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The Only Legal Trip to Cuba (from America)…

…can by done by experiencing Cafecito.

This tiny restaurant on an out-of-the-way corner on the edge of the East Village is usually jam-packed with locals and regulars clamoring for its impressive Cuban cuisine. You can try to snag a ‘reservation’ by begging with whoever answers the phone; however, most likely, you’ll just have to wait your turn.

The restaurant itself is split between the bar and the dining room, both decorated with Cuban kitsch and twinkling Christmas lights and equally cramped. Yet, the floor to ceiling windows that open to the street ease the claustrophobic eating areas.

Cafecito though isn’t really about the decor, it’s about the food. The kitchen serves up Cuba’s version of comfort food. When with large groups, you can split all sorts of small dishes like ceviche, bollos, empanadas, and frituras; or, you can really go for it with the large sandwiches (Bocadillos) and entree items. The food is lovingly prepared, spiced elegantly, savory, and authentic-tasting. It’s food that makes you smile with its bold and fresh flavors. The dishes are laden with spicy chorizo sausage, queso cheese, peppers, tomatillo, black beans, various salsa flavors, and gaucamole. Cafecito is not the place to skimp – the low prices allow you to go all out – experiment or gorge!

It’s hard to go wrong here – even with the surprisingly comprehensive menu. And that’s why people keep coming back (that and the wondrously strong mojitos). Despite the oftentimes long wait, Cafecito is wonderful for groups – and the joyous food makes it ideal for celebrations or boistrous get-tgoethers.

TIP: for groups over 6, call in advance and get your name on the list – it’ll cut down the wait!

Cafecito on Urbanspoon

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