Cuba Libre - DC

4.4
3187 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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Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Cuban, Latin American, Caribbean
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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 ,
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Phone number
(202) 408-1600
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Guillermo Pernot
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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.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Corner of 9th & H Streets
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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.
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Public transit
Two Blocks away from Chinatown Metro Stop (Red, Yellow, Green Lines). Four Blocks from Metro Center Stop (Orange & Blue Lines)
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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.
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

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.

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What 3187 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
4.3
service
4.5
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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j
Indiana
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Service was average at best. We asked for recommendations. Everything was "really nice" as she read the descriptions literally over our shoulder. When we were ready to leave we looked to a side door and our waitress told us it was OK to exit that way. Halfway thru our exiting another server came over and chastised me for this. I told her to talk to the young lady who directed us this way. The other waitress felt it necessary to literally walk outside the restaurant and yell at me about it. I've never been chased outside by a server to continue to belittle me about something I was told was OK to do. Never in my life has a server followed me outside to yell at me. It was incredibly disappointing. The restaruant was average until the end, when it became awkward, embarrassing, and humilitating. Not really a sevice oriented culture. What a terrible evening.

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SG
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was great. Food, service, drinks, it was perfect, a little bit pricey but is worth it

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M
Washington DC
31 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent in all aspects. There's a reason why we keep coming back. Drinks, in particular, are very, very good. Portiins are large for the price and very tasty. Service is great, very attentive. Manager dropped by three times to see how we were doing.

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JB
Kansas City
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place with very professional and well informed staff. Excellent food.

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j
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was my first time dining at Cuba Libre, and I was not disappointed. Everything was outstanding. I couldn't get over how beautifully decorated the restaurant is; I felt like I was literally dining in the middle of Havana. Will definitely be back again in the future.

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PK
Raleigh
9 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Went to dinner ahead of the Phil Collins concert. Location was good for walking to the show and we had reservations. Reviews raved about the ambience, but despite having a 6 p.m. reservation and the restaurant being less than half full was walked through many empty tables in the main room all the way to the back rather plain room which must usually be used for private functions and sat in a corner, crowed into a seat next to a group of six at the center table. Had to work hard to be heard over their conversations and keep our selves tightly fit into our seat to avoid bumping into them. Service was prompt for drinks though we had to ask for to be able to order an appetizer after the drinks arrived. My wife enjoyed their sangria and their mojito was a good mix. Appetizers being the empanadas were tasty. For the main meal my wife had the Cuban plate with black bean soup ( she loved that ) plantains (not the best) and a Cuban sandwich (good, but despite the menu they were not up to the Tampa style we have enjoyed). I had a shrimp dish that was very good with an excellent sauce. The big disappointment though was the Tres Laches dessert. First, it took like 15 minutes to arrive, second its presentation was awful; a large plate with a half tin can in the middle of it. I the tin can was half filled with a very runny attempt at tres leche which solely had the texture of pudding with a dollop of whip cream on top. Overall it was small, not really enough to share and lacked flavor, appearance and was a waste of money. Overall the dinner was good, the drinks and appetizers spot on, the seating/atmosphere disappointing and the dessert a loss. Not saying we would not go back, but probably would be better a lunch where your looking for flavorful food without dessert or for the younger crowd late night as they have dancing.

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CB
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food. Great atmosphere. Beautiful restaurant. Service was exceptional. Best mojitos in DC.

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OT
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Cuba Libre- DC was good, first time visiting and pleasantly surprised with the depth of flavor. We would return, ambiance was great for a birthday date night.

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A
Washington DC
18 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Started off poorly. Sat us at a table with wicker chairs and there was a large hole in the seat ... we swapped the chair from another table. Put us in side room to eat which had no ambiance. Upgraded my Mojito and it just tasted like sugar, no booze. Pulled pork entree was just a couple of tablespoons of pork on top of a large pile of mashed potatoes which were covered with coleslaw. Big money maker for them and NO pork for me. Mediocre taste but I was hungry.

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DN
St. Louis
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A great place to enjoy an evening dinner with drinks. It is like Disney inside.

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JZ
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Service was a little slow. Overall good place to have a good meal!

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J
Chicago
36 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2018
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 4

We checked in a little early with 4 of our 6 people there. The hostess offered a table on the sidewalk while we waited. During the next 15 minutes we asked the hostess and a waiter working on the table next to us to take our drink and ap order, both said they would be right back. I finally went to the bar and made the order, picked up the drinks and still no service. Two women seated on the other side were leaving after 10 minutes with no service. When I told the hostess our party was all there, she said we only had a reservation for 5 so she would have to add another seat. Not so according to my email confirmation. Anyway, food was very good, the servers at the table were attentive. I’ve been there several times in the last few years with no problems but this was terrible and no one seemed to care.

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s
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food! Great atmosphere! Great service!

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AS
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Wonderful atmosphere. If you are looking for outstanding Cuban food then go here.

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AI
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

The food tastes great but it took forever for our food to come out and when they did come out parts were missing.

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JM
Greensboro
4 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I absolutely LOVED this restaurant! I was not sure what to expect, but the food was amazing, and the service even more so! Our server Lily was knowledgeable and passionate about the food. My date and I ended up having the pineapple guacamole, a platter for two and the most delicious berry mojitos I have ever tasted! I can't WAIT to return!

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n
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent meal with business colleagues. Colleagues from Europe were impressed by the inside of the restaurant which was 1960s Cuba

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 1ambience 5

The food was great! Service can be approved.

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F
Orlando
9 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 5

Drinks and appetizers are great, dinner was average. Food delivery to tables seemed confused.

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PJ
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Come for the music and the mojito’s! I know this is a cuban themed restaurant but every time I come, I always get a Miami vibe. It’s literally my favorite restaurants right now. We came for Sunday Brunch it was easy to get seating and service was prompt. The food was delicious! We shared the crab guacamole and got entree’s of our own. The brunch paella was decent but the crab benedict is definitely something you’ve never had before and must try. Trust me.

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TC
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 5

Service was terrible, either due to an inexperienced waiter or establishment was understaffed but definitely reflects on its poor management!
The food was delicious and the establishment was beautiful but they need to focus on service, bad service is a turn off.
I hope this was just a one time incident! Because everything else was great..

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ZG
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Everything was great and was a great reminder of my home food. My only complaint is that my food was a bit cold but still enjoyable. 9 out of 10 stars

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KS
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I celebrated my birthday here with friends. The service was amazing. The food was amazing. Tay (sp?) was my waiter. He was fun, knowledgeable, and accommodating. I couldn't ask for better. He invited us back and ran down the brunch menu. A+

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 4

Long wait for food and bill

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AC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 5

The food, drinks, and atmosphere were amazing. The service however sucked. When I made the reservation I indicated it was for my birthday, which was never acknowledged. The time between courses was very long. Our server barely checked on us. I saw the server next to us more than I saw him. It took 30 mins to bring our check and to take our dessert order which I asked to-go. We spoke to the manager who apologize for the poor service. Despite the service, the food and drinks are amazing and I’d def be back, hopefully not with the same server.

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RR
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed the unusual food, the waiters, and the ambiance. Highly recommend.

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SW
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My second time at Cuba Libre. The food was awesome. The service was great. Will recommend this awesome restaurant to others.

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SG
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 5

Most of the food was as good as it usually is. Unfortunately, the guacamole, which I have loved in the past, tasted only of onions on this trip. The hosts were very friendly and helpful, and the manager walked over just to greet us and check in on our meal. Our server was rude and hovered over the table, he also pressured us to order drinks after we explicitly said we were not interested. The prices are fair for the area and the ambiance is always amazing.

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JG
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great food and drinks. Unfortunately, happy hour is only at the bar and certain tables. I hope this isn't a growing trend for the area.

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Love the food. Genuine Cuban flavor. I think if it were more cost friendly, many would visit it more frequently.

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BB
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had reservations for lunch, arrived loved the aesthetics of the outside, as soon as I opened the door my eyes did not stop trying to take everything in! It was beautiful!! So much to look at that was pleasing to the eye!! Great with a very nice hello! Asked if we had reservations and seated us promptly. Server visited us kindly with menus. Gave us a moment and came took our drink order. Visited the ladies rooms which was beautifully decorated- was sad I didn’t take my camera. So when my friend did I made sure she took hers! Waiter came with our drinks, we asked for his recommendation, I can’t remember now what it was called but it had chicken, green olives and a boiled egg!! It was amazing!! So happy with my choice of drink AND food!! Asked for our checks and he brought it out in an authentic cigar box!! How cool is that! Overall 5 stars!! Would go back in a heartbeat!!

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TB
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Decor, food and service is phenomenal. Great rum selection, good mixed drinks and cocktails.

Turns into great dance hall after 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

You'll enjoy your evening.

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SN
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fun, cute interior. Made me feel like I was sitting in old Havana. Food was delicious and cocktails menu was interesting. Service was attentive and swift.

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LO
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place! I went on a Sunday and I ate a Cuban sandwich. It was delicious!

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SE
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 4

Worst service I've encountered in a long time. Long wait after arrival for waiter to take drink order. Waiter was inattentive when taking the food order and had to come back later to make sure he got the 1 appetizer and 2 main dishes correct. Never asked if we wanted a second drink. Never asked how the food was or if we needed anything. Check was placed on the table without a word, without first asking if we wanted coffee or dessert. Credit card taken and returned without a word. Never a word of thanks.
So, I lost out due to having a dinner at a restaurant where I felt unwelcome. The restaurant lost the sale of additional drinks and coffee. The waiter lost because his tip reflected the quality of his effort.
BTY, the food was good, but not good enough to make me want to give Cuba Libre a second chance.

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EJ
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is absolutely delicious! Everyone at our table was completely satisfied! All the empanadas were delicious but the beef one was the star. The vacio argentino is the perfect dish. Perfectly cooked medium rare steak, flavorful rice and beans, and crisp tostones.

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n
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

First time there; enjoyed it. Paella was excellent. Really my only objection is that the interior looks like a Disneyesque set of an imagined Havana. It's not unattractive, but a little much for what it is. The food is better than the decor, and the service was first-rate. I'd go again.

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L
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

It was a great atmosphere the decor was fun. The food was solid. The brunch is a great way to try the menu.

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love Cuba libre

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OT
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Had the summer squash tart, lamb burger and a lovely Verdejo. It was a fantastic meal. Conversation was a little challenging, but that’s not unexpected at a busy spot on a Saturday evening. Will absolutely be back!

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