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 (49)
Good for a Date (44)
Fun (37)
See All
Creative Cuisine (37)
Special Occasion (36)
Tapas (32)
Casual (31)
Good for Groups (31)
Good for Birthdays (28)
Vibrant Bar Scene (27)
Hot Spot (26)
Happy Hour (24)
Fit for Foodies (23)
Handcrafted Cocktails (21)
Great for Lunch (20)
Good for Anniversaries (19)
Neighborhood Gem (19)
Romantic (19)
Business Meals (18)
Late-night Find (17)
Comfort Food (16)
Pre/post Theatre (16)
Bar Seating (14)
Live Music (12)
Worth the Drive (12)
Tasting Menu (12)
Great for Brunch (9)
Spicy (9)
Good Vegetarian Options (9)
People Watching (7)
Cozy (6)
Great for Outdoor Dining (5)
Great Beer (4)
Healthy (4)
Quick Bite (4)
Sunday Lunch (4)
Vegan (4)
Afternoon Coffee (3)
Gluten Free Options (3)
Quiet Conversation (3)
Scenic View (2)
Seasonal (2)
Disabled Access (1)
Local Ingredients (1)
Waterfront (1)
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2837 reviews
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·Dined 3 days ago

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 6 days ago

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 6 days ago

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 6 days ago

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

 
·Dined on October 27, 2017

This was our third time visiting Cuba Libre. The first two times we took teenagers who really loved trying all the new foods! We live an hour away, so making a special trip with kids should mean a lot!

The food is very good. The menu explains the food well offers an authentic feel to Cuban foods. The cocktail list is tasty with good variety. There is a great selection of entrées, but not so many to be overwhelming. This time we had tapas and loved the chance to sample various flavors.

The staff is very respectful and willing to offer recommendations as well as descriptions. The decor is reminiscent of a street cafe.

It is a bit expensive, but commensurate with the location.

Tags: Authentic, Tapas, Pre/post Theatre, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Good for Groups, Romantic, Special Occasion, Fun, Handcrafted Cocktails, Late-night Find, Disabled Access
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food4
ambience5
service4
value3

 
·Dined on October 25, 2017

I had happy hour items and my co-worker a full dinner. Both were excellent. The service in the bar area good have been a lot better but my only real complaint.

BTW The happy hour slider for $5 is killer!

Tags: Casual, Authentic, Comfort Food, Bar Seating, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service2
value3

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 25, 2017

Had family in from out of town and wanted something authentic with ambiance, yet different from what they usually eat in Texas. Bento boxes were a fantastic surprise and is what everyone of the six of us ordered.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Casual, Tapas
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Richmond)·Dined on October 23, 2017

Had a really great meal and a nice time at your restaurant. Would definitely return.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 22, 2017

Very good food and our server was excellent.

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food5
ambience4
service5

vip
 (Pittsburgh)·Dined on October 22, 2017

The food was amazing, drinks and atmosphere outstanding. The host was very gracious.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 21, 2017

The. Drinks. They have some of the best cocktails I've had in DC. The food was delicious and our waiter was the sweetest. Will definitely be coming back.

Tags: Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Good for Groups
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 21, 2017

A picturesque and atmospheric setting (though it likely looks more like a stage set than an actual upscale Cuban restaurant), a nice selection of cocktails (including the Mule del Sol, with vodka, cucumber, basil, lime juice and ginger -- very tasty and refreshing), and excellent guacamole and vegetable paella.

Tags: People Watching, Pre/post Theatre, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Fun
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food5
ambience5
service4
value3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 21, 2017

The food was very reasonable. Prices were great, service was a little slow, but the food was really innovative and well presented.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Tapas, Afternoon Coffee, Romantic, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 20, 2017

Excellent service, great Cuban character that was unique and authentic and had a nice atmosphere. Food was generously portioned, tasty and served quickly. If I had any complaint is that our server was pushing us too fast and too quickly and we were wanting to take our time a bit more since we were visiting with our college age daughter in DC.

Tags: Hot Spot, Special Occasion, Handcrafted Cocktails, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 20, 2017

We were blown away. They also were extremely accommodating. Thank you Cuba

Tags: Healthy, Vibrant Bar Scene, Casual, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
·Dined on October 19, 2017

We were late to our reservation because of traffic and the staff was very accommodating and helped us get to our concert on time. Not to mention the food and drinks were delicious!!

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Casual, Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 18, 2017

There are a number of good dishes on the menu. The seafood soup, vegetarian paella, most meat dishes are among the best executed. It is not the place to go to get authentic Cuban fare. However, it is good food and even better drinks (the mojitos are real deal) but the food and the setting are more like a Disney version of Cuba. For example, the tostones are more like fritters, which they process into a kind of patty with added flour - definitely not traditional - but still tasty. The service is very good but they are aggressive upsellers. If you listen to them you will order way more food than you need. They must provide incentives as the wait staff are pretty pushy to say the least. Overall, a good experience.

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food4
ambience3
service4

 
·Dined on October 16, 2017

Excellent Cuban food with great service. Accommodated our groups needs with a smile.

Tags: Authentic, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Omaha)·Dined on October 15, 2017

Brunch ends at 1:30 not at 3:00 as indicated on the website.

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food4
ambience4
service5
value3

 
·Dined on October 14, 2017

Everything I expected great tasting food and professional service.

Tags: Good for a Date, Late-night Find, Bar Seating, Happy Hour, Authentic, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries, Comfort Food
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on October 14, 2017

I enjoyed my evening to the fullest!!! Great venue

Tags: Good for Groups, Romantic, Business Meals, Happy Hour, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Authentic, Fit for Foodies
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food1
ambience1
service1
value1

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined on October 13, 2017

The food was amazing, tender steak and the best chimichura I've ever had. The sangria wasn't great. The service was impeccable

Tags: Tapas, Worth the Drive, Bar Seating, Good for Groups, Authentic, Fun, Pre/post Theatre, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

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