Our Cuban neighbors, only 90 miles to the South, have throughout history contributed their vibrant culture to Key West, lively music, world famous cigars, and not least of all, flavorful food. These are our favorite places in Key West for authentic Cuban fare. Below is what we think is The Best Cuban Food in Key West!
Sandy’s Café No matter what time of the day or night you pass by Sandy’s Café, on the corner of White and Virginia streets, you’ see a line of people on the sidewalk under the crisp red and white awning in front of the walk up window. That’s because twenty four hours a day you will find the Original Cuban Sandwich that keeps loyal customers coming back, day after day, year after year. Pull up a red diner barstool on the sidewalk snack bar and partake in a “Think Big” sandwich experience like none other. The traditional Cuban Mix of ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, mustard and pickles on Cuban bread is a bellyful. Add salami, lettuce and more if you dare.
El Siboney Restaurant You won’t find this amazing Cuban Restaurant on your own unless you happen to be strolling where Old Town side streets, Catherine and Margaret converge. El Siboney is named for an indigenous tribe that populated Cuba prior to the Spanish inhabitants, thus the chiefly profile on the restaurant’s sign. Inside the modest brick building, be treated to authentic Cuban dishes, such as flavorful Roast Pork, Siboney Steak and mouthwatering Paella Valenciana. Accompanied by sweet and savory sides, Plantanos Maduros, Yuca Frita, Black Beans and Yellow Rice, you’ll not leave hungry.
5 Brothers Grocery & Sandwich Shop This unique shop is a gathering place for locals and visitors fortunate enough to find the neighborhood gem on the corner of Grinnell and Southard streets. The famous Café Con Leche, authentic Cuban coffee may be your first introduction as the aroma greets you when you walk in the door. Enjoy your brew on a bench out front and watch as person after person repeats their daily, 5 Brothers coffee ritual. At lunch time; you’ll see a similar procession leaving the store with bags of Cuban Mix sandwiches. You can’t argue with perfection.
Cuban Coffee Queen Don’t be fooled by their name. The Cuban Coffee Queen experience is so much more than just their delicious Cuban coffee. The diminutive building near the end of Margaret Street and the Key West Bight has a huge Cuban Favorites menu featuring fresh roasted Mojo Pork, homemade Havana Beef, and a Caliente Cuban Mix with horseradish and jalapenos, as well as tasty breakfast sandwiches and daily specials. There are even vegetarian sandwiches served on Cuban bread.
El Mocho Restaurant You won’t mind the short trip to Stock Island once you experience the authentic Cuban fare at El Mocho Restaurant on Maloney Street. A favorite stop for local’s breakfast, lunch and dinner, the cars in the parking lot are a good indication you’ve discovered a hidden gem. The extensive and reasonably priced menu describes mouthwatering combinations such as the Ropa Vieja, Oxtail Stew and toasted fresh Cuban bread. Save room for the tasty flan and of course a cup of robust Cuban coffee.