327 W. 44th St, New York, NY | Directions 1003640.759108 -73.990213
Neighborhoods: Clinton, Midtown
After Dinner – this places plays some great music but the crowd was horrible. We went for a friend's B-day and after dinner we planned to spend the night having drinks and dancing. The crowd was not polite and made us feel uncomfortable. We left shortly after we finished our meal.
Ricky Ricardo goes to midtown at this refreshingly unpretentious retro-Latin restaurant-nightclub. – The Scene
"Babalu" was Desi Arnaz's trademark tune, so it makes sense that it feels like the Tropicana Nightclub in here--pan-Latin-'50s kitsch, bright pink and aqua spotlights and waiters dressed accordingly. Warning: When the live music comes up, you will want to dance.
This is assertive, potent Latin food. High-voltage flavors radiate from dishes like shrimp ceviche swimming in a red chili mojo and cornmeal-fried oysters, pumped up with chunks of bacon and enchilado sauce. Truly, everything is exceptional, but the best of the bunch are the most authentically Latin dishes. Picarones are the ultimate dessert: deep-fried, donut-like pastries served with guava whipped cream.
Party On!! – My friend and I went to Babalu on a Saturday because on that night it was free for ladies before 12. Although the club did not open on time and we had to wait out in the cold, the bouncers were nice and friendly, keeping us posted on when we would be allowed to enter. Once we got in the club the music was pumping and we danced all night to hip-hop and Reggae. That party was off the hook!!
Only appetizers!!!!!!!!! – I liked the place and the people, but we really went to have dinner no appetizers as the whole dinner. I think they should let you know when you call and make reservations that they changed their menu to only appetizers. I mean they are good but I was more looking forward for a nice dinner. That's all.
Awesome..and then some! – I took my nephew and his wife to Babalu for a night out, because I had heard a lot about Babalu. Being Cuban, I am not easily pleased with a lot of the so-called "Cuban" cuisine...but let me tell you...the food was authentic and fabulous...the wait staff was charming and solicitous...and how perfect that the club is right next door (and free if you dine there) with some of the hottest latin music I have heard in the long time. It's not a "romantic" place to dine and it is somewhat loud, but for pure, unadulterated fun, great dancing and a decent price value...Babalu is da bomb!!
Hey Lucy... – Went to Babalu post-theatre, didn't know whta to expect. While it was large and a bit noisy, the drinks were fantastic, and the food was superb. The prices are not terrible. The service was great, and they have a whole great deal for birthdays. Considering the bleak midtown restaurant situation, Babalu is up there...
all hype – first we were shocked that on a friday night it was empty. for good reasons...the decor was cheesy and ugly. we started off with steamed mussels that were barely room temperature; i asked for steak med-rare and it came really well done; the fish was bland and tasted more like filet o fish. i wouldn't go back even if it was free!
A nite on the town – This past friday, I went to babalu with a couple of friends for dinner. we had a great time there. The food was wonderful. I had the shrimp coconut pupusa which was out of this world and of course a mojito. They had a live band there and salsa lessons.....alot of fun!!!!!
It's the food you foul! – I read another review which made me somewhat irrate. Babalu is two different things. A restauranrt and a latin club (which is next door to the restaurant). You can do both or keep it separate.
But if you want to enjoy some of the best nuevo latino cuisine in NYC, go there. Great food!!!
I'm a latin who has taken various "gringo groups" to Babalu. I've come out looking like the hero. Now, don't attempt the dance club unless you're a real Salsa dancer. I do agree that they could put a little effort in the clubs decor. Great for large parties.
In Ricky's name give Babalu a chance!
Dance the Night Away – I just went there for my birthday and let me tell you the food was amazing. The service staff is friendly and funny. If you eat in the restaurant you get in the club for free. It does't get any better than that. I had a blast. The dance floor got kind of crowded at about 1:30am but that was only because my all-time favorite singer Tito Rojas was performing. I had missed the concert but the after party happened to be at Babalu. He even waved at me. I will never forget this birthday thank you Babalu.....
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