Chicago >Restaurants >
Cuban >Habana Libre
1440 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL | Directions 6062241.896265 -87.664013
Neighborhoods: West Side, Goose Island
I have driven past HABANA a few Thousand times on W. Chicago Ave ... The best review has to be you - Very good food the staff circus was not a wild event with waiters running around blind this was very very good .. You make that call I enjoyed my time here and the food is top notch and remember B.Y.O.B .. maybe the Alderman can pull some strings so they can make some Cuban drinks to complement the fair .. HABANA rates well above 5 Star status
Most Authentic Cuban Food, just like mami makes, affordable – Habana Libre brought tears to my eyes! Being Cuban; but never having learned how to cook Cuban food. The food here couldn't be more authentic. It tasted exactly the way my parents would have prepared it. The atmosphere is simple; much like you might find in Miami. You come here to indulge in the wonderful cuisine. The food is cooked when ordered, couldn't be fresher! I have been back several times, even dining by myself. Brought my American friend (her first experience eating Cuban food) and she loved it too. I plan on ordering for Christmans eve dinner. Only wished I lived closer! YOU MUST VISIT! Any entre you chose you will love; ask the staff for their favorite. Cuban sandwiches out of this world. During the week no extended wait time!
Excellent, authentic Cuban food – I grew up in Tampa, FL so I feel justified in claiming to know a thing or two about Cuban food. That said, Habana Libre was excellent and authentic.
The dining room has a comfortable vibe, a touch tacky (in a good way). The tostones (fried green plantains.... mmmmm yummy), yuca frita, croquetes, arroz con frijoles negros, and palomilla steak are particularly tasty. The service was really good, the staff is friendly and helpful... the prices were good.... what's not to like?!
Thank You Habana Libre – I live in the west loop and had seen a blurb about Habana Libre in Chicago magazine--having been itching for a cuban sandwich since my last trip to Florida, I had to try them out. The wait was LONG, but worth it! Next time I'll call ahead for take out--the restaurant was cute and is BYOB, it'd be great for a group and the price is right.
Chill place with yummy food – I'd been wanting to try Habana Libre for a while and I am so glad I did. The service was friendly and the atmosphere and Cuban music were enjoyable enough that I didn't mind that it was a little slow. The food was great. I had the special - a whole snapper ith veggies. So good. My sister had the ropas viejas which she rated as good, but not great. My daughter loved her cuban sandwich and she is a picky eater. We went on a Saturday at around 6p and it was not crowded, but I could definitely see that we got there at the right time as I watched the place fill up around 7:30 p.m.
Authentic Tasty Cuban Cuisine; though it Can be Crowded with long waits for Entrees. – The food is well above average, as evidenced by its popularity and full dining room. Problem is, they obviously have a small kitchen, and tables are served one at a time. Better plan on waiting at least an hour for your entrees, if you come at prime time on a Friday or Sat. evening. We enjoyed the Red Snapper Filets in a unique Creole sauce, as well as the Roast Pork in garlic sauce. Nice fillers were the included white rice and black beans in mole sauce. Not much atmosphere here, but it is BYOB. Though I would recommend this restaurant, I still strongly prefer La Cocina (See my Review).
West Town locals make this charming West Town storefront their regular stop for roast pork and the classic Cuban sandwich. – The Scene
Mango-colored walls, vintage posters and gorgeous handpainted tiles with scenes of churches and palm trees conjure Cuba at this warm storefront in West Town. A row of linen-topped tables divides the single-room space, with a mirrored nook on the left and vinyl booths to the right. Rumba beats punch up the mood for a neighorhood mix of hipsters, families and couples on dates. Service is slow, but friendly.
The classics are knockouts--in all their garlicky, fried goodness. Flaky golden brown empanadas are best stuffed with beef, despite pork and chicken options. The Cuban is perfectly pressed on crusty French bread, with tender pork, ham, turkey, Swiss cheese and pickles. A wet preparation of arroz con pollo (served with moist rice), a house version of paella with chicken, olives and red peppers, is worth the 45-minutes of prep time. Crunchy lechon is charred, but fork tender and juicy inside.
Cozy Cuban Comfort (BYO) – Both family and date friendly, gringo and Cubano friendly, this warm restaurant is a pleasant respite for classic Cuban comfort food. The empanadas are light and flaky, not greasy; the lechon asada (thinly sliced roasted suckling pig) is tender and flavorful; the ceviche de camarones has a welcomed spicy kick to it; the black beans are clean and well-seasoned; the boiled yucca comes to life with olive oil and garlic; and the cafe de Cuba is approriately strong without being bitter. I have not tried it yet, but have heard very good things abot the ropas viejos ("old clthes" - shredded beef). The staff is incredibly warm and hospitable, and the kitchen is efficient. Far less crowded than trendier, more expensive Cuban places. While the BYO certainly makes dinner more affordable, I must admit I missed a good mojito.
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