48 Lower Marsh, Lambeth, London

There’s nothing Cuban about La Cubana – except the heat

Cubana, exterior picture

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Address:48 Lower Marsh
Map:Map & nearby
Nearest Station:Lambeth North
Opening Hours:

Mon:12:00 - 00:00
Tue:12:00 - 00:00
Wed:12:00 - 01:00
Thu:12:00 - 01:00
Fri:12:00 - 03:00
Sat:15:00 - 03:00
Sun:15:00 - 22:00
About: Cubana serve a variety of Cuban dishes at their busy restaurant. They have a Happy Hour and catering for private parties is also available. They serve old fashioned Cuban dishes including a variety of tapas as well as cocktails, and children's parties can also be catered for. They have live Cuban Salsa bands. Cubana Party Card holders get in free with one guest. This branch caters for private parties of up to 120 people and seating on the pavement is provided weather permitting.

Related Businesses

Nearby alternatives

  1. Cubana (1.3 miles)
    Charterhouse Street, Clerkenwell, EC1M 6HA
  2. The Cuban - City (1.5 miles)
    Ropemaker Street, Moorgate, EC2Y 9AW
  3. Cuba Libre & Bar Havana (2.4 miles)
    Upper Street, Islington, N1 0NY

Cubana features in these AIL lists...

Bars which serve London's biggest drinks
You can’t escape the theme at this bar near Waterloo station, with bright murals and Cuban flags on almost every wall. All the cocktails are available by the jug, including margaritas, daiquiris, mojitos and caipirinhas.

"There’s nothing Cuban about La Cubana – except the heat"

Review Rating: 5 / 10
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Reviewed by

If the management of La Cubana are trying to recreate the sweltering heat of Havana, they’ve achieved it. Despite the looming clouds and the miserly 12 degrees outside, the bar feels like a greenhouse - a brightly coloured greenhouse with salsa music blaring in the background and exclamation marks everywhere that suggest you should be having the time of your life. ‘We are always happy! You should be having FUN!’ scream the green and yellow walls as suited after-workers sip Cuban bottled beers. It’s a little too much like the enforced fun of a work outing, with the added bonus of happy hour specials that include two watered down mojitos for only £6.95.

There are curiously raised platforms for individual tables which offer a downward view of the bar, as if a performance was to take place. The only empty tables have a large ‘Reserved’ sign so we are resigned to dragging two heavy steel chairs outside, to the amusement of two gentlemen who watch and giggle at our plight, but at least we can stop sweating thanks to the chilly breeze.

There’s food too, and the menu features cheap Cuban tapas - including that perennial Latin American favourite, falafels - and there’s a pre-theatre offering of three courses for only £10.95 before 6.30pm. The food may well be very good, it’s just that cornbreads stuffed with salsa and chicken breast in tempura batter smacks of booze-soaking stodge, not rustic Cuban fare. Naturally, no London-based Cuban establishment would be complete without live music, which takes place from Wednesday to Saturday. Let’s hope they turn the air con up high.

Leila reviewed Cubana on Wed 04 May 2011

"My Cuban expert friend likes it too, so it must be OK..."

Review Rating: 7 / 10
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Within staggering distance of Waterloo station (and the Fire Station bar which is always heaving) this is a fab place. It really reminds me of Caribbean bars although I haven’t been to Cuba so can’t vouch for its authenticity. But one of my friends is a Cuban expert and she likes it there, so it must be OK.

Sometimes we go there at the start of our evening out when it’s relatively quiet and you can get a table. Younger folk hang out at the bar. The cocktails are to die for – absolutely the best Mojitos. And you can get cocktails by the jug too if there’s a few of you. And you can see how absolutely fresh the ingredients are – I have spent many hours happily watching the bar staff at work.

There’s always Cuban music playing – although sometimes a bit too loudly if you want to chat. The atmosphere is informal, relaxed and suitably cheerful. There are salsa and Latino nights during the week and they have a resident guitarist. And the staff will often dance about in between serving customers.

It’s quite small, which means that it gets rather crowded easily. But I like the fact that the tables and chairs are dotted around the various small areas on slightly different levels – so you find different groups and couples gathering in the various areas up and down the interconnected stairways.

I have eaten there – and the food was good although I regret that I can’t remember exactly what I had. And the choice is eclectic – with nods to Spanish tapas (tortilla and chorizo) and Caribbean fare (plantains, sweet potatoes and rosti) as well as Cuban dishes (Pollo criollos). But there are also some surprises – like Devon crab, fresh tuna and prime British steaks. There’s also a children’s menu but I have never seen kids in there myself.

I’ve heard that the live music is pretty good too – but I have to say that this is one of those places where I pop in for a couple of drinks, rather than stay for the evening. Oh, and there is a door charge for late entry so check that out before you go.

KimT reviewed Cubana on Tue 05 Aug 2008

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