NJ Dining: Havana’s Cuban Cafe (UPDATED)


Havana’s Cuban Cafe
1040 River Rd, Edgewater, NJ
(201) 886-2100

Updated: October 2009

I guess I’ve got Cuban sandwiches on the brain this week, but what can I say, I can’t stop eating them — and apparently, some more accomplished foodies than myself can’t either.

Northern New Jersey certainly has its share of Cuban restaurants, but most of them are in Union City (click here for more) or nearby West New York where most of Jersey’s Cuban population resides. However, getting into the northern part of the Hudson County area can frequently be a bit of a challenge, as there’s no highway or express route or other major thoroughfare to get there, its all local streets and parking can be a serious issue, as its one of the most dense (if not the most dense) urban areas in the entire country.

Fortunately I’ve found a great little place (with a nearby parking lot) where you can get your Cuban sandwich fix in North-Eastern Bergen County — its at Havana’s Cuban Cafe in Edgewater. And I’d have to say they are making some of the best Cubans I’ve tasted in the area.

IMG_0136 by you.

Havana’s Cuban Cafe has a small storefront on River Road in Edgewater. In 2009 they built a dining room taking over the adjoining retail space which used to be a Jamaican restaurant.

Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

IMG_0134 by you.

IMG_0119 by you.

Havana’s started out as a very small place with only a few tables. However, it quickly got incredibly popular, because they make a lot of traditional, home-made dishes such as Ropa Vieja. The original dining room, shown here in purple in 2007, was repainted green in 2009.

Havana's Cuban Cafe, Edgewater NJ by you.

This expanded dining room with two rows of tables was built in 2009.

Havana's Cuban Cafe, Edgewater NJ by you.

Dining Room Artwork (2009)

Havana's Cuban Cafe, Edgewater NJ by you.

Dining Room Artwork (2009)

Havana's Cuban Cafe, Edgewater NJ by you.

Dining Room Artwork (2009)

Havana's Cuban Cafe, Edgewater NJ by you.

Table sauces (Chimichurri, Aji Mojo, Salsa)

Havana's Cuban Cafe, Edgewater NJ by you.

Tapas, which reflect the mixed Spanish/Cuban heritage of the owners. (2009)

Havana's Cuban Cafe, Edgewater NJ by you.

Tapas portion

Havana's Cuban Cafe, Edgewater NJ by you.

Complimentary crisp breads with peppered Cuban soft cheese. (October 2009)

Havana's Cuban Cafe, Edgewater NJ by you.

Antojitos Cubanos platter, an appetizer combo of Chicharron de Pollo (Fried Chicken), Chicharron de Puerco (Pork Cubes) Canapes and Papas Rellenos (Meat Stuffed Potatoes) (October 2009)

Havana's Cuban Cafe, Edgewater NJ by you.

Churrasco Skirt Steak (October 2009)

Havana's Cuban Cafe, Edgewater NJ by you.

Moros, white rice mixed with black beans, with a side of Maduros (mature sweet fried plantain)

Havana's Cuban Cafe, Edgewater NJ by you.

Whole Broiled Snapper (October 2009)

Medianoche Sandwich by you.

While Havana’s does various types of Cuban sandwiches, including a Iberian-style version using Serrano Ham and Manchengo cheese (due to the fact one of the owners is from Spain) I was drawn to the Medianoche, a frequently hard to find variation of the traditional Cubano. The difference is that the Medianoche uses an eggy, brioche-like bread rather than the Pan De Agua/Criollo bread used for a regular Cuban sandwich. Havana’s version is excellent, and is decidedly roast pork rather than ham heavy, which is the correct approach. The marinated, slow-roasted pork (Lechon) is juicy and has just the right amount of vinegar and chile kick. By far one of the best in the area.

Havana's Cuban Cafe, Edgewater NJ by you.

This is a Pan Con Bisteck, a marinated steak sandwich with grilled onions and potato stix. (2009)

Havana's Cuban Cafe, Edgewater NJ by you.

Here it is all opened up. (2009)

Havana's Cuban Cafe, Edgewater NJ by you.

Pan Con Bisteck Cross-Section (2009)

Havana's Cuban Cafe, Edgewater NJ by you.

They now have all the diet versions of the awesome Cuban-style sodas from Miami! (2009)

Havana's Cuban Cafe, Edgewater NJ by you.

Lechon Asado, roast pork cubes! (2009)

Havana's Cuban Cafe, Edgewater NJ by you.

Calamari a la Havanero (2009)

Havana's Cuban Cafe, Edgewater NJ by you.

Chicharron de Pollo, Fried Chicken Cubes. (2009)

Havana's Cuban Cafe, Edgewater NJ by you.

Cuban Chinese Fried Rice (2009) served with sweet plaintains

Havana's Cuban Cafe, Edgewater NJ by you.

order of Steamed Vegetables, nice presentation.

IMG_0121 by you.

The espresso/cappuccino machine used to make Cuban Coffee (cafecitos)

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A cortadito, my go-to Cuban espresso drink. If you’re feeling sluggish this will get the machinery running for sure.

6 Responses to NJ Dining: Havana’s Cuban Cafe (UPDATED)

  1. migui says:

    oh wow J! one more to my ever increasing list!
    the cubanos look delicious!

  2. paul gomez says:

    agree with you I finally found a place were the food is just like my grandmother used to cook in Cuba.
    I had the espreso and the sat outside smoking a habano. The price was right, it shows you that good food does’nt have to cost a lot.

  3. tony says:

    I currently work with many restaurants in NYC and do not have the time to take care of my father-in-law as I should. He is Cuban and during the day he spends his time at a senior center, but when he returns it’s been difficult to get him a home cooked dinner at a reasonable time all the time. I would like to arrange a daily delivery of dinner for him and what could be included. I would like to do this for Monday-Friday and I would like to start ASAP. Please give me a call @ 917 608-7600

    Thank You.

  4. paul falcon says:

    The plece is not little any longer we opened a dining area where belly full was located, please come and see it, the murals are real nice
    paul

  5. […] open a Hatuey or an Ironbeer, Havana’s Cuban Cafe in Edgewater has an expanded dining room and is serving some of the best Caribbean Latino food in the entire […]

  6. […] Havana’s Cuban Cafe in Edgewater is still banging out delicious Latino […]

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