New York restaurants evoke many feelings and Cafe Habana is no different. It's cramped and, thanks to its shoebox size, you often have to wait on long lines. Yet, you'd think you've been transported to Cuba. The space, which was once a Dominican diner in the heart Manhattan’s trendy Nolita neighborhood, was frequented long before it was "cool.” Young filmmaker and entrepreneur Sean Meehan later acquired it, transforming it into his own Latin hot spot.
Café Habana’s appearance is one that will instantly attract New Yorkers to take a breather from their hectic schedules just for a quick view. From the outside it’s a retro diner, transforming into a Caribbean cantina inside. The food is colorful too. Cafe Habana is filled with young 20-something fashionistas clamoring for a position to perch themselves and enjoy. Settle and don't move (you won't be able to much). Try their famous grilled Mexican corn, a cob of creamy kernels bonded together with zesty chili powder, lime, and cojita cheese. Treat yourself to the sopesitos, a sampler of corn cakes topped with black beans, cojita, and three different salsas. Delicious!
For the health conscious, Café Habana offers many yummy alternatives. Order the grilled chicken and corn salad with juicy chicken breast and roasted corn on a bed of crunchy greens. For the carnivore, get the los platos fuertes, a tender grass-fed grilled skirt steak served with your choice of traditional rice and beans. You'll also do well with the chuleta de puerco a la pimienta, also known as grilled pork chops drizzled with a mushroom and chipotle sauce. The Baja fish tacos, classic Cuban sandwich, and camarones al ajillo (shrimp in spicy garlic sauce served with rice and beans) are also winners.
Cafe Habana is one of those rare places in New York City where everything seems to be decent and flavorful for every palate. Satisfy that growing appetite and visit your new favorite Latin eatery today.