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

4.5

value

4.0

Noise

Moderate

87% would recommend it to a friend

Good for a Date (46)
Creative Cuisine (41)
Special Occasion (40)
See All
Authentic (40)
Fun (36)
Good for Groups (34)
Tapas (34)
Happy Hour (33)
Handcrafted Cocktails (32)
Good for Birthdays (31)
Casual (30)
Hot Spot (30)
Good for Anniversaries (25)
Vibrant Bar Scene (22)
Late-night Find (22)
Fit for Foodies (21)
Bar Seating (19)
Worth the Drive (19)
Great for Lunch (18)
Romantic (18)
Neighborhood Gem (17)
Tasting Menu (16)
Business Meals (15)
Pre/post Theatre (14)
Live Music (13)
People Watching (12)
Cozy (11)
Comfort Food (11)
Spicy (7)
Sunday Lunch (7)
Good Vegetarian Options (7)
Local Ingredients (6)
Great for Brunch (5)
Quick Bite (5)
Quiet Conversation (4)
Disabled Access (3)
Gluten Free Options (3)
Great Beer (3)
Seasonal (3)
Kid-friendly (2)
Scenic View (2)
Vegan (2)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Healthy (1)
Live Sports (1)
Notable Wine List (1)
Waterfront (1)
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2937 reviews
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·Dined 2 days ago

We had blast. Our server was good and friendly, i have invited people and am coming back.

Tags: Romantic, Live Music, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined 2 days ago

It was amazing! Food was great! Very attentive wait staff!!

Tags: Good for Groups
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined 2 days ago

I had a great lunch here, but for dinner it is noisy, crowded, with aggressive waiters and high prices that are not justified by the quality of the food. You can do much better elsewhere in Penn Quarter.

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food3
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined 4 days ago

Went for lunch with my husband and had their 3-course lunch deals plus the pineapple guacamole. Good food and just the right amount. Hope to come back and try the rest of their menu.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

 
·Dined 4 days ago

Celebrated my birthday here which is also Valentine’s Day! Great food and ambiance. Will come back!

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Tapas
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined 5 days ago

This time we were anxious to try the added Crispy Pork Shank and was it every worth the effort! Simply delicious from start to finish (although the shank was big enough for at least 4 people instead of just us two). Tapas was great, blistered peppers and Malanga fritters, and I've never had a tastier or more refreshing white wine sangria than the two half pitchers we ended up ordering to accompany another extremely delicious dinner among good friends. Wait staff and service was outstanding as usual, with lots of care about making a fun and tasty dining experience. This happens every time for us and is always appreciated!

Tags: Special Occasion, Tapas, Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries, Authentic, Fit for Foodies, Fun, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
·Dined on February 10, 2018

I went to Cuba Libre with a friend; the wait was very brief, and the wait staff was fantastic. The bartender was a little slow and honestly not that busy for the wait, but it wasn't terrible. The food (shrimp something...) was good, but a tad pricey, again not really out of line. The dancing was fun!! I'd go back.

Tags: Late-night Find, Vibrant Bar Scene
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on February 7, 2018

Great Latin food and lovely ambiance. Try the No-jito for a great alcohol free drink.

Tags: Business Meals, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Authentic, Handcrafted Cocktails, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Good for Birthdays, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on February 4, 2018

I took a quick trip to DC to get away & celebrate my 39th birthday. Cuba Libre was a cool spot for me & my 7 guests. We had a table in the back room which suited us. The food & grilled pineapple mojitos were on point! The staff were friendly. It was restaurant week so they had great specials to select. Everyone enjoyed their food. Our reservation was for 9 PM so my appetite was small. I got the De la Casa Empanadas that were bursting with flavor & a side of Arroz Con Frijoles. They had Latin music if you wanted to stay to dance. We found parking across the street in a secure garage for $10. I would definitely go back!

Tags: Late-night Find, Hot Spot, Live Music, Fun, People Watching, Happy Hour
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on February 4, 2018

The food and the service were wonderful. It was a lively and spirited atmosphere. The menu consisted of some delicious items, like the crab guacamole with banana chips, that I had never eaten before and thoroughly enjoyed. The staff was helpful and proactive, and it was a great experience.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Fun, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
·Dined on February 3, 2018

Very crowded dining area. I was bumped twice while seated. Food was okay. Noise level was high. A little pricey. Not one of my faves

Tags: Happy Hour
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food3
ambience2
service2
value2

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on February 3, 2018

Cuba Libre was a great choice for my birthday dinner. The food was scrumptious and the alcoholic cocktails were yummy! The ambiance made you feel as if you were in Cuba. My guests stayed for the nightlife party with great Latin music to dance the night away!

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for Groups, Authentic, Worth the Drive, Late-night Find, Good for Birthdays, Tapas, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on February 2, 2018

Great food as always

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on January 30, 2018

A going away party. It was restaurant week so they had a very nice special menu and deals. The special Lechon Asado entree was AWESOME.

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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
·Dined on January 29, 2018

Service and food were amazing. I would love to visit this restaurant when I am in DC for work.

Tags: Business Meals, Creative Cuisine, Casual
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on January 28, 2018

Fun atmosphere, generally excellent food. Waitstaff was very pleasant and attentive. Unfortunately the runners brought out the main course while we were still eating the appetizers, and the food suffered a bit from being kept warm until we were ready. Surprisingly the manager wasn't apologetic when he asked if there had been a problem. Still, the waiter was great, and the experience was good overall.

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food4
ambience5
service3
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 28, 2018

Start to finish a great experience! They took everyday Cuban cuisine and elevated into a delicious array of favorites. You can't beat the decor and the rum selection is the best in DC!

Tags: Bar Seating, Good for Birthdays, Great Beer, Pre/post Theatre, Comfort Food, Good for Anniversaries, Vibrant Bar Scene, Hot Spot, Authentic, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Happy Hour, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Groups, Worth the Drive, Cozy, Creative Cuisine, Romantic, Casual
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Denver)·Dined on January 28, 2018

Very cold. Asked the waitress to turn down / turn off the fans. Checked with manager and they said no as “all fans in the area would need to be turned off”. Thing is, most people were sat in their coats!

Food was ok but a little Luke warm.

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food2
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 28, 2018

Visited this restaurant for DC’s Restaurant week and had a very pleasurable experience. I had original setup a reservation for 12 people and had extended that to an additional 6 guests. Manager was very accommodating and setup a table for 16 guests as I had stated that I was unsure if all guests would show. About 14 people eventually arrived and we all ate dinner together. Very friendly staff and service. Food was absolutely fantastic and drinks we’re phenomenal. I had wanted to visit this place last year for restaurant week so I was glad it was on the list again this year. I will have to return in the future and try other items on the menu!

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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 28, 2018

Aside from being seated in a private dining room, even though the restaurant was FAR from being crowded, the food was delicious! And yes, we had reservations, so I’m still curious as to why we were seated in a private dining room

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Tasting Menu, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Groups, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 28, 2018

I came in From Miami FL. And was told to go and experience this restaurant. My wife and I enjoyed the food very much. A different twist to typical Cuban Latin Food. Very good. But the service was not up to standards. Our waitress took 15 min just to say hello and get our drink order and then took another 15 min just to get our drinks. We finally got to order our food and that was the highlight of our experience

Tags: Tapas, Neighborhood Gem, Local Ingredients, Cozy
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food4
ambience4
service1
value4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 28, 2018

Amazing restaurant. Really feels like a small piece of Havana in Washington, DC. My wife thought it would blow everyone's socks off if the ceiling had stars and a moon so you would really feel like you were dining outside at dinner time!
The food was delicious. Perfect size helpings, beautifully presented and just what we needed for a late Sunday Lunch.

Tags: Spicy, People Watching
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 28, 2018

I can only comment on the Brunch menu, and it was excellent! Everything was delicious, although the eggs benedict was not cooked properly (yolk was not runny). The crab guacamole however was delicious and desserts were on point. The atmosphere would probably receive the most points from me, it was creative, artsy, airy, and cozy.

Tags: Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Authentic, Comfort Food, Great for Brunch, Good for a Date, Sunday Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service3
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 28, 2018

We knew going in this was a chain, but being a smaller chain and offering a great RW deal, we were hoping to find a new brunch spot...sadly, we did not. I truly hope ours was an isolated experience. We can say the cubanito and mimosas were okay and that the atmosphere was cute. There is potential in the building, but today’s experience left us let down.

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food1
ambience4
service2
value2

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 27, 2018

I didn’t like the one option of dessert for restaurant week. I don’t eat/drink milk so the leche was something I couldn’t enjoy. But the service was so slow that by the time dessert came I wouldn’t dare ask for a different option because that would have taken 10 minutes to complete.

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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 27, 2018

We went for Restaurant Week. The food tasted fantastic, and our server (who apparently was only one week out of training) did a great job. However, there seemed to be major miscommunication between the kitchen and the servers. As part of restaurant week we ordered two appetizers, two entrees and two desserts. Our appetizers and one of our entrees arrived all at the same time. A while later, the second entree arrived, and before we could even eat that, the two desserts were brought out. There was absolutely no "pacing" to the experience and it greatly limited our experience. I'm not sure if this is the fault of the computer system, or the food runners or the kitchen staff, but something needs to be changed.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Fit for Foodies, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service3
value5

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on January 27, 2018

I had high hopes for this restaurant because of the review on OpenTable, but to be honest, I wasn't that impressed. I thought the menu was a bit overpriced for the quality of food, and the service was mediocre.

Our server commented on the fact that we had ordered mostly fried food, which I was a bit taken aback by. Additionally, we were ordering off the tapas menu, and ordered four out of their five available options, so most of our food being fried ended up being a product of their menu rather than our choices.

Additionally, after about an hour, when we were finished with our food and just finishing up our drinks, our server told us (apologetically) that we needed to leave because they needed our table for a bigger party coming in. It wasn't a big deal, but not something I was expecting from a restaurant where dinner for three people comes out to just under $100.

Tags: Tapas
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food3
ambience2
service2
value1

 
·Dined on January 27, 2018

The food was excellent, but service was really poor. They made us wait too much between plates, and had to complain three times until they started to take us seriously. We went there though Restaurants Week and it wasn't the great experience it should.

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food5
ambience4
service2
value3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 27, 2018

Good food, will return!

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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 27, 2018

Phoned ahead about valet. Was told 4:30 opening. Arrived and found it was 5:00. Problem for handicapped friend.

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food4
ambience5
service3
value3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 27, 2018

Wonderful place to spend time with those who mean the most to you. I ordered the crab fritters-bomb! The Paella was really tasty. but I am a seafood girl so of course the seafood could have been bigger. Still Delicious! and the Bread! with the Butter! OMG!! LOVE! Love! Love!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Cozy
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food4
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 27, 2018

Meh. Basically the TGIFriday’s of Cuban food. Little to no Gluten Free options. Small plates of food. Server didn’t seem willing to see if the kitchen could prepare anything else gluten free besides the two options for which he was familiar.

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food3
ambience2
service2
value2

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 27, 2018

Horrible. We ended up having a 3.5 hour brunch because the service was so bad. Also so many rules and exceptions for bottomless and restaurant week that weren’t explained by the waitstaff. Ill probably never go here again.

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food3
ambience2
service1
value1

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 27, 2018

Slow service

Complicated bottomless food deal versus Restaurant Week deal combined with bottomless drink option and various “table must participate” rules plus “asterisk exceptions”.

Poor food quality, very little taste, disappointed.

Very inflexible. Not accommodating.

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food2
ambience4
service2
value1

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 26, 2018

The food was great and so was the environment. Staff was accommodating with special requests.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Tasting Menu, Good for Birthdays, Casual, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 26, 2018

We have been here several times before. On the one hand, it is a plus that it doesn't change, but on the other, it is the same thing time after time. As is usual for us, we prefer to "graze" rather than over eat with a couple entrees, so we had seafood soup to "raise the dead" and four tapas dishes. The soup is amazing. Just the right level of spice and wonderfully rich. Three of our four tapas came right out, but we had to ask for the fourth. Our server was wonderful, but apparently there was some problem in the kitchen. These were all OK, although the peppers were a bit of a disappointment - no flavor, no texture, and rather cold. Went to the rum list instead of dessert, and I am not sure what happened there. I asked for a premium Nicaraguan rum, but got charged for a run of the mill, mass market brand. So either I got a disappointing supposedly great rum for a cut rate, or I got the wrong thing. Either way, it wasn't worth following up.

Tags: Hot Spot, Tapas, Good for a Date
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food3
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 26, 2018

As soon as we got seated, the waitress the came and was rushing us to order. We didn't get a chance to look at the whole menu. She pushed us to order the 3 course meal you have going on. Then we had to move because they were moving all the tables and chairs.
After all the food wasn't that great.

Tags: Casual, Late-night Find
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food2
ambience4
service2
value1

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 26, 2018

Cuba Libre is an amazing restaurant in the heart of downtown D.C. The atmosphere is unmistakably Cuban but with a variety of creative dishes as well.

Tags: Bar Seating, Happy Hour, Hot Spot, Creative Cuisine, Live Sports, Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre, People Watching, Fun
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Richmond)·Dined on January 26, 2018

Seated quickly since made reservations. Mojito was great. Empanadas tasty and great dinner packages for 35 dollars per person.

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 26, 2018

The Empanadas were excellent, and the service was quick, the server was very attentive.

Tags: Happy Hour, Cozy, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience4
service5
value3

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