It’s well known that there are only a handful of restaurants in the District that make authentic Cuban fare such as ropa vieja and vaca frita. Little Havana (3704 14th St. NW 20010), which just opened its doors in Columbia Heights, is the latest addition to that select number. The restaurant boasts tropical neon murals, some including notable Cuban icons like Celia Cruz, Che Guevara, and Washington Nationals player Gio Gonzalez, and can seat up to 60 people comfortably. The artwork was completed by Erenesto Zelaya whose murals can be found on buildings around the city.
Staying true to traditional Cuban fare, you can expect appetizers like yucca fries, empanadas, and chicharron de pollo. Main dishes will include pollo a la plancha, vaca frita, pargo frito, and of course the cubano sandwich. Desserts will also be available for those with a sweet tooth, such as flan and arroz con leche, just to name a few.
The restaurant, which is headed by chef Joseph Osorio and chef/restaurateur Alfredo Solis, is a cozy nod to the Caribbean island. The cocktails, curated by Heriberto Casasanero, also make sure to transport you to Cuba, with an emphasis on fruit-based cocktails laced with rum. If you’re lucky you’ll be able to sip your piña colada out of a hollowed pineapple and forget city life altogether during your stay. Little Havana is a great add-on to the district, offering a taste of authentic dishes paired with a fresh and festive ambience.
If you're into truly Cuban food, stop by Little Havana and be sure to tell them we sent you!
- Nyasha Chikowore
Photo Credit: Little Havana