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“Nice atmosphere but it ISN'T Cuban food” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Cuba Libre & Havana Bar

Cuba Libre & Havana Bar
72 Upper St., London N1 0NY, England (Islington / Clerkenwell)
(020)-7354-9998
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Ranked #3,211 of 16,892 restaurants in London
Price range: $0 - $63
Cuisines: Cuban, Bar, Grill
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations, Late Night
Neighborhood: Islington / Clerkenwell
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Nice atmosphere but it ISN'T Cuban food”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2012

We chose this restaurant during our last trip to London because, being Cuban, I was feeling quite homesick for some Cuban food and atmosphere. Unfortunately, although quite lively and with some Cuban music, this restaurant was an utter disappointment when it came to the food. I asked around and there isn't a single Cuban in there, the only person we found who spoke Spanish to us was a really nice Spanish server. All the dishes listed in the menu sounded Cuban, however the presentation and taste were definitely not. The tamal was nothing like any Cuban tamal I've ever tasted and it was wrapped in banana leaves (our tamal is wrapped in corn leaves) and the fried masas de cerdo were presented in tomato sauce with arborio rice and tasteless black beans. We were left with a £70 bill and disappointment and to add insult to injury, the restaurant card that is provided with the bill describes the place as the one 'where the Cubans go' because of the authentic food. Maybe they can fool people who haven't had proper Cuban food but we will never return and we do not recommend this place to someone who would like to try authentic Cuban food.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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64 reviews from our community

75% Recommend
    25
    23
    5
    8
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Any
English first
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Fantastic atmosphere, good service, great food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2012

Staff were really friendly, we had mixed tapas which were beautiful. Cocktails were also fantastic and they were buy 1 get 1 free before 8pm. Good value for money.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bothell, Washington
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Tasty and Affordable”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

Quite a tasty meal. Not as spicy as I expected, but very flavorful. Wait staff was very helpful with making choices considering that none of us had eaten Cuban before. The table was comfy, not too cramped, obligatory Cuban music, and several South American beers available. I will be eating here again.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Midlands
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Fast service, lovely food, good price for lunch time menu.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2012

Visited this restaurant today at lunch time. Chose this one just because we are off to Cuba in a few weeks.
My wife and I both chose from the lunch time menu. I had a pork baguette and she chose the 4 tapas for £7.95 (mushrooms, potatoes, lamb and olives).
We took advantage of the 2 for 1 offer on cocktails and had the Cuba Libre. We also had soft drinks and coffee.
Meal came to about £30.
Service was good and the restaurant was nice (we sat in a window seat). Nice atmosphere and nice music.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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cluj-napoca
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
“great food !”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2012

Nice restaurant, with specific food and drinks. Every food is cuban, or at leastsouth-american, so you won't find there french fries :). They also have south-american beers, which worth a try. There was only one waitress there (local owner I suppose) but she was moving very fast, so even the local was almost full, she managed to serve everyone in the right timing. Food was great, all dished including black beans, very well done. I drunk a brasilian beer and a cuban one, very good taste for both of them !
The price was acceptable, for 4 people paying around 50 pounds.
Go there and have another experience than english one ;) !

Visited September 2012
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