Cafe Habana

The boyfriend and I had walked by Café Habana a few months ago when we were walking to LES. Café Habana is located on the corner of Prince Street between Elizabeth and Mott Street. This little restaurant is really quite small, with only 8 table-for-two’s + 3 booths + 7 or so bar seats. Most of those table-for-twos are a bit smushed so it can definitely be a right squeeze during prime dining hours.

Since we had a free afternoon, we decided to stop by for lunch. We actually arrived around 10:50am, which was still during breakfast service. Café Habana starts lunch service at 11am so we got a seat and ordered a small size of chorizo to munch on until lunch started. Our waitress was perfectly okay with us just chilling out for a little bit and didn’t rush us.

Once 11am rolled around, we gave us the lunch menus – but we both already knew what we wanted. Fellow Yelpers have hyped up the Mexican Style Grilled Corn ($4.25) so we knew we had to try it. Each order comes with two large corns that are smothered in mayo and then topped with cotija cheese and chili powder. Our corn came piping hot. I can honestly say that the corn definitely lived up to the hype. The moment I bit into the corn it was like my taste buds exploded. The mayo made sure that the cheese stuck to the corn without falling all over the place. The mayo was warmed up by the hot corn and made each bite smooth and delicious. Even as we continued our meal, I still kept thinking about the corn! It is a bit spicy if you’re biting right onto the chili powder, but it was still so good!

The boyfriend and I decided to split their Cuban sandwich since we heard it was quite big. The Cuban sandwich ($9.75) features roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese and pickles inside pressed Parisi’s bread along with a side of fries. This sandwich was huge! Just by eating one half of the sandwich, I was already full. The bread was very crunchy on the outside yet soft on the inside. The cheese melted as a result of the hot meats and held most of sandwich together. The only problem I had was my roast pork, or really pulled pork, started to fall out of my sandwich while I ate it. But in general, my sandwich was very flavorful. 

We also decided to get a side of tostones, or fried bananas. The tostones ($3.25) were very crunchy and crispy. In fact, if I didn’t previously know what they were, I wouldn’t have guesses they were fried bananas. I couldn’t help munching on these along with the fries while we ate our sandwich halves.

I was really wowed by the grilled corn. The grilled corn really was the highlight of the meal. The Cuban sandwich was good, but I feel like I’ve had better. The pig’s head sandwich that I had at the Cannibal from Madison Square Eats was a lot better. I liked their use of a crunchy flatbread kind of bread better. Our service was pretty good. We did wait a while before getting waters. Therefore, I’m going to give Café Habana 4/5 stars. I will definitely be back for the grilled corn but I will probably try another entrée next time.

Quick Tip: The bathroom is a bit of a tight squeeze. If you’re planning on visiting Soho, just use the restrooms at the stores there.

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