8 Best Cuban Restaurants in Los Angeles, CA

It doesn’t take a long-time local to know that Los Angeles cares a lot about food. Although it’s not exactly Miami when it comes to Cuban cuisine, LA is quickly becoming one of the major Cuban dining hubs—and for a good reason.

With flavor that stands out and flair that keeps customers coming back, it’s no wonder that the greater Los Angeles area has a disproportionate number of Cuban restaurants in comparison to its Cuban population.

If you’ve been looking to expand your date night rotation, or you’ve just been looking for some truly amazing and authentic Cuban food, we’ve got you covered. Here is our list of some of the best Cuban restaurants in Los Angeles, in no particular order.

Café Tropical

$ | (323) 426-9442 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Located on Sunset Boulevard in Silverlake, Café Tropical has been serving loyal customers breakfast and Cuban coffee for decades. Whether you come in at 6 AM in desperate need of your morning caffeine jolt or need a cozy place to stop for lunch with your coworker, you’ll find no lack of flavor at this classic coffee shop.

For breakfast, you can’t go wrong with a Nectarine Papaya Tart and a strong cortadito. The flaky, flavorful pastry paired with the authentic Cuban coffee will satisfy your tastebuds and keep you dreaming about the next time you’ll be able to pop in and grab another.

But remember—they’re seasonal and only available during the summer months. If you’d rather stop in for lunch or dinner, the pressed Medianoche Sandwich is the sweet and savory combination you deserve.

 

Porto’s Bakery & Café

$ | (818) 846-9100 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Are you seeing a pattern here? Cuban bakeries are HUGE in LA—and for a good reason. Arguably the most famous of these is Porto’s, which is truly a Los Angeles staple.

When Rosa Porta and her husband opened their first store in Echo Park in 1976, they had no idea that they were launching the first of a Cuban bakery empire. With lines almost always out the door, it’s a wonder their pastries and platos don’t constantly run out. But somehow, they keep the food coming and the lines moving quickly.

With low prices and amazing flavor combinations, Porto’s is beloved nationwide (they even ship some of their most popular essentials), and it’s hard to come across an Angelino who hasn’t tried one of their amazing pastelitos.

 

El Colmao

$$ | (213) 386-6131 | WEBSITE

Best Cuban Restaurant in Los Angeles, CA El Colmao

El Colmao is practically a Los Angeles landmark—it’s been open since 1969 and is easily the longest-open Cuban restaurant in the entire Greater Los Angeles area.

But just because they aren’t new doesn’t mean they don’t serve amazing food. It’s actually quite the opposite—El Colmao is a generational hotspot that has attracted Cuban families to come and enjoy a little slice of home since it first opened.

When you’re done with your flavorful, authentic meal, make sure you leave room for their special guava compote with sweet cream—but get enough for everyone, because you’re not going to want to share this tasty treat.

 

Havana Mania

$$ | (310) 725-9075 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Over 30 years ago, Carlos Montes de Oca bought a little Cuban restaurant in Redondo Beach with the intent of serving authentic Cuban cuisine to patrons who would be treated like guests in his own home. Today, his son Luis runs Havana Mania with the same outlook and the same family recipes.

The South Bay’s leading provider of flavorful mojitos, Havana Mania is a staple in Cuban night life on the weekend.

The portions are sizable for the price, and the menu is pretty extensive (although they do offer a few non-Cuban items for patrons with a different pallet)—and if Luis is in when you stop by, you’re likely to hear stories of his time in Miami and all of the amazing dishes he’s tried there.

 

El Cochinito

$$ | (323) 668-0737 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A staple in the Cuban cuisine scene, El Cochinito recently won an award for the best Cuban Sandwich in the world. But if that’s not enough for you, stop into this Silver Lake eatery and see for yourself.

With delicious lechon asado (slow-roasted pork) and authentic Cuban bread, this mouth watering sandwich has more than earned its bragging rights over the past 30 years.

 

Gigi’s Cafe Cubano

$$ | (213) 483-6152 | WEBSITE

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Gigi’s Cafe Cubano, located in historic Filipinotown, has just about anything you could want in a Cuban cafe and bakery. While there is always a Gigi’s, it’s well worth the wait.

If you’re looking for something filling and savory, the papa rellenas are a filling and delicious quick bite and their medianoche sandwich (think Cubano with a fluffier, flaky bread) is popular among regulars.

However, even if you just stop in for lunch, you’ll more than likely spend some time browsing the always-stocked pastry displays. Treat yourself to a Pastelito de Guayaba (guava pie) or a slice of their decadent tres leches cake. They also offer whole cakes, pastry boxes, and more, because you can’t just eat one bite.

 

Versailles

$$ | (310) 289-0392 | WEBSITE

Los Angeles, CA Best Cuban Restaurants Versailles

When Angelinos think of Cuban cuisine, they think of Versailles. Not only is it one of the Best Cuban Restaurants in Los Angeles, but it might be one of the best LA restaurants overall.

This local Cuban hot-spot, named after one of the best Cuban restaurants in Miami, is known for a handful of dishes—most popularly, the Famous Pollo Versailles. Head in for dinner and split a meal (the portions are definitely enough for two), or stop by for lunch and grab a smaller plate of their classic meals.

 

El Floridita Cuban Restaurant

$$ | (323) 871-8612 | WEBSITE

Los Angeles, CA Best Cuban Restaurant El Floridita Cuban Restaurant

El Floridita has been a cultural hub for the Cuban community in the Los Angeles area for over 30 years. Tuesday through Thursday nights are dedicated to serving up authentic, flavorful Cuban food. But on Monday, Friday, and Saturdays, El Floridita comes to life with live Latin music and dancing.

Try the arroz con pollo or the filete de pollo a la plancha, grab a drink, and have fun dancing while you wait for your meal to be prepared. With moderate pricing and decent plate sizes—and heart-pounding salsa nights—you can’t go wrong with this staple in LA Cuban culture.

 

Summary

No matter what part of Los Angeles you find yourself in, it’s likely that you’ll find an amazing Cuban restaurant serving up authentic dishes packed full of flavor.

The best Cuban restaurants in Los Angeles vary in price, location, and style, but they all have one thing in common—providing their neighborhood with authentic Cuban cuisine that keeps locals coming back week after week.

Don’t see your favorite on here? Let us know! We’re always looking for our next favorite place to try local cuisi

Cuban Restaurants in Los Angeles, CA

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