Cuba Libre - DC

4.4
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3393 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Cuban
Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar features classic and contemporary Cuban 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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What 3393 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.5
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
77% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MM
Washington DC
21 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cuba Libre has one of the best seafood soups I have ever eaten. It’s too complicated to make myself, so I thoroughly enjoy it at the restaurant whenever I can.

OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was great and our server was great as well .

j
New York Area
76 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was timely. Our table was well situated. The food was tasty and served in a timeframe allowing for an enjoyable meal.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall5food5service2ambience4

Waiter kept pressuring us to clear the table while having several empty tables around us. So frustrating

F
Dallas
5 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Fantastic food

E
Washington DC
18 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My wife and I had the theater menu before going to a show at the Nation Theatre. I highly recommend this restaurant. Amazing Cuban flavors. If you go, don't miss the black beans and the cuban bread with Mango butter. To die for. The black beans are well cooked with smoked pork and come with a topping of finely chopped onions and I think radish. Don't knock it until you try it. I was floored. Some of the best black beans I've ever had. I also had the spinach bunelos appetizer. A very light crust surrounds a warm, soft, cheesy spinach center. A hint of sourness from the cheese that finishes out the flavor experience. Very good. For dinner, I had the Pez Cobia. The white King fish steak sat atop a bed of mussels, shrimp, scallops in a creamy sopa with a bowl of cilantro rice on the side. I thought it was excellent. My wife didn't care for it. Said it was a bit too fishy smelling for her. I liked the pairing of flavors and I either couldn't smell it or didn't smell it because that wasn't a factor for me. I gobbled it down and even asked for a spoon to finish the sopa. My wife had the Ropa Vieja. It was very good as well. Tender shredded brisket with stewed tomatoes, and onions in a red wine sauce with a bowl of cilantro rice on the side. Though the flavors were good and intense, I thought it was a little salty. But still very good when you paired the saltiness of the meat with the cilantro rice. For desserts, I had the flan. Mango topped, the flan was firm and tenderly creamy. Amazing. My wife had the Tres Leche cake. It came in a cute tin and was topped with a mocha mouse and a layer or crema at the bottom. It was also very good. Everything is highly recommended. The ambiance of the restaurant and the themed decor gives you the feeling of sitting in a sidewalk cafe in Havana. A little loud sometimes but it was still intimate and cordial. I really, really liked it and will definitely go again... for the black beans if nothing else.

SF
New York Area
28 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Service was faster than I’ve ever seen. Within 15 minutes of ordering my entree arrived. Though we were only half dinner with the appetizers. Though the fried yuca was bland and not as tasty or original as others. The hummus was so-so. The entrees were much better and were fully enjoyed. The arroz con pollo was moist and very good. My wife had a ton of shrimp in her dish. Dessert was delicious but rather small. We had the tres leches cake and it was very small and thin. Typically it’s a large slice of cake!

C
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We went here for brunch with friends. The food was all really good, served quickly, and service was outstanding! They were very attentive, but not intrusive, helpful, and very sweetly comped us a couple of items when they heard it was my birthday the coming Wednesday, and wrote a nice note on our bill at the end. Everything was delicious, and I'm so glad we found this place. Definitely recommend!

JD
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Every dish we had was outstanding and there was plenty of it.

AT
Baltimore
12 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food3service5ambience5

This time around my shrimp was undercooked, when I mentioned it to the waitress nothing was acknowledge. But overall, enjoyed everything else. Always a pleasure.

K
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience5

Beautiful ambiance, great food, service was slow for a light brunch crowd.

JB
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall3food4service4ambience2

It was extremely cold inside the restaurant. It was like we were dining on the street. I don’t know if I would go back, I felt uncomfortable wearing my coat while eating

M
Washington DC
18 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful service and delicious food! And great drinks! We were glad that we were on the early side because the volume was building but for 3 older people it was a delightful early dinner!

ME
Baltimore
25 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

We had a really fun night. The staff were great and the atmosphere was really pleasant. We really enjoyed the food, especially the fried plantains. Thanks!

DY
Indiana
7 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience4

The food was good. The restaurant was cold and got colder every time the door was opened. We were expecting great food and service based on a previous experience. Instead both were merely adequate.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

It was a nice little place and food was decent. Drinks were so-so to good my group each got a different drink. Coming back on a Friday or Saturday night to get a better feel for the place.

OT
Washington DC
28 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall2food3service2ambience4

Pros: Gorgeous interior, absolutely love the atmosphere and decor.

Cons: Far more casual than I was expecting. No dress code despite being in a premier location, we were sat next to a table of people talking on speaker phone during phone calls and wearing hoodies and shorts which was very disappointing when you’re spending over $100 on dinner for two. Service was very casual, little uniformity and more of a “ready to order?” attitude than a service-based approach.

Overall: Food was good, cocktails were underwhelming and service was underwhelming as well...would be hard to find a reason to go back. Sad considering how cool the place COULD be.

ST
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Both the food and service was great! We were all very pleased with the experience.

RV
Dallas
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lively atmosphere, great service and excellent food! We had a party of 5, we all ordered a different entree and they were all very tasty. Our waiter was amazing, he knew it was grandmas birthday and made her feel special, bringing her a complimentary “flan” dessert that was really delicious. Would definitely be back for dinner when we visit DC again!

A
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall2food1service3ambience2

For a Sunday evening, the restaurant was packed which made talking to my dining guest sitting next to me nearly impossible. Our server was wonderful, but I can't say the same for the food. We are "regulars" at Cubra Libre, meaning we dine there at least five times during a year since 2013. By far, the worst dining experience ever...mainly from the food standpoint. We always start with the chicken empanadas and grilled octopus - huge mistake this time around. Empanadas were doughy and lacked any semblance of a flavorful filling, let alone chicken. The poor octopus was charred to the degree of disservice to the critters that gave up their aquatic lives for our meal. The seafood paella - our go-to dish - was okay at best. Too much liquid so the bomba rice never had a chance to shine in Spain's signature dish. We were leery of the accompanying shellfish as the excessive chewy texture and less then sharp fresh brine test was absent, but neither of us became ill afterward. We'll probably give it another try down the road, but our once special place seems to have lost a bit of the magic it brought to DC. Hope you can find it again.

D
Baltimore
5 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall3food2service1ambience1

The food quality and preparation has gone downhill since our last visit. Our dinner came out of the kitchen at different times with long delays, the cuban sandwich was not authentic and the pork quality was poor. The black bean soup was good. The house salad was bitter and lackluster. All in all, I would recommend trying a different restaurant.

JF
Birmingham
9 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Go here every time we visit DC. Very good restaurant

E
Jacksonville
5 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Food was excellent as always. We were disappointed that the waitress did not tell us that the salsa was an added cost of $10.00

A
New England
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The staff was very friendly, even though we brought there our 3 kids, all 3 and under. The food and drinks were also delicious.

LV
Las Vegas
36 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Exceptional mojitos - regular, passion fruit, pineapple, mango !!! Super food - delicious and authentic

CD
Washington DC
51 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience4

Charming atmosphere, like being at a cafe in Havana. Delicious food. Slow service even though restaurant was not crowded, and had to repeat requests to wait staff several times. For the price, we will go to restaurants with better servers.

Cuba Libre - DC
Responded on October 10, 2019

Hello, thank you for joining us this past Sunday. Thank you for providing this feedback, as it helps us improve everyday. I'm glad you enjoyed the food and atmosphere, but it sounds like your service was not up to the standards we pride ourselves on here at Cuba Libre. I would like to hear more from you about your experience. Please reach out to me at the restaurant to set up a phone call to discuss your experience in more detail. I will send you a private message with contact information.

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OT
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was amazing and the service was quick. Loved the Raspberry Mojito and the pineapple guacamole was so tasty!!

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very attentive staff. Amazing unique food. Would go again

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Place was extremely chill and the food was sooooooooooooooooo delicious!!!

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The food was amazing, and it was a great atmosphere for date night!

OT
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience4

The food is excellent although the size of the servings seem to be getting progressively smaller over the years. My only real complaint is that the mojito I ordered had ZERO rum in it. It was essentially just simple syrup, soda and muddled mint. Very disappointing really because this place used to have THE best mojitos outside of Miami. My waiter was apologetic and it seemed that it wasn't the first time it have been brought to his attention by a customer.

OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful attitude of service professionals
Ambiance terrific

B
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fun restaurant, great mojitos. BELIEVE your server when he/she tells you that the onion rings are HOT - none of us could handle them...

a
Los Angeles
48 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience3

Food was served cold and service was poor

J
Baltimore
8 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cuba Libre DC is in Penn Quarter very close to the Gallery Place Metro. The staff is excellent. They were attentive, happy and hard working. The food was delivered promptly and as ordered. The quality was excellent. We will certainly be returning in the future and I highly recommend this establishment for date night.

OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Cuban music please and was not crazy about the spicy pork

S
New England
5 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved the food,atmosphere and service was excellent. Milton was our server. I eat gluten free and he was pretty knowledgeable and guided me through the menu. Plenty of good choices. I had the pineapple guacamole with plantain chips for an appetizer and arroz con pollo for dinner. Try it, you’ll love it!

OT
Nashville
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was wonderful!!! Best Cuban food in DC

OT
Tampa
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food here is always on point. Try their brunch over the weekend well priced.

M
Washington DC
263 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Adequate / nothing special

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