We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“A memory of Cuba in Madrid”

Cuando Sali de Cuba
Ranked #840 of 10,520 Restaurants in Madrid
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Caribbean, Latin, Cuban
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Dining on a budget, Families with children, Bar scene
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff
Neighborhood: Centro
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
61 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“A memory of Cuba in Madrid”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 18, 2012

I have to say that I thought that the food was pretty good here.

Their set platters included a taste of lots of Cuban flavours, without a chip in sight.
(Eat your heart out, La Bodegita del Medio....)

The portions were large; the service was good and the bill was very reasonable.

The house white, a Rueda, I think, was 14 euros.

We went on a Monday, so there was no music, as I believe that's Wednesday through Sunday, so I can't comment on how the atmosphere would be then, but can only imagine that it would be better.

I would have to disagree with the reviewer who criticised their mojitos.

Ours were as good as any we had in Havana.

(The only watered-down mojito I have ever tasted was in a very well-known restaurant in the UK!)

To paraphrase Joey:-

Congri - Good!
Ropa Vieja. Good!
Shrimp. Good!
Plantains. Good!

I would certainly visit again when I go back to Madrid next year, if only for another mojito!

1 Thank LadyLindaT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

208 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Level Contributor
54 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Food was fine, mojito was a joke.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 15, 2012

small place with just 6 tables or so, main entrance is a bar. Food was just average, okay portions, and service was good. The mojito was a joke, watered down, small, a few withered brown mint leaves. Not going back here.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Cortecera
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
146 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 379 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 9, 2012

The name says it all.

"Cuando Salí de Cuba" ("When I left Cuba", title of a famous song composed in 1967 by Luis Aguile) is specialized in dishes from the famous Caribbean island (remember Fidel Castro, the guy with the beard? He's been around for over half a century, since January 1959...)

Like many restaurants in Madrid, this place offers a set menu for lunch (dinner is more expensive) under ten Euros, which is much cheaper than in Paris or in Frankfurt, and even in Miami!

When I discovered this excellent Cuban restaurant by chance, walking from "El Corte Inglés" department store to "Plaza Santo Domingo" on pedestrian street "Preciados" during my trip to Madrid in June 2011, their menu was only 8 Euros. During this 2012 trip to Europe, my first visit was for them the day I arrived, Tuesday June 5, 2012. This year, their lunch menu slightly went up to 8.50 €, which is still an outstanding value for money considering what they offer: a full three course lunch with four choices for each course, plus a cup of wine, or a beer!

I started with a very good "Papa rellena": potatoe stuffed with chopped meat and other ingredients. Last year I had a very good "Tamal", since there are four choices for each course as I said already. This starter was followed by the same main course I had last year: "Ropa Vieja", a well known Cuban dish made of long pieces of threaded beef meat in sauce with bell pepper, onions, garlic, etc., served with white rice. And I finished with an excellent "Dulce de Coco", sweet coconut with a small portion of cream cheese. Last year, I had an excellent custard ("Flan Casero"). On top of this, a cup of a drinkable Rioja wine is included in the price as I said.

And all that for only 8.50 € (= $10.60 US) in the very center of Madrid in June 2012? You won't find anything near that price anywhere else in the western world, not even in Cuban restaurants in Miami, where you have to add about four extra dollars for dessert and another $4 extra for a cup of wine or a beer! That's already $8 added to the price of the main course without a starter!

Once I finished my lunch in a small AC room inside, I went outside to have an excellent espresso at one of their tables on pedestrian street "Calle de la Ternera", where the restaurant is: a small street beginning on "Preciados" as you go from "Callao" to "Plaza Santo Domingo" on your left. This way I could light my Cuban cigar, which I could't do inside. My friends know that the size of my cigar is proportional to the quality of the food: the better the meal, the bigger the cigar. I lit the biggest one I had: a "Cazador" from "JosÁé L. Piedra"... Naturally, I would have preferred a Montecristo "Churchil", but that's a cigar for politicians and top executives, not for a simple professor teaching French almost for free in a US University!

This added an extra 2.50 € to the bill, since I had taken the dessert (like in most restaurants, you have the choice between dessert, coffee or tea) and this brought the final total to 11 €, which is circa $13.70 a/o June 6, 2012, to which I added a $2 bill as a tip supplement.

They even offered me a small "Crème de vie" as a "Coffee Pusher": in France we say "Pousse Café" for a cordial we have after the coffee, hence the expression... The most famous ones in France are "Napoléon" cognac, "Armagnac" or "Calvados" for the strong ones, and "Cointreau" (my favorite) or "Grand Marnier" for the sweet ones. Elsewhere, I always carry a small bottle of Kahlua in my pocket, compliments of American Airlines...

Although I didn't try it, I saw that they serve the famous "Mojito" for 4.50 € ($5.60 a/o June 6, 2012). Those familiar with names like "Hemingway", "Allende" and "La Bodeguita del Medio" know what I'm talking about: a famous Cuban drink made with rhum, lemon, minth and sugar. Some people confuse it with what we call "Punch Planters" in France, which is made with rhum and sugar but also takes fruit juice (mango, goyave or passion fruits) vanilla and cinnamon.

By the way, if you are interested in Cuban history of the early 1960s, you may want to read one of my books, that I wrote directly in French (the language I know best) and published in Paris originally, but translated right away into Spanish so that my mother, whose family came from Islas Canarias and didn't speak a word of French, could read it. That's the only of my books that I have translated so far; all the others are only in French. Although my first French books can only be found in the French Amazon site (Amazon.FR), my last books, including this Cuban one in both versions, may also be found in other Amazon sites (US, UK, etc.)

But even if you are not interested in Cuban history, you may want to try this place on your next trip to Madrid, with it's outstanding value for money and a very friendly and efficient attention, less than two bocks from "Plaza Callao", "El Corte Inglés" or "Plaza Santo Domingo"

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3 Thank Efrin_Knight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Orleans
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Good food and a lot of it!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 5, 2012

This was good Cuban food. The only problem is that there was so much of it that we couldn't eat it all! We really should have ordered only one main dish and maybe a side dish (there were 2 of us, my daughter and me). We ordered the pork with black beans and yucca, and the ropa vieja with congris and fried plantains. They were both delicious but we could not even eat half. I had wanted to order dessert (flan) but was so full there was just no way I could have eaten it. So yes - I recommend the restaurant but I am suggesting that you review the menu and maybe not order a full dinner for each person.

The waiter and waitress were friendly - everyone that works there is Cuban!

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank KayakPatty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heath, Texas
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Limited menu and average service”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 21, 2012

I was visiting Spain, walking the streets of Madrid around the Plaza de Callao and found someone distributing marketing materials on this Cunan restaurant. Since I am Cuban, I was obviously interested since both my wife and I were getting tired of Paellas and Tapas. This restaurant has a limited menu. I personally like "Vaca Frita" but found that they only carried "Ropa Vieja". Ordered it and found the food to be average as well as the service. Still enjoyed the lunch but would not go back.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank rlgonzalez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Cuando Sali de Cuba also viewed

Madrid, Community of Madrid
Madrid, Community of Madrid
Madrid, Community of Madrid
Madrid, Community of Madrid

Been to Cuando Sali de Cuba? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing