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Restaurants & Bars 10


JeffB | Jun 2, 200307:12 PM

I thought it might be helpful to make a list, in no particular order, of extant and open (as far as I know) Cuban places. There are more than I realized. Maybe 20 in the city alone. Most are simple mom&pops and may or may not show up in Metromix, etc. I've left out the many PR places and few Mexican places that serve some Cuban food. Also missing are the Nuevo places like Rumba and Coobah that stray farther from tradition than say a Cafe 28 or Mar y Sol. Noteworthy stuff in parens. (?)= question as to current status.

Ambassador Cafe
3605 N Ashland
404/8770 (seafood, soups, sandwiches)

La Unica
1515 W. Devon
274-7788 (cafeteria in the back of a great store, carribean/S. American goods in addition to Cuban; lechon, garbanzos, cafe con leche, tamales)

Cafe Marianao
2246 N. Milwaukee
278-4533 (biste sandwich (their spelling, which is phonetically correct, if you're Cuban); cafe con leche, cafe Cubano)

Cafe Bolero
2252 N. Western
227-9000 (more formal, full bar, but still quite traditional, except for the cevapccici) Also in Elmwood Park, close to Johnnie's and Massa.

Ay Carumba Cafe
2714 N. Milwaukee
772-1662 (coffee, close to some other places on the list)

Bombonera Cafe
2557 N. Milwaukee
235-8398 (ditto)

La Guantanamera
2825 N. Milwaukee
342-7025 (same; fairly extensive menu)

Mambo Cafe
3336 N. Milwaukee
481-2050 (dining room now open; salsa club adjacent has been open for some time; haven't tried but seems popular)

Rinconcito Cubano
3238 W. Fullerton
489-4440 (can smoke cigars, play dominos)

Cafe 28/Havana Express
1800 W. Irving Pk.
528-2883 (well-documented Cuban w/ some Mexican; nice Spanish wines by the glass, cold Presidente; weekday breakfast/sandwich place now open)

Cafe LaGuardia
2111 W. Armitage
862-5996 (popular place that seems to follow the Cafe 28 formula)

Rancho Luna
3357 W. Peterson
509-9332 (long-time standby, fairly large)

Rancho Luna del Caribe
2554 W. Diversey
772-9333 (related to the Peterson standby?; apparently a popular salsa (dancing) option as well)

Mar y Sol
816 W. Randolph
(312)563-1763 (from the Bolero people, I believe; lukewarm reviews initially, but seems to be gaining steam; never been)

Cafeteria de Pancho
2200 N. California
772-7811 (ropa vieja sandwich)

Las Villas (?)
3101 N. Kedzie
267-0300 (bakery with a cafe; old location knocked down for a gas station; never been to this location, not sure it is still open or has a cafe)

Cuban Island (?)
3446 W. Peterson

Latin American #1 (?)
6221 N. Clark

Sabor a Cuba
1833 W. Wilson
769-6859 (mixed reviews here)

Please chime in w/ corrections/additions.

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