Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar
10 S. 2nd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19105
Lunch Hours: Mon to Fri – 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sat to Sun – 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Dinner Hours: Mon to Wed, Sun – 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Thurs to Sat – 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
For over 10 years, Cuba Libre’s mission has been to bring authentic Cuban cuisine and culture to Philadelphia. Take two steps into the Old City restaurant and you’ll understand why. From its festive décor and robust Cuban dishes to its late night salsa dancing, you’ll feel like you’re sitting in a tropical paradise. Cuba Libre’s menu boasts over 70 rums, and seven of them are made specially for them, such as the Cuba Libre 21 Year “Special Reserve” rum which has “scotch and brandy characteristics” and the mellow Cuba Libre Spiced Rum. It may take you several visits to try all of the wonderful mojitos, but don’t miss the Grilled Pineapple Mojito ($10.50) and Mojito Aniversario ($11).
1141 Pine St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Hours: Mon to Wed – 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Thurs – 10 a.m. to midnight, Fri – 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sat – 8 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sun – 8 a.m. to Midnight
You know it’s a good sign when most of the brunch patrons at a Cuban restaurant are of Latin descent. Inside Philly’s Antique Row, Mixto is warm and inviting, with exposed brick and gorgeous wood details. The food is authentic Caribbean-Latin-Mexican-Cuban (that’s what mixto must be all about), and the mojitos are muddled fresh before your very eyes and come in a variety of taste sensations (mixed berry, coconut and guava). There are happy hour specials every night from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., with alternating deals on mojitos and margaritas for $5 each.
Alma de Cuba
1623 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Hours: Mon to Thurs – 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Fri to Sat – 5 p.m. to Midnight, Sun – 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Another one of Stephen Starr’s winning restaurants, Alma de Cuba in Rittenhouse Square offers authentic, upscale Cuban cuisine and cocktails set in a gorgeous space. Huge photos of weathered Cuban faces look down on the diners, but not in a creepy way. Happy hour is Sunday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., with drink specials and free tapas in the lounge. Feel like breaking away from the typical rum mojito or daiquiri? Try the Dark and Stormy, made with cult-favorite Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, fresh lime juice and house-made Caribbean ginger beer for $9.
El Camino Real
1040 N. 2nd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19123
Hours: Mon to Fri – 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sat to Sun – 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.
If you find yourself in Northern Liberties, stop in to El Camino Real for some Tex-Mex. Fans love the fried pickle chips with spicy chili mayo for $6. Even if you’re not a vegetarian, you must try the veggie wings appetizer for $9; it will make you a believer. As long as you’re enjoying the reasonably-priced fare, you might as well try the Blood Orange Mojito ($9) and/or the Mexicola, which is made with Jose Cuervo Silver rum, fresh lime and Coke, for $6. El Camino Real’s friendly bartenders will make you any of its exciting rum drinks, or choose something else from the extensive beverage menu. You’ll never tire of the variety.
Related: Top Bloody Marys in Philadelphia