If you’re a food lover, particularly a fan of Cuban cuisine, then brace yourself for a culinary adventure in sunny Sarasota! This vibrant city in Florida boasts a plethora of incredible eateries that serve up authentic and mouthwatering Cuban delicacies. From juicy and flavorful Cubano sandwiches to aromatic ropa vieja and perfectly fried plantains, there is no shortage of options to satisfy your cravings. So, whether you’re a local looking for a new favorite spot or a visitor wanting to experience the best of Sarasota’s food scene, this article will guide you to the ultimate destinations for finding the best Cuban food in town. Prepare your taste buds for a delightful journey of flavors and discover the hidden gems that make Sarasota an irresistible destination for food enthusiasts. If you’re craving some delicious and authentic Cuban cuisine in Sarasota, you’re in luck! This city is home to a plethora of fantastic Cuban restaurants that offer a wide array of mouthwatering dishes. From traditional classics to innovative fusion creations, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. In this article, we will explore ten of the best Cuban restaurants in Sarasota, each with its own unique offerings and flavors. So get ready to embark on a culinary adventure and discover the true taste of Cuba right here in Sarasota!
1. Ybor Grille: Authentic Cuban Cuisine
Ybor Grille is known for its authentic Cuban cuisine, bringing the flavors of Cuba to Sarasota. This restaurant offers a variety of delectable dishes that will transport you to the streets of Havana. One of their standout items is the Empanadas, savory turnovers filled with a choice of meat, cheese, or vegetables. Another must-try is their Cuban Sandwich, a mouthwatering combination of roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, mustard, and pickles, all pressed on fresh Cuban bread. For those looking for a hearty and flavorful dish, the Ropa Vieja is a must-try. This shredded beef dish, cooked with tomatoes, peppers, and onions, is a true Cuban classic. And if you’re a seafood lover, don’t miss out on the Camarones Enchilados, shrimp cooked in a spicy tomato sauce. At Ybor Grille, you’re guaranteed an authentic Cuban experience that will leave your taste buds craving for more.
2. Cuban Grill: Family-Run Restaurant
Cuban Grill is a family-run restaurant that has been serving up traditional Cuban dishes in Sarasota for years. With a warm and welcoming atmosphere, this restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy a delicious Cuban meal with your loved ones. Their menu features a wide variety of Cuban classics that will satisfy your cravings. One of their signature dishes is the Lechon Asado, slow-roasted pork marinated in a blend of citrus juices and spices. Pair it with their flavorful Picadillo, a ground beef dish cooked with tomatoes, peppers, onions, and a variety of aromatic spices. And don’t forget to indulge in their delicious Yuca Frita, crispy fried yuca served with a tangy garlic dipping sauce. From the moment you step into Cuban Grill, you’ll feel like part of the family, and the flavorful dishes will keep you coming back for more.
3. Mi Pueblo: Affordable Cuban Food
If you’re looking for affordable yet delicious Cuban food, look no further than Mi Pueblo. This restaurant offers a wide selection of Cuban dishes at budget-friendly prices, making it a popular choice among locals and visitors alike. The menu at Mi Pueblo features a range of mouthwatering options, including the classic Arroz con Pollo, a flavorful combination of chicken, yellow rice, and a medley of vegetables. Another favorite is the Bistec de Palomilla, a thinly sliced steak marinated in garlic and lime juice, served with sautéed onions. Don’t miss out on their Tostones, crispy fried plantains that make for the perfect side dish. And for dessert, indulge in their creamy Flan, a traditional Cuban caramel custard that will satisfy your sweet tooth. At Mi Pueblo, you can enjoy delicious Cuban food without breaking the bank.
4. Selva Grill: Cuban-Inspired Fusion Cuisine
Selva Grill offers a unique twist on Cuban cuisine with their Cuban-inspired fusion dishes. This restaurant combines traditional Cuban flavors with international ingredients, creating a one-of-a-kind dining experience. One standout dish is the Plantain-Crusted Grouper, a fresh and flaky grouper filet coated in plantain crumbs and served with a delicious mango salsa. Another must-try is their Cuban Mojo Chicken, succulent chicken marinated in citrus and garlic, then grilled to perfection. For a delightful appetizer, indulge in their Chorizo-Stuffed Dates, a sweet and savory combination that will tantalize your taste buds. And for dessert, don’t miss out on their Tres Leches Cake, a moist and decadent cake soaked in three types of milk. At Selva Grill, you’ll enjoy innovative and flavorful dishes that showcase the best of Cuban cuisine with a modern twist.
5. Columbia Restaurant: Historic Cuban Restaurant
For a taste of history and tradition, look no further than the Columbia Restaurant. Established in 1905, the Columbia is Florida’s oldest restaurant and a beloved institution in the Sarasota culinary scene. This historic Cuban restaurant offers a wide range of traditional Cuban dishes that have stood the test of time. One of their most iconic dishes is the 1905 Salad, a refreshing combination of iceberg lettuce, ham, Swiss cheese, olives, tomatoes, and their famous garlic dressing. Another must-try is their Paella, a Spanish-inspired dish filled with a medley of seafood, chicken, pork, and saffron-infused rice. And, of course, no visit to the Columbia Restaurant is complete without trying their Cuban Black Bean Soup, a rich and flavorful soup made with black beans, ham, and aromatic spices. Finish off your meal with their heavenly Guava Turnovers, flaky pastries filled with sweet guava paste. At the Columbia Restaurant, you’ll experience the timeless taste of Cuban cuisine in a historic setting.
6. Sabroso: Cozy Cuban Restaurant
Sabroso is a cozy Cuban restaurant that charms its guests with its warm and inviting atmosphere. This restaurant offers a selection of traditional Cuban dishes that are packed with flavor and made with love. One of their standout dishes is the Boliche Asado, a succulent roast pork marinated in a blend of citrus juices, garlic, and aromatic spices. Another must-try is their Papa Rellena, mashed potato balls stuffed with a savory meat filling and fried to perfection. And, of course, you can’t visit Sabroso without indulging in their Croquetas de Jamon, crispy fried croquettes filled with a creamy ham mixture. For a truly indulgent experience, try their Arroz Imperial, a flavorful dish made with yellow rice, chicken, and melted cheese. At Sabroso, you’ll feel like you’re dining in a lovingly prepared home-cooked meal, making it a perfect spot to satisfy your cravings for delicious Cuban fare.
7. Carmelitas: Cuban and Spanish Cuisine
If you’re in the mood for a taste of both Cuban and Spanish cuisine, Carmelitas is the place to be. This restaurant offers a delightful fusion of flavors, combining traditional dishes from both culinary traditions. One standout dish is the Vaca Frita, shredded and pan-fried beef marinated in garlic and citrus juices, resulting in a crispy and flavorful meat. For a taste of Spain, try their Bacalao a la Vizcaina, a classic Basque dish made with salted cod, onions, peppers, and tomatoes. And don’t forget to save some room for their delectable Cuban Pastries, flaky pastries filled with sweet cream or guava. For a touch of Spanish sweetness, indulge in their Tarta de Santiago, an almond-based cake topped with powdered sugar. At Carmelitas, you’ll experience the best of both worlds with their fusion of Cuban and Spanish flavors.
8. Cremas: Cuban Comfort Food
Cremas is the go-to spot for those seeking comforting and hearty Cuban cuisine. This restaurant specializes in Cuban comfort food that will warm your soul and leave you feeling satisfied. One of their signature dishes is the Masitas de Puerco, succulent chunks of pork marinated in a blend of garlic, citrus juices, and aromatic spices, then slow-cooked to perfection. Another must-try is their Fricassee de Pollo, tender chicken stewed in a flavorful tomato-based sauce with onions, peppers, and olives. And don’t miss out on their Yuca con Mojo, boiled yuca served with a tangy and garlicky mojo sauce. To end your meal on a sweet note, indulge in their Guayaba Cheesecake, a creamy cheesecake topped with a layer of sweet guava glaze. Cremas is the perfect place to enjoy comforting and satisfying Cuban dishes that will make you feel right at home.
9. El Palacio: Casual Cuban Cafe
El Palacio is a casual Cuban cafe that offers a relaxed and laid-back dining experience. This cafe specializes in traditional Cuban dishes that are perfect for casual lunches or quick bites. One of their most beloved items is the Media Noche Sandwich, a sweet and savory sandwich made with roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard, all pressed on a soft and slightly sweet roll. Another must-try is their Arroz con Leche, a comforting rice pudding made with milk, sugar, cinnamon, and a hint of vanilla. And don’t forget to sip on their Cuban Coffee, a strong and flavorful espresso that will give you the perfect caffeine boost. For a sweet treat, indulge in their Pastelitos de Guayaba, flaky pastries filled with sweet guava paste. At El Palacio, you can enjoy delicious Cuban fare in a casual and laid-back setting.
10. Café Havana: Lively Cuban Restaurant
For a lively and vibrant dining experience, head to Café Havana. This restaurant exudes energy and excitement, with live music and a festive atmosphere that will transport you to the bustling streets of Havana. Café Havana offers a range of flavorful Cuban dishes that will keep you dancing in your seat. One standout dish is the Vacarne Empanizada, breaded and fried steak served with a tangy tomato sauce. Pair it with their Maduros, sweet plantains that are pan-fried to perfection. And don’t miss out on their Chicharrones de Pollo, crispy fried chicken bites seasoned with a blend of aromatic spices. For dessert, indulge in their Tres Leches Flan, a creamy and decadent flan made with three types of milk. At Café Havana, you’ll experience the lively spirit of Cuban cuisine and culture.
In conclusion, if you’re searching for the best Cuban food in Sarasota, look no further than these ten exceptional restaurants. Whether you’re in the mood for authentic Cuban classics or innovative fusion creations, you’ll find a wide variety of flavorful options to satisfy your cravings. From Ybor Grille’s authentic Cuban cuisine to Café Havana’s lively atmosphere, each restaurant offers a unique dining experience that will transport you to the tropical flavors of Cuba. So gather your friends and family, and embark on a culinary journey through the vibrant world of Cuban cuisine in Sarasota. The only question now is, which restaurant will you try first?