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

4.2

ambience

4.4

value

3.9

Noise

Moderate

88% would recommend it to a friend

Authentic (48)
Good for a Date (42)
Special Occasion (37)
See All
Creative Cuisine (36)
Casual (35)
Fun (33)
Good for Groups (33)
Handcrafted Cocktails (33)
Tapas (33)
Good for Birthdays (27)
Happy Hour (27)
Vibrant Bar Scene (23)
Hot Spot (23)
Good for Anniversaries (21)
Fit for Foodies (20)
Late-night Find (20)
Worth the Drive (20)
Romantic (19)
Business Meals (18)
Great for Lunch (17)
Neighborhood Gem (17)
Bar Seating (16)
Pre/post Theatre (16)
Tasting Menu (13)
Comfort Food (12)
Live Music (10)
Cozy (10)
People Watching (9)
Spicy (7)
Sunday Lunch (7)
Good Vegetarian Options (7)
Great for Brunch (6)
Quick Bite (5)
Gluten Free Options (4)
Local Ingredients (4)
Quiet Conversation (4)
Afternoon Coffee (3)
Seasonal (3)
Disabled Access (3)
Kid-friendly (2)
Great Beer (2)
Healthy (2)
Scenic View (2)
Vegan (2)
Notable Wine List (1)
Great for Outdoor Dining (1)
Waterfront (1)
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2892 reviews
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·Dined on January 13, 2018

I made a reservation for my birthday. They were so accommodating due to the weather and my guest arriving behind schedule. I had an amazing time. The food was great! I have no complaints! The nite life scene was so much fun. Great mix of music. Definitely will return. Thanks to the Cuba Libre staff.

T. Grandy

Tags: Bar Seating, Fun, Late-night Find, Happy Hour, Hot Spot, Casual, Live Music, Handcrafted Cocktails, People Watching, Business Meals, Tapas, Authentic, Special Occasion, Comfort Food, Local Ingredients, Cozy, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for Birthdays, Worth the Drive, Good for Groups
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 11, 2018

The Cuba Libra coffee made with brown sugar, cononut milk and cream is to die for and the main reason I visit. Also the crab guacamole with plantain chips is a new favorite!!

Tags: Casual, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Pre/post Theatre, Tapas, Fun, Authentic, Happy Hour, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on January 11, 2018

Went there with an out-of-town friend for the sea food quick lunch, and every dish was good. The Cuban flan is more dense and flavorful than what I am used to. It was my first visit, but I'm going to bring my spouse here for dinner, for our 45th wedding anniversary.

Tags: Great for Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on January 9, 2018

Great food as always

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Dallas)·Dined on January 8, 2018

Great place for a taste of Cuba. Drinks and variety of rum were exceptional. My only complaint is that the table we were at was cramped in a corner near a drafty window.

Tags: Authentic, Fit for Foodies, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Richmond)·Dined on January 7, 2018

Excellent service.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 7, 2018

A friend who has been to Cuba recommended this place to us, so we went for date night. It's excellent Cuban/south american food. We had two tapas for an appetizer (grilled octopus and albondigas) and I had the seafood paella while my date had the empanadas for dinner. Everything was tasty and flavorful. Also love the fried bread they serve at the table with mango butter. We shared the banana bread dessert and the Cuban coffee. The dessert was good and the coffee was AMAZING, perfect balance of sweetness in the milk.

Tags: Tapas, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Comfort Food
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on January 6, 2018

Great dinner with some close friends. Highly recommend the 15 Tastes of Cuba Menu. A friend and I split it and we had more than enough food plus the variety is great for those who are a little unsure of what to get.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Happy Hour, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Quiet Conversation, Good Vegetarian Options, Special Occasion, Good for Groups, Romantic, Tapas, Vegan, Tasting Menu
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 1, 2018

Food 4/5 - Drinks 3.5/5 - Service 3.5/5 - Facility 3.5/5 - Ambiance: N/A

Food: We ordered the NYE Prix Fixe menu: Canapé, Appetizers (oxtail, pork, and goat cheese empandas) were wonderful and savory. Oxtail should be permanently added to the menu. Ceviche was good. Filet Mignon was cooked to ordered doneness. Lobster Tail boiled to perfection. The lobster tails were boiled in salted water - for once a place that doesn't boil lobster to neutral blandness. No dipping butter though (a theme?). Filet's meat was supple and flavorful for a filet cut. Kudos to the supplier. They went a little heavy on mushroom sauce though - think steak island in a moat. The coconut flan was delicious but the lime sorbet ball scoop was absurdly tart & sharp which ruined the flavor of the part of the flan it rested on.

Drinks: Mojitos & Caipirinhas were marginal; surprising for a Latin restaurant. (Fogo & Chima's caipirinhas & mojos are my benchmarks in this area). Rojo Sangria was very good; no brandy but generously poured.

Service: Errors! Disappointing considering there were only 16 people in our private room. You shouldn't have to ask for water at the table. It should be poured after being seated. We asked, it never arrived. Rolls came; no butter. Had to ask for butter. Salad course not served. We had to remind a server; it arrived after the entree. Coffee arrived, no sugar or creme - asked for both; only creme arrived. Flan arrived; no silverware to eat it with. Server disappeared.

Facility: DO NOT reserve the private room facing 9th St NW. HID headlights blast you in the eyes or the room lights up like a search light as cars exit the garage across the street. Women's bathroom: Stall doors would not lock - one sink was broken. Women's handicap stall had broken glass on the floor; that's not good.

Ambiance: It wouldn't be fair to rate as it was their New Years Eve Celebration and obviously it would be exceptionally crowded and raucous which was to be expected.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for Birthdays, Disabled Access, Comfort Food, Good for Groups, Casual, Live Music
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food4
ambience3
service3
value4

 
·Dined on January 1, 2018

The service was not good at all . This is a Cuban restaurant , but the food has not the cuban flavor.
The place is elegant , but the service sucks .

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food2
ambience4
service2
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 31, 2017

Truly an unforgetable experience. Excellent food, great service. The place, amazing! I’d recommend going to Cuba Libre in a heart beat! I believe the menu has changed a bit since the last time we were here, and we were amazed!

Tags: Worth the Drive, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Hot Spot, Authentic, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 31, 2017

So good I went two times in my week trip :) they had a great happy hour 4-7 and food was delicious

Tags: Tasting Menu, Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 31, 2017

I liked this restaurant! The food and drinks were great, the only thing that killed it was that our waiter took a long time with our requests.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Fun, Creative Cuisine, Vibrant Bar Scene, Authentic, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Quiet Conversation, Tapas, Cozy
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food4
ambience5
service3
value3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 31, 2017

Enjoyed the food and ambiance.. At 11pm there is Latino music and dance which was fun...

Tags: Casual, Creative Cuisine, Worth the Drive, Authentic, Tapas, Handcrafted Cocktails, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Live Music, Late-night Find
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 31, 2017

There was hair on my meal.

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food1
ambience4
service3
value2

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on December 31, 2017

We loved it

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 31, 2017

Food was excellent. Seasonal sangria was was great. The guacomole with plantain chips was worth the trip to DC all by itself. The bannana bread desert was a perftect finish. And the service was fantastic as well. Our drinks never were empty and the food came out at a good pace. Almost forgot - the bread and butter was a treat as well.

Tags: Romantic, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Bar Seating, Fit for Foodies, Pre/post Theatre, Creative Cuisine, Live Music, Late-night Find, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Tapas, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 30, 2017

We had a wonderful dinner before the caps game here. Milton was our server and he went above and beyond to ensure a great meal and experience. The picadillo empanadas were delicious! We will definitely be back!

Tags: Worth the Drive, Romantic, Good for a Date, Vibrant Bar Scene, Handcrafted Cocktails, People Watching, Tapas, Authentic, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Bar Seating
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined on December 30, 2017

We went for dinner with friends prior to Caps game, made reservations, seated right away. We enjoyed the food, little pricey, seats are very tight, they should give tables more room, you basically touch people when you walk through. It was very loud, waiter did not get any of the plates correct so we had to switch all the meals around. I would visit again and try something different.

Tags: Hot Spot
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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 28, 2017

Pre-game dinner and drinks. 7:30 puck drop so 5:45 reservations. Restaurant was at full capacity eby mid-meal so a good thing to have reservation. Obligatory mojitos to start. Crab guacamole for app with fried plantains as the chips had some spice that gave it a nice kick. So good. Octopus a la Parrilla, Malanga Fritters, and Vaca Frita with some red sangria and a couple Negra Modelos after that. The octopus was delicious and the steak was out of this world. I’d go back in a heartbeat.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Groups, Fit for Foodies, Pre/post Theatre, Casual, Happy Hour
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on December 28, 2017

Top Notch choice. We have been there several times and it never disappoints. Try dishes made for two.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Fun, Good for Birthdays, Tasting Menu, Casual, Good for Anniversaries, Spicy, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre, Authentic, Special Occasion, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 27, 2017

Food was excellent, service was stellar, noise level was acceptable, background music was far from authentic to the point of annoying. Decor needs updating. That said, I would return anytime.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Casual
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food5
ambience3
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 22, 2017

This restaurant far exceeded my expectations. The food was fantastic, our waiter attentive and helpful. Looking forward to my next visit.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
·Dined on December 22, 2017

The food was good. The meats were not spiced well enough for me though. One of our servers was very nonchalant and you could see he didn’t want to be there. The ambience was nice and soothing but a little too dark since it was also dark outside. I could barely read the menu in that lighting. But I had a good time overall. Appetizers were great though

Tags: Late-night Find, Creative Cuisine, Romantic, Cozy, Vibrant Bar Scene, Scenic View
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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

 
·Dined on December 20, 2017

This was the second time that I ate at Cuba Libra, the food, service, ambiance was great. I will be back

Tags: Special Occasion, Casual, Cozy, Authentic, Happy Hour, Creative Cuisine, Late-night Find, Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Tapas, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on December 19, 2017

I have lunch here before and always have had a great experience, just want to ask to keep it up,
Great job, I will always come back and have fun with you guys.
I will always recomeded to every one that I know.
Thnak you so much and Merry Christmas!

Tags: Business Meals, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 17, 2017

I'd give Cuba Libre 4.5 stars. The décor was outstanding. There were 6 of us & it was great having the chance to sample Cuban food. The menu had a great selection. We tried 2 appetizers. Then I had the Arroz con Pollo for my main course. My favorite item of the night was my Pisco Sour - it was delicious.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 16, 2017

This was the second time we came to this restaurant. the first time made me want to come back. but this time it was bad. I had made a 6:30 dinner reservation arrive about 6:25. The hostess checked us in. The couple in front of us with NO reservation got seated right away. We waited about 15 minutes longer and I had to initiate the "can I be seated conversation". Then they put me in a cornet table for two. Which eventually got blocked in by the next table of five. Once the sever found us we had good drinks and ok Tapas... Disappointing from the beginning. The Manager David was too busy to see us. WTF? The hostess did not have control of the station. No one was in control. The server Amirah was great once she found us Need more control over the hostess station especially when there are large parties waiting.. IT WAS A BAD EXPERIENCE!!! sharing with everyone I know. As i mentioned the first time was great and that's what brought us back. But now I am afraid have you lost us as customers.. Booooo. I watched the manager be very mean to the staff, no wonder the don't care. Second time same manager. Customer service comes from the top... Someone really needs to work on the managers once the first time and now this one. Customer service skills to the staff. Stop being mean!!

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food2
ambience2
service2
value1

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

Fantastic place. Definitely one of my favorites. Great food in a unique atmosphere. Nice cocktail selection.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Hot Spot, Handcrafted Cocktails, People Watching, Vibrant Bar Scene, Tapas
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 16, 2017

Took me back to Cuba! Enjoyed the atmosphere and the music. Service was attentive but not intrusive. Great drinks. Will go back hopefully soon.

Tags: Casual, Tapas, Bar Seating, Good for a Date, Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

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

Food service was slow for a non-busy brunch day. Finally spoke to a manger and he was very flippant. Did not care about our experience or what our concerns were. He did comp 3 of our meals but we still left very unsatisfied. The staff tried to make up for it but it wasn’t enough.

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food2
ambience3
service1
value4

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

The place is beautiful. The food was delicious. The waiter was abysmal. From his dirty and wrinkled shirt to his intro where he informed us that he was not offering the brunch because it would be too much food on the table, his performance was not up to the caliber of this level of restaurant. Although we loved the food, we are taking this restaurant off our list of future eateries.

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food5
ambience1
service1
value4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 15, 2017

The lunchbox special is tasty and a good way to try a few different items. It comes quickly, which is very helpful.

Tags: Great for Lunch
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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 14, 2017

Impressed with decoration/style/ambiance. Very authentic menu and service was personal and friendly. It was our anniversary and my wife's birthday, they gave us a nice table in the corner and a free drink!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 14, 2017

The food was just average and the service was ok. We came here for the unique ambiance. Btw... when a beer is listed on the menu as a featured beer, I was suprrised to be given a bottle and also suprised to not be given a glass either after paying for the cost of the six pack.

We were maybe 20 ft from the doors which kept getting stuck open when it was about 25 degrees outside. This did not enhance the dinning experience.

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food2
ambience4
service3
value3

 
·Dined on December 14, 2017

Went for our anniversary. Enjoyed everything.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Adelaide / SA)·Dined on December 12, 2017

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 on December 12, 2017

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 on December 12, 2017

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 on December 11, 2017

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

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