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“Tasty but fatty”

Old Havana Sandwich Shop
Ranked #60 of 763 Restaurants in Durham
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Latin, Cuban, Caribbean
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Kids, Families with children, Dining on a budget
Dining options: Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Seating, Takeout, Wheelchair Accessible
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
Level Contributor
239 reviews
154 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Tasty but fatty”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 22, 2013

Informal sandwich shop in downtown Durham near DPAC and the Justice Center. Friendly folks and pleasant informal service. A bit noisy when full with some lovely but noisy Latin music. Sandwiches and platters. Veggies. Red and white wine and beer all fairly priced. Had a sampler plate with different kinds of fried pork and tasty rice and black beans. All tasty and well done but very fatty - not a light meal. Anything deep fried is delicious but this is not the diet platter. Well recommended for a quick lunch where calories and cholesterol are not the prime concern.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Bcobert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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94 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    50
    30
    9
    4
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Warren, Ohio
Level Contributor
76 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“So so.....”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 11, 2013

We went as a family of 4 while visiting Durham for the weekend. I'm originally form FL and you can get a cuban almost anywhere down there. We both had the Havana... the pork was good, the flavors were right, and the bread was crispy... but the sandwich was rather small for the price in my opinion. It also comes with nothing... so the $7.95 is just the sandwich itself. I had a side order of Maduros... which were heavenly and cooked to perfection. He had a side of papas bravas which were tasty as well for a very small portion. The sides were $3-$3.50 each so without drinks our looking at 10 bucks without drinks. All together with 2 sandwiches which we split, 2 sides, and 4 sodas we paid $34. The decor is arts and eclectic, the buliding was older, and we did spot what appeared to be a dead cockroach in the corner by out table after we finished eating and one near the front entrance on the way out, I guess it could have been a palmetto bug.... but either way to see that in a place right after you finished your lunch there....

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank beachmom250
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, North Carolina
Level Contributor
110 reviews
89 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Best Cuban sandwich I've ever had!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 8, 2013

I dined here in August 2013 on a Yelp recommendation. We were up in the Durham area scoping out rental homes for an upcoming move and were looking for a unique near-by quick dining location. Old Havana offers Cuban sandwiches and dinner plates at a reasonable price. The portions are on the smaller side but the food is excellent. I tried the Havana sandwich and it is simply amazing. My husband got the luncheon plate with a serving of slow roasted pork, rice, and maduros (plantains) and it was very good, although the sandwich was the best thing we had. We tried the Cafe con leche coffee as well and it was a good blend for me, strong but with lots of cream.

I love the atmosphere in this restaurant. It's located in an old downtown building and has lots of charm. They play upbeat old-style Cuban music too, which adds to the ambiance. Definitely check this place out if you want to catch a quick authentic meal at a reasonable price.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank amberforests
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, FL, USA
Level Contributor
40 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“I wanted to love this place, but...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 10, 2013

I'm Cuban. I know Cuban food.

The good is that this is one of two cuban places in Durham, and the pork is good.

The bad is that they ONLY have pork - pork in sandwich, pork sampler, etc. Cuban cuisine is MUCH more varied, and it is dissappointing that for being called a 'cuban' restaurant they haven't tried to expand to things like ropa vieja, congri, vaca fritta, etc. I was disappointed in this. Another bad point is that my beans were more al dente than they should be if you are claiming to be an 'authentic' cuban restaurant. Our beans are soft, and these were hard. Beans are a big part of Cuban culture and to not have them done perfectly can and does ruin the whole meal.

Also, this place is in a very sketchy part of town. Just this alone with so-so food would make me not go back.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank etapanes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hereford, Arizona
Level Contributor
84 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“A little bit hidden”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 2, 2013

Not near the other downtown restaurants, on Main closer to the courthouse and DSS. Very quiet the Saturday night we went. I had the sampler plate and it was quite good. Black beans and locally source pork were quite good. First time trying plaintains. They were crunchy on outside, soft on inside but too sweet for my taste. My husband had one of the sandwiches and it was quite good. Server was very friendly and helped us make our selections. Generous portions.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Ginny A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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