F, V at Lower East Side-Second Ave.; 6 at Spring St.; B, D, F, V at Broadway-Lafayette St.; J, M, Z at Bowery
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
Canal St. to 4th St., Essex St. to Sixth Ave.
In traditional dives, taste often surpasses style. Café Habana is no exception. The cramped quarters in this Cuban eatery, located on a residential corner off Elizabeth Street, may scare away patrons desiring cushy seating and quiet conversation. But the perfectly seasoned roasted pork, grilled steaks and sautéed chicken makes this café a delicious dining destination. The Mexican-style grilled corn, a gooey mixture of fresh corn topped with chili powder, melted cheese and lime, is a crowd-pleasing, albeit messy, delight that comes with a cup of individually wrapped toothpicks. Follow the corn with the marinated skirt steak with rice and beans, and a mojito, and soon you'll forget all about the sardine-like setup.Extra
The space is tiny, so prepare yourself for at least a half-hour wait to be seated. Once you make it inside, settle in and try not to move until after the meal. Otherwise, you'll bump the waitstaff.Recommended Dishes
Cuban sandwich, $9.75; pollo mirador, $13.50; mango and jicama salad, $8.25