noisey
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    loved the food. service was fair, i wouldn't rush to go back for dinner because of the noise level but i will be trying lunch simply because the food was awesome. I suspect it wouldn't be as noisy at lunch time...keeping my fingers crossed
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Finally Gave it a Whirl
    MellVIP
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    I finally had an opportunity to try Zafra on Saturday. We really enjoyed our meal. The rum selection was great and there was an extensive list of fun rum drinks. I enjoyed my mahi mahi and my husband really enjoyed his calamari appetizer. My one disappointment was the ceviche. It lacked flavor and fell flat on my palate. We will definitely go back and hopefully bring my son who loves Cuban food.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food & drinks
    Victor
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    We walk in and notice a basement type smell. It was clean and tiled, we enjoyed the great food & drinks. It was a small place but worth returning.
    Special Features:
    romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • delicious cuban at Zafra
    Yummy
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    There was on the street parking at a meter, which was very convenient. Zafra is small but very attractively decorated with a very nice bar. All the waiters and bartender were very friendly and answered all our questions. The mojitos were excellent and so was the dinner. My husband had the ropa vieja and I had the fircasse de pollo which I would definitely order again. We will be going back to Zafra again soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very Disappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    My reservation time meant nothing. I waited over an hour for appetizers which came out with my meal; the order for 1 of the appetizers wasn't placed in time so it came out even later. The wait staff never checked on us and appeared to avoid us until the food came out. The food had good taste but my meat was cold. Very disappointed!!!!!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We enjoyed Zafra
    WendyVIP
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    Great and interesting food, pleasant and attentive service. Pushed drinks a little, but it is a bar after all. My only objection is that almost all the seating is the high bar seat kind. As a tall person, I find this uncomforable. I would prefer a regular table and chairs.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food, Atmosphere and Service
    Traveler22
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    ... All at a great price. Recommend. The rum selection is worth a look, and the bartender will be happy to help you pick a good one.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • just ok
    Disappointed
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    The menu looked great. When I first walked in, I noticed a slightly musty smell but the place is all tile, so I don't know where it came from. I love Cuban food, and the 2 fish entrees were good--not wow, I can't wait to have this again, but decent. We tasted 3 of the appetizers, and they were just OK. Not that tasty, and rather dry. We expected a little more flavor all the way around. Our server was nice and pleasant, but she didn't know what some of the ingredients were in the specialty drinks, and she asked us to keep our first course silverware, but there was no place to set them down except on the bare wooden table. It was a pleasant enough experience, but I don't think I would bother to go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • What a find!
    GoodEats
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    We tried Zafra on a lark prior to a concert at SCSU. Everything was truly outstanding.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    The restaurant was excellent. Service was great. Atmosphere was perfect
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A great evening
    laboricua7
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    We had a great evening at Zafra: excellent food, warm service, and lively ambiance. The appetizers were yummy: the Havana sampler.We also enjoyed our main courses: Fricassee de pollo, lechon, and picadillo. The only jarring note were the black beans: underdone and very little flavor! I think Zafra has to improve on this item, since it is a very important item in Cuban cuisine! I nevertheless gave it 5 stars because the rest of the meal was outstanding.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, late-night find, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great cuban food
    JoshK
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    The meal and service was excellent. Great rum selection.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great
    happy01mr
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    This is the third time that I used table top for my reservation and I love it. My table was always ready. I recommend this services
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great time...again
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    We went to Zafra's for our anniversary. Everything was wonderful...the service, the food. I look forward to going back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • 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.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 29 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 29, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.5
    • Food4.5
    • Ambiance3.9
    • Service4.5
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 35 reviews are from the Zafra Cuban Restaurant & Rum Bar reviews archive.
  • 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 2014VIP
    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
  • 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