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Cuba Libre Restaurant Review - Washington DC

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating
User Rating 4 Star Rating (1 Review)


Photo © Andrew Lightman

The Bottom Line

Cuba Libre serves innovative Latin cuisine in a unique and energetic atmosphere. The restaurant has an interesting decor with elements of traditional Cuban architecture and a massive bar/lounge that maintains a cozy atmosphere. The food is tasty and prices are reasonable.

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  • Great food, creative menu and nice presentation
  • Interesting and unique decor
  • large bar with a lively atmosphere
  • Prime location in the Penn Quarter neighborhood of Washington DC


  • Expensive parking


  • Address: 801 9th Street, NW, Washington, DC
  • Phone: (202) 408-1600
  • Hours: Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30am-3 pm, Dinner Mon-Sun 4-11pm, Brunch Sat-Sun 11am-3pm, Late Night Menu Fri-Sat 11pm-1am
  • Closest Metro: Gallery Place/Chinatown
  • Prices: Entrees range from $19 – $32, Average entrée $24
  • Valet Parking: $12

Guide Review - Cuba Libre Restaurant Review - Washington DC

The menu at Cuba Libre offers a mix of robust and soul-satisfying dishes reflecting various Latin regions, combining beef, poultry, pork and seafood with exotic fruits and vegetables, herbs and seasonings. Standout dishes include the Havana Ceviche Misto, Pescado de Oriente, Plato Gaucho and new spins on classic Cuban dishes like Lechon Asado, Churrasco a la Cubana and Ropa Vieja. I especially enjoyed the guacamole, the ceviche sampler and the Albondigas Camaguey (chino glazed beef, pork and pine nut meatballs). An expansive rum menu includes over 75 premium and flavored varieties along with the restaurant’s own brand of the liquor.

The dining area is modeled after the traditional outdoor cafés of pre-Castro Old Havana and accommodates over 200 people. The design feels like an authentic “movie set” recreation of an Old Havana street scene, complete with an indoor courtyard. The restaurant’s unique atmosphere features three-dimensional facades featuring balconies, windows and arched entranceways constructed from antique materials, including stained glass, ornamental wrought iron and salvaged doors. The restaurant is more than 9,000 sq. ft., seating 170 in the restaurant, 50 in the bar & lounge and 66-seat on the sidewalk café. A 28-seat private dining room is available with audio-visual capabilities. A variety of unique entertainment and event options are offered including cigar rollers, floorshows, salsa lessons, professional dancers and musicians.

As is common in the industry, the writer was provided with a complimentary meal for the purpose of the review. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy. All prices and offering mentioned herein are subject to change without notice.

Reviewed October 2010 - Prices are subject to change

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