Cuba de Ayer

4.6
723 reviews
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$30 and under
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Cuban
Come enjoy the tropical tastes of Cuba! Authentic home style Cuban cuisine where our customers feel as though they are eating home cooked meals that would be found in Grandma's kitchen. Cuba de Ayer is an ideal escape for a delicious cup of Cuban coffee, a Cuban grilled sandwich, followed up by something sweet like a slice of tres leches cake. mmm.... Bring your friends, family or come alone-strangers are simply friends we've yet to meet.
What 723 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.4
service
4.5
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love Cuba De Ayer!!! One of my favorites and go to’s! Never fails! Never Disappointed! The Best Cuban in the DC area!

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AG
New York Area
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing place, exquisite food, excellent prices. Would love to go back at least twice a month!

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C
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Everything during my visit was great! The service, quality, and ambiance were perfect. Will be back and will definitely recommend this restaurant.

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F
Baltimore
5 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time. I will return

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TK
Baltimore
8 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We came as a group for a birthday/going away celebration for a coworker. All the food was good. Two of the people in our group didn’t like their meals but they were easily and quickly replaced. Otherwise everyone was more than satisfied.

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M
Baltimore
6 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We always have great food when we come here. Servers are very attentive. I was always a Tres Leches kinda gal but their Flan has me questioning everything!! 😂

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RB
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Cuba de Ayer lives up to everything you would expect from a Caribbean/Cuban restaurant. The ambiance is colorful and inviting although a bit loud for conversation. I think the noise level actually reflects the enjoyment of the customers. The food is Excellent, service is great and the place is hopping with happy, fun customers! We will definitely return and recommend this restaurant.

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JD
Washington DC
21 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dinner was great as usual, no complaints. Minor mistake with my order was corrected quickly and with no drama. Great place for a good meal!

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CT
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

I’ve gone to Cuba de Ayer for many years and this was the first time I was truly disappointed. We had reservations but we’re seated at a two-too near the front window. It was so cold that all three of the diners seated next to window had to eat dinner with their coats on! Service was terrible that night. And the maduros were over cooked. It was truly disappointing.

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SP
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had been numerous times but it was my friend's first time and she loved it. The decor and overall ambience was lovely. Our sever was awesome and the food was delicious!!! I would definitely go back.

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w
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 3ambience 1

This restaurant is disappointing. The appetizers (spinach salad and soup) where way too large, especially compared to the entrées. We were only half finished with our appetizers, when the server brought our entrées—we had to send her back with them. When we finally got our entrées, they were cold. The chicken fricassée, more bone than meat, seemed to be composed of left-overs from the chicken soup, overcooked and old. The dish was supposed to come with olives, but there was only one small olive. The dessert was supposed to include merengue, but there was no sign of it—just sponge cake with some cream on top. The loud music inhibited our conversation.

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TF
1 review
Dined on February 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I already have recommended Cuba de Ayer to at least 10 people! My experience was most enjoyable. For dinner I savored every bite of the oxtail with black beans and rice, and sweet plantains. Can you say tender and melt in your mouth delicious!!! The meal was flavorful and service was gracious. I'm planning to go back next week for lunch.

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MY
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on February 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a wonderful experience. We went there to celebrate my daughter's birthday and they were very welcoming. They displayed excellent customer service to our guests and strived to accommodate every request. We will definitely be going back for some delicious Cuban cuisine.

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NJ
Baltimore
20 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always amazing!!!!

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CC
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

It was my first time at cuba de ayer, great service, great food!! I'll be back...

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BR
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Can’t say one bad thing about dining here. Everytime service is fast food is always outstanding.

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S
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was amazing! I had the Caribbean Salmon, which was incredible! Had so much flavor, with just a hint of spice (not spicy though). So flavorful! A really great dish! It was a recommendation from our server, and she led us right!

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JD
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

We loved this place! The service was outstanding. Michelle was such a good waitress. The food was really enjoyable- fresh and tasty. their homemade hot sauce was terrific(bought a bottle). Meeting a friend from Baltimore and we were looking for an affordable but good place that was in between dc and Baltimore. This met the bill- amazed how full it was early on a Friday night. We will be back!

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S
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Cuba de Ayer has very wonderful and authentic cuban food. We have always had the best time when we go there. For those folks who require Gluten free, the majority of the cuban dishes are for you! I highly recommend it.

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CG
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I've been eating here for years and I have NEVER had a bad experience. Delicious food and GREAT service EVERY SINGLE TIME!

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Family Valentine’s day celebration.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 2ambience 3

Had a reservation for 2, still had to wait 20 mins for a table

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LF
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We visited Cuba de Ayer to celebrate a friend's new job and relocation to the area. Cuba de Ayer did NOT disappoint. He had the pollo empanizado, which he LOVED. He said it was "outstanding." He said it was even better than what he'd had in the past. Two of us got the Vaca Frita, which was so incredibly tasty and I recommended the camarones al ajillo to our other friend and she loved the garlic sauce. Naturally, we also ordered the empanadas and everyone like the chicken and beef ones the best. Our server was terrific! She made sure that we had waters to start and got our drink orders filled right away. She was also very sweet to bring me a tres leches for my birthday and removed the sparkler from the dessert so that my friends did not have to embarrass me and sing Happy Birthday to me. I always make reservations on Open Table for Cuba de Ayer because the place has become so popular. We only had to wait about five minutes for our table to be cleaned up, which was not bad at all for a 7:00 reservation. Cuba de Ayer is now a favorite of my friend's so he will be back. I will always be a returning customer because the food is delicious and the ambiance is inviting. It is a little loud at times, but that is a sign that people are enjoying themselves.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The steak i ordered was tremendous, and the service was great

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OT
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Two hour wait for my reservation....

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D
Baltimore
12 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Valentines Day was very crowded but we had two mojitos in the bar while we waited for our table. The young man who prepared the mojitos put a lot of elbow grease effort into muddling the mint so the mojitos were excellent and not overly sweet. The sangria and espresso were also very good we had some traditional dishes and the chicken was fall off the bone tender! The tostones could have been more tender on the inside and more crispy on the outside but everything else was very good. I particularly liked the homemade pimientos and the couple of tiny tender green olives in the arroz con pollo. The Cuban rum cake used a very good tasting white rum. Yum. The ambience lighting decorations and music were perfect and the waitress was friendly and very helpful and industrious!! The restaurant is probably often crowded from 6to 7pm so 7:30pm would be a better time to go. We had a great time.

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RH
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 4

I made a reservation 4 days in advance. We waited over 35 minutes to be seated. When asking the manager why the wait was so long if we had a reservation, her response was that the restaurant sent a message stating that we would have to wait. I never received any message from Cuba de Ayer. There were about 30 people in an extremely small waiting area all waiting to be seated. I know that Valentines night is often crowded but with a reservation, one should not have to wait 35 minutes. By the time we were seated, we were upset and exasperated.

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j
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and great food

Our table as requested was waiting for us at the time we arrived

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GG
Baltimore
6 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Lovely restaurant with great live music. Very good food. Would like a vegetable with some of the meat dishes.

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LB
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very easy to reserve a table through open table. We were seated immediately & the waitress was easy going & attentive. The food was delicious ! We were able to take some leftovers home as well.

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CC
Baltimore
6 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Been here before and the food is always delicious. The service is great. It’s a small place but not uncomfortable. Will continue to go and enjoy.

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EF
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Haven't been to Cuba de Ayer in years. I remember it being just okay, but this time it was much better. I got 2 appetizers, the shrimp with avocado and beef empanadas and both were very good. Everyone else at the time enjoyed their food also. I will definitely be going more often.

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t
Baltimore
17 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Great spot to catch up with friends,
Love their mojitos, garlic shrimp on avocado appetizer (say yes to bread) and marinated pork dishes with sweet plaintains.

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OT
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The food is great. It’s a great place for a regular meal, or a special occasion.

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BK
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place! I have been several times, order different plates each time, and have been impressed each time! Food is delicious, traditional decor is nice, very relaxing. Can’t wait to go again.

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SJ
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

We checked in shortly before our reservation time. We waited 20 minutes. Turns out the gentleman did not check us in. This learned, only after I inquired how much longer the wait would be. I note his female colleague did not inform us we were not checked in. She quietly informed him but I overheard the conversation. We should have been informed. Instead his female colleague stated she apologized and they were backed up a few minutes. The gentleman also apologized for the wait generally. We should have been told of the error. Of course, our wait should have been obvious as we were sitting/standing right at the counter. Otherwise, the food was good.

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g
Baltimore
32 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Al;ways good! They really offer nice little bonuses when you are on their mailing list-- like free appetizers or dessert. Lots of family celebrations- all generations- really nice to see. Lots of diversity in the patrons as well. And the food is always hot, always well-prepared and fresh with lots of gluten-free options. Had the trout this time and it was perfect- moist and well-seasoned. My only word of caution is the dining room that is one step down is a little chilly. Bring a sweater!

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JS
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 4

Food is authentic and flavors are at par with Cuban cuisine. The service could use a more customer attendance approach.

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CO
Washington DC
57 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Simply the best Cuban food in the Baltimore-washington DC area. Great variety on menu pleases everyone's tastes, but best to order several dishes and share. Make a reservation to insure you don't have to wait. Come on a Wednesday for live music or enjoy the upbeat recorded Latin tunes other times. Owner is often on site, but staff are friendly, know their menu and make sure you have a great experience. Reasonable prices for a great night out.

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JD
Washington DC
21 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love this Restaurant, never had a bad experience.

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