El Siboney is an off-the-beaten-path Cuban Restaurant in Key West that is favored and recommended by locals. When we stayed at the nearby La Pension Inn, the inn keeper highly recommended El Siboney, so we wandered down the side streets to have our first Key West meal here at the this simple, yet busy place.
At around 2pm, I was surprised at how busy the restaurant was, but we did not have to wait for a table. Unfortunately, service was a bit slow, so it took 10 minutes or so to order... even worse, their special of the day was sold out (Chicken & Yellow Rice on Fridays). We had the shredded roast pork ($10) and the beef palomilla ($14), two of our favorite Cuban dishes in Tampa. These did not disappoint.
For my drink, I had a Hatuey Cuban Style Ale. Cuban style? Oh, the embargo... you cannot import Cuban beer, but you can brew Cuban beer in the US! Hatuey is brewed by Bacardi (really?) based on a recipe brought to the US from Cuba. When the embargo ends, it will be interesting to see if Cuba still brews Hatuey and how the courts interpret the ownership of the brand.
El Siboney is THE place for Cuban in Key West. It was busy and crowded on a Tuesday night, so I imagine that it's always like that. Locals and visitors in-the-know join in droves for the best Cuban restaurant on the island. I'm not sure what is better, the delicious meal I had, or the check. We got the bill after each enjoying a large entree in addition to my husband's soup, and a shared pitcher of Sangria and it was $37.90! Not bad for a delicious meal in Key West including a pitcher of booze.
I had the Vaca Frita, which was a little drier than I expected it to be, since I have had this dish at upscale Cuban-esque restaurants, but the dish was served with black beans and plantains, and was overall very delicious. My husband had one of the pork dishes - I'm not sure why I didn't order this because I LOVE pork prepared in Latin and Caribbean styles - it was ridiculously moist and delicious, and once again I had entree-envy (this is a common problem when dining with my husband). The pitcher of Sangria went all too fast, but it was delicious and refreshing. I followed my meal with a cup of cuban coffee, which I had never tasted before, and it was quite good.
Favorite Dish: I think my favorite dish was the pork that my husband ordered - I think any of the pork dishes would do. I especially loved the plantains and black beans which are among the many choices for side dishes with an entree. And it would be just wrong to eat a meal here and not wash it down with Sangria.
Why not try some authentic Cuban food in Key West since it is so close to Cuba? We discovered this unique little restaurant hidden away in the smaller side streets of Key West and were surprised by how tasty the food was. The prices of the dishes are reasonable, and the portions are very generous. The dishes we ordered also came with rice, black beans, and plantains.
Favorite Dish: We had the Palomilla Steak, Grilled Snapper Fillet, fish sandwich, and red bean soup and all were very delicious and tasted homemade.
Nothing fancy just big heaping plates of food with plantains, Yellow rice and beans, daily specials. Don't try and eat it all at one sitting. Bring some home for a late nite snack. This is a busy locals place and may have a wait at supper time. Cash only and open from 11am till 9:30 pm.
Favorite Dish: Garlic Chicken or the daily special on the back of the menu
The ambience is, well... there isn't much really. But the food is the best Cuban I've had yet. This is the real thing!
Favorite Dish: The Slow Roasted Pork is incredible, served with plantains, white rice and black beans!
Bustling neigborhood restaurant offers the best in cuban cuisine. Not a quiet romantic place but a 'must see' of Key West in addition to it's fine and economical food.
Favorite Dish: Grilled Pork Tenderloin with black beans, rice, and plaintains.