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“Just like we remembered!”
Review of Havana 59

Havana 59
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Ranked #119 of 1,647 Restaurants in Richmond
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$5 - US$38
Cuisines: American, Caribbean, Cuban
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Main Street
Transit: One block south at Main/N 17th St and two blocks north at E Broad/N17th St
Description: Havana ’59 has been a staple in Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom District since its opening in 1995. We are proud of the community we have served for 22 years and the loyalty and longevity they have provided us, as demonstrated by our 2017 OpenTable Diner’s Choice Award. We invite you to step back in time to the tradition of excess in 1950’s Havana, when the island city was known as the “Paris of the Caribbean.” The combination of tradition and indulgence cultivates a casual yet elegant atmosphere where the string lights, enormous open windows, crumbling plaster walls, palm trees, and aroma of fine cigars envelope you as you relax and enjoy the tantalizing delights of a bygone era. We proudly offer our guests an unforgettable culinary and cocktail experience delivered with exceptional service, from the fresh juices we press in house for our cocktails, to the locally sourced ingredients utilized in our scratch kitchen.
Reviewed 31 July 2014

We frequented this restaurant years ago when it was new and "The Place" to eat in The Bottom. We were looking for a spot to have a drink and snack before dinner and dropped in after walking around downtown. It was the perfect choice.
The restaurant is "open air" but is well air-conditioned so even the hot, humid Va. climate is bearable. We opted to sit at the bar-where cigar smoking is allowed and encouraged. We don't smoke but it didn't bother us.
Our bartender was super nice and friendly. Kept our mojitos flowing and very attentive to all of the customers. We shared a calamari appetizer served with a chipotle dipping sauce that was very good. We were there for happy hour so the drinks and the apps were $4 each! A great place and easy on the wallet.

Thank Teressa G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mark P, General Manager at Havana 59, responded to this reviewResponded 7 August 2014

Hello Teressa,

We are so glad you got to experience the Havana '59 Happy Hour once again. We love it when "old friends" return and have a great time. Our Mojito's are the "Best in Richmond" and we think our food is as well. Please don't stay away so long as we hope to serve you again soon! Thanks!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (148)
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84 - 88 of 148 reviews

Reviewed 26 July 2014

Great Mojitos at a great price during Happy Hour! ($4). Appetizers were excellent - fried calamari and the " Cuban Sandwich" Spring rolls were an awesome mix of favors with a yummy mustard dipping sauce. Server was attentive and friendly. Although smoking (of cigars) was permitted in the contained bar area - we did not experience any smell of smoke drifting into the non smoking open air area of the restaurant.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank Kathy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mark P, General Manager at Havana 59, responded to this reviewResponded 29 July 2014

Hello Kathy,

We are so glad you enjoyed our "Cuban Sandwich" spring rolls, fried calamari and our Best in Richmond Mojito's. Happy Hour is a great deal, huh? We are happy that you recognized the hard efforts of our staff and were not able to smell the cigar smoke from our Cigar lounge. We hope you will try a few entrees the next time you are in town. Thanks for being a guest--we hope to serve you again soon!!!

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Reviewed 1 July 2014

Our husbands enjoyed smoking cigars after a great meal (and the ventilation is excellent) and fabulous cocktails. Service was good and he place was busy on a Friday night after music on Brown's Island

Thank 1MizChiz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mark P, General Manager at Havana 59, responded to this reviewResponded 2 July 2014

Hello 1MizChiz,

We are so glad you had a great meal with good service and were able to enjoy a cigar after dinner. It's great to see when our guests notice the hard efforts put forth by our Staff. Thanks for the ventilation comment as we strive hard (with 8 smoke eaters and 8 ceiling fans) to eliminate any smoke from the building. We hope to serve you again soon!

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Reviewed 24 June 2014

The space is pretty cool and trendy, and the wait staff is good. I don't have many other good things to say about this restaurant, however.

A major problem is the smoke smell throughout the restaurant, including in the non-smoking section. We were told there is a separate A/C system for the smoking section, but this problem simply shouldn't exist in Virginia, where smoking is banned at restaurants. The problem warrants not only a management review but an intervention by State authorities responsible for enforcing Virginia state anti-smoking laws. The right of Virginia residents to eat dinner in a room where they're not exposed to second-hand smoke is paramount.

The food is not Cuban or Puerto Rican, and is disappointing. The mofongo was made with flour and in a bizarre sauce that tasted like curry. The vegetables did not taste fresh. The arroz con pollo was not authentic and not particularly good. The ceviche left a lot to be desired. Portions are small, and the food is overpriced. Perhaps the drinks are good, or the salsa is exceptional. But I wouldn't recommend coming here for the food or for a smoke-free experience.

    • Value
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    • Food
Thank dnpinva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mark P, General Manager at Havana 59, responded to this reviewResponded 2 July 2014

Hello DNPINVA,

We are happy to hear that you were able to see how cool and trendy our building is and were given good service. Our drinks are good and the Salsa dancing on Thursday nights is exceptional. You should come for the lesson at 8pm or DJ dancing at 9pm.

I am sorry that you did not appreciate our food. We don't claim to offer authentic Cuban or Puerto Rican. Our Havana '59 represents a new revolution, one in food. Fusing the diverse flavors of a world palate and traditional Cuban elements, our food reflects Havana in a modern culinary world. Our focus is on providing the freshest ingredients possible and using local and imported products in a unique and creative manner.

We use only fresh vegetables, put no flour in our Mofongo and the sauce is a lemon, basil coconut creme with no curry. As we strive to produce great meals for each and every guest, I would love to know what you did not like about our Chicken with rice dish or our Ceviche so that we can learn to be even better.

We appreciate your comments and hope that you will give us another chance to please you in the future.

Thanks.

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Reviewed 22 June 2014

we had appetizers here and pear mojitos, both excellent. the appetizer menu is varied and all are delicious. you can enjoy a cigar after your meal and not annoy your fellow diners. the place is airy and open. don't forget dessert!

    • Value
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Thank dianar04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mark P, General Manager at Havana 59, responded to this reviewResponded 24 June 2014

Hello Rogerwilco123,

We appreciate the kind review and are thrilled that you enjoyed the drinks, appetizers and desserts. Did you get a chance to smoke one of our many cigars yet? And how about eat dinner?
We thank you for being a guest and hope to serve you again soon!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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