Sun-Thu, 11am-11pm; Fri-Sat, 11am-midnight
L at First Ave.
Houston St. to 18th St., Ave. D to Third Ave.
Neighborhood families and easygoing downtowners converge at this small Loisaida restaurant for the festive surroundings as much as for the Cuban food. Soon after the place opened in 2003, it became a neighborhood fixture. The success can be attributed to the fact that the establishment serves drinkers and diners with equal zeal. Comprised of what was once two tiny, separate storefronts, Cafecito put a bar area on one side and a dining room on the other. The windows and doors open to the street, helping to prevent claustrophobia among the densely packed tables. While appetizers such as the saborcito ("little taste") seems to argue persuasively that Cuban means fried, the restaurant also has a way with the Cubano, that classic sandwich of pork, Swiss cheese, mayo, and dill pickle. Choripan con Queso—a smashing together of thick slices of tangy chorizo sausage, sautéed onion, and mild white cheese—is even more piquant. If you're on a liquid diet, minty mojitos are well executed here.Note
Cafecito only accepts reservations for parties of six or more.Recommended Dishes
Saborcito de Cuba, $11; choripan con queso, $10; camarones al ajillo, $15