About Cuba Libre - DC

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.

801 9th Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
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Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Cuban, Latin American, Caribbean

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 ,

Cross Street:
Corner of 9th & H Streets

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(202) 408-1600

Website:
http://www.cubalibrerestaurant.com/

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.

Catering:
Planning a party? Contact Lyn Heister, Director of Sales and Local Marketing, to learn about Cuba Libre's event spaces, customized menus, bar packages and more! Off-site catering also available, inquire for more details.

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 on Friday & Saturday nights.

Public Transit:
Two Blocks away from Chinatown Metro Stop (Red, Yellow, Green Lines). Four Blocks from Metro Center Stop (Orange & Blue Lines)

Executive Chef:
Guillermo Pernot

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Dancing, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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Private Dining

Consider Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum the destination for your next social or corporate event. Whether it’s an intimate party of 15, a grand event for 500, a themed cocktail party or an elegant dinner, Cuba Libre is the ideal setting for an unforgettable private party or special event.

Cuba Libre - DC Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.3

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.3

service

4.1

ambience

4.4

value

3.9

Noise

Moderate

88% would recommend it to a friend

Authentic (43)
Good for a Date (39)
Fun (35)
See All
Creative Cuisine (35)
Special Occasion (32)
Tapas (29)
Good for Birthdays (27)
Casual (27)
Good for Groups (26)
Vibrant Bar Scene (25)
Happy Hour (24)
Hot Spot (21)
Fit for Foodies (21)
Neighborhood Gem (20)
Handcrafted Cocktails (19)
Romantic (19)
Good for Anniversaries (17)
Late-night Find (17)
Business Meals (16)
Bar Seating (15)
Great for Lunch (15)
Pre/post Theatre (14)
Comfort Food (13)
Worth the Drive (13)
Tasting Menu (11)
Live Music (10)
Good Vegetarian Options (9)
Spicy (8)
Cozy (7)
People Watching (7)
Great for Brunch (6)
Healthy (4)
Great for Outdoor Dining (4)
Quick Bite (4)
Sunday Lunch (4)
Afternoon Coffee (3)
Gluten Free Options (3)
Great Beer (3)
Seasonal (3)
Vegan (3)
Quiet Conversation (2)
Disabled Access (1)
Local Ingredients (1)
Scenic View (1)
Waterfront (1)
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2855 reviews
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·Dined 2 days ago

Went for our anniversary. Enjoyed everything.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Adelaide / SA)·Dined 3 days ago

I enjoyed the authentic Cuban food and good rum selection. Plus, the service was prompt, helpful, and added to the experience.

Tags: Authentic, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Fun
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined 4 days ago

The services was great and the environment was energetic especially for a Monday night. We had the guacamole with crab for appetizer and then, skirt steak, and tapas for our main course. The food was very good. We chose some options which were a little oily / heavy but the meal on the whole was very good.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined 4 days ago

Food was great. Service was fairly slow. I should say that, once ordered, food came out very quickly (almost too quickly). But our server was not very attentive and it wasn’t very busy

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food5
ambience4
service2
value3

 
·Dined 4 days ago

HONEY, was the best server I had in a long time. Everything about the way she did her job was awesome.

The food was okay. The rice was very soupy especially for a seafood paella! Someone else said they went there yesterday and their rice was soupy also.

My friends thought everything was good. So to be fair 5 stars.

Tags: Happy Hour
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food2
ambience5
service5
value3

 
·Dined 4 days ago

Food was exceptional Service was great. Went before an event st Capital One Arena.

Tags: Special Occasion, Fun, Quick Bite, Late-night Find, Cozy, Seasonal, Happy Hour
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined 4 days ago

Food was amazing and the staff was great, but service was a bit slow for a business lunch

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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined 5 days ago

Tables were too close to each other so basically had to squeeze between 2 different tables to get out.

Bar service was initially slow and had to get hand in air to initially be waited on (after almost 5 min)

Dinner wait service was mediocre at best. Did not follow up at table to check if food was ok and had to flag down in order to get bill.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience4
service2
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 7, 2017

Festive and fun atmosphere. Good food and drinks. Love the decor inside. Our server was friendly and very attentive!

Tags: Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 5, 2017

The hostess that greeted us was great. She seemed to legitimately care about what she was doing and was quite pleasant. Our server was nice too however she seemed to perpetuate this feeling of being rushed which, whether by choice or not, was not an enjoyable feeling while trying to enjoy dinner. The support staff was quite rude and seemed to just generally not want to be there. Whether it was dropping food and quickly walking away with an upset look or nudging our server relentlessly to get her attention while she was in the middle of speaking with us, this also did not contribute do an enjoyable dinner atmosphere. Both the bar and coffee were cut off promptly at 10 o clock and while given that 10 is when the restaurant officially closed, don’t accept reservations at 9:45 if you’re not willing to see those reservations through in the same way you would a 5:30 table. As for the food, it was okay at best. It really wasn’t anything to write home about and given all the other factors, we do not see ourselves returning. But who knows, maybe you’ll have a better experience than we did.

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food3
ambience4
service2
value3

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 2, 2017

I wish I had something better to say that "it was okay" but I don't. This place is like the Disney World version of Cuban decor. We enjoyed the pressed bread and mango butter and my sangria blanco was delicious, and very strong. Entrees were fine, but nothing to write home about. I don't think we'll be back.

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food3
ambience3
service4
value2

 
·Dined on December 2, 2017

Went to host desk 7 minutes before our reservation. Were told to come back exactly at our reservation time. Came back exactly at our reservation time, were told it would be 5-10 minutes. We left.

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food1
ambience1
service1
value1

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 1, 2017

After a long day of museum's we showed up 20 minutes early for our reservation - on a Friday night. Luckily they could seat us as the bar was full. My husband is a rum guy so we picked Cuba Libre for their rum selection. We were not disappointed in the dark rum tasting flight! In fact we have a new favorite - Coruba. My meal was the very tasty Vaca Frita. My husband had the Puerco Cha Cha Cha which was a huge meal. We were surrounded by families, young couples and groups. If we lived in DC we would be regulars.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Fit for Foodies, Vibrant Bar Scene, Authentic, Tasting Menu
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 27, 2017

Get the empanadas. The decor was really neat. The food was very good, but not outstanding. I would go back.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Pre/post Theatre, Bar Seating
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food4
ambience5
service4
value3

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined on November 26, 2017

We decided to try it for my birthday dinner even though it got mixed reviews. It turned out not to be our favorite. We have had much better Cuban food at other restaurants. I ordered the paella which was bland and the lobster and octopus in it were both tough (over cooked). My husband ordered the Taste of Havana which appeared to be a good value for the price. He liked the black bean soup, but not the Cuban sandwich which again was very bland. There are so many good restaurants in the area so I would not recommend this one.

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food2
ambience2
service3
value2

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 25, 2017

Great food! Great service! The drinks were great...location is excellent.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Happy Hour, Good for Groups, Good for Birthdays, Worth the Drive, Neighborhood Gem, Fun
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on November 25, 2017

Fabulous mojitos - the mango especially. Great take on seafood paella and the shrimp and pork dishes are great. Highly recommend

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Quick Bite, Happy Hour, Spicy, Bar Seating, Creative Cuisine, Live Music, Good for a Date, Casual, Neighborhood Gem, Authentic, Hot Spot, Special Occasion, Tapas, People Watching, Good for Groups, Worth the Drive, Vibrant Bar Scene, Late-night Find
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 23, 2017

The eve of Thanksgiving...no one wanted to be there late. We had a dinner res. for 9pm. Someone called around 2pm the day of and asks us to move it to 8pm but we couldn't. When we sat down we were told the kitchen was closing to please made our order. Everything came out at once and the meatballs had raw meat inside. The waitress apologies with sorry they (the kitchen)were rushing to get out. The manager did take the meatballs off the bill but was so worried about eating raw pork. The seafood soup was really good and loved the late night dancing.

Tags: Romantic, Bar Seating, Late-night Find, People Watching, Fun
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food2
ambience5
service2
value3

 
·Dined on November 22, 2017

Great Food as always. A bit pricey if you are on a budget. But the food was just about worth it.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Hot Spot, Creative Cuisine, Happy Hour, Tapas
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on November 19, 2017

I ate here a couple times about a year ago with some clients, the food was great and we loved it each time! I met up with a friend here for dinner recently but was not impressed this time around. The food was mediocre, definitely not worth the price. I was luck to get 3 sips out of my cocktail and it was gone... very disappointed with the food. We did however have a great waitress..

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food3
ambience4
service5
value2

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 19, 2017

The food was very good as usual for brunch, but they have changed brunch options to choosing only 3 plates as opposed to unlimited (where the popular plates are no longer an option) and you can only get bottomless brunch drinks if you get the brunch special. Total bummer but the food was still tasty.

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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 19, 2017

Every time I go to Cuba Libre the food, service, and ambiance are amazing! Been going here for 4 years for many different occasions and never leave having a bad thing to say! Great job Cuba Libre!!! Keep it up!

Tags: Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 17, 2017

Had a party of 6 as a going away lunch for our AA and the food, service and staff were all top drawer. 2nd time there and it is a true gem My GF is from Peru and the Cerviche needs to be good to impress and it was excellent


Highly recommended

Tags: Happy Hour, Business Meals, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 16, 2017

Their lunch menu is fabulous and offers a wide variety of Cuban food for all types of tastes. I take friends and clients there at least once a month because its food and reasonable prices.

Tags: Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 15, 2017

Service was extremely slow. Waiter was unfriendly and rarely came to the table.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Good for Groups
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food3
ambience5
service1
value4

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined on November 11, 2017

This was likely our 8th or 9th time. Dependable and good.

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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Everything was perfect but the hostess girl was rude nothing friendly

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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 11, 2017

I like the authentic feel of Cuba Libre. The dining is casual and comfortable. We were able to converse easily. The food is delicious, especially the chicken & rice and the fried plantains. Service could have been a little more attentive. It took three tries to catch out wait person for a second cup of coffee.

Tags: Authentic, Neighborhood Gem, Good Vegetarian Options, Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch, Happy Hour, Fun
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food5
ambience3
service4
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 9, 2017

Outstanding in every way! Innovative food and drink menus, beautiful presentation, and so very delicious! Service was excellent, and helpful.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Good for Anniversaries, Pre/post Theatre, Happy Hour, Fun, Fit for Foodies, Cozy, Special Occasion, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 9, 2017

Very good food and good service. Really enjoyed the meal.

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food4
ambience4
service4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 5, 2017

The interior of the restaurant looks like the set from a Cuban movie. Our waiter was attentive and thoughtful but one order was incorrect which I believe was due to the noise level in the space making it hard to hear the order. The error was corrected in a timely fashion. The tapas and the empanadas were very good. The paella had no saffron in it that we could detect, so the flavor was on the bland side and the lobster in it was overcooked. We enjoyed the tres leche cake for dessert. Their only options for ice cream were chocolate and vanilla although the menu said dulce du leche ice cream. Confusing. Overall, a nice experience, but a few tweaks would make it a great experience.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on November 3, 2017

Delicious!! We had the 48 hour roasted pork and it was worth the wait.

Tags: Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries, Authentic, Tapas
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 2, 2017

Two of us shared the 15 Tastes of Cuba ~ and it was TASTY!

Tags: Tapas
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 31, 2017

This is generally a go to place when I am in DC, but my last visit has changed my mind. The steak was over charred, the fryer oil needed to be changed - many foods were tasteless.
Their saving grace is the mojito selection. This is a wonderful place for drinks but be warned the food wasn't great for us.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails
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food1
ambience4
service3
value1

 
 (New England)·Dined on October 29, 2017

Best restaurant during my D.C. trip. I will return.

Tags: Happy Hour, Good for Birthdays, Spicy, Vegan, Fun, Tapas, Hot Spot, Creative Cuisine, Authentic, Good Vegetarian Options
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
·Dined on October 29, 2017

I thought the experience was OK, and could of been better. My Husband and I were in the area to shop at Arc'Teryx just down the street and we thought we would try it out since it was close. Initially, the Male Host was a bit pretentious and slightly rude when asking if we had a reservation, which we did not at first. Then he said if we didn't have reservations then we could only sit at the bar or only be seated if someone cancelled their reservation. I was a bit taken aback as the Restaurant was not busy at all and there was plenty of open tables. So, we left and debated on where to go next. I then was curious and decided to go on my phone to see if I could make a reservation. Low and behold, I was able to get a table for 2 in less than 2 minutes on OpenTable! We went back in and the Host seemed shocked that we were able to "squeeze in" a reservation. The nerve! However, the server/waiter was extremely nice and the food was not bad. But, the portions sizes were quite small for the price. I will not be going back, and there is no need for a host/hostess to be so pretentious when the restaurant was barely crowded and it was only a basic Cuban restaurant.

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Handcrafted Cocktails, Late-night Find
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food3
ambience3
service3
value2

vip
 (Austin)·Dined on October 28, 2017

Service was rushed, rote, and mediocre. Food was too. Paella was more like a flavorless risotto. Drink orders were consistently wrong. Super disappointing.

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food2
ambience2
service1
value2

 
·Dined on October 28, 2017

Delicious food and great service we will visit cine libre next weekend

Tags: Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 28, 2017

We had better Cuban food. The service was awful, at the end the server spill and broke a glass full of water on us and barely Apologized. Won’t be going back.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene
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food2
ambience3
service1
value2

 
·Dined on October 28, 2017

Great food. Loved it!

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food5
ambience5
service3
value5

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