El Siboney (Cuban Cuisine)
900 Catherine Street, Key West, Florida
Phone: (305) 296-4184
A Chef James Best of Key West Restaurant
Hours: 7 days a week - 11am - 9:30pm
Reservations: not taken
Parking: Street parking, small lot parking.
Payment: Major credit cards accepted.
Price Range: Low to Moderate
Cuban influence on the island of Key West is around you everywhere you go from the hand made cigars on Duval St., to the art work, to hearing Spanish spoken everywhere to, of course, the food. I myself and many others have chosen to embrace the merging of Cuban and American cultures here and enjoy its fruits. To make the most of this combination I go to only one place for Cuban food; El Siboney.
First and foremost this is a family owned and operated business which makes it both rich and, on occasion, frustrating. You get the comfort food you expect from such a spot,
but you’ll have to bring cash because they don’t take credit cards (credit cards are now accepted) and they can and will close when they feel like it. You can look at these aspects as negative or just part of its personality that makes it unique. If you gotta have pulled pork with zesty sauce, black beans, rice and plantains then you deal with the downside because it’s worth it.
You will find it interesting when you ask directions how to get to El Siboney because your concierge will send you into a residential neighborhood through narrow streets filled with small “conch” houses and lots of local flavor. You’ll build on that flavor once you sit at the diner-esque table and look through the long opening into the kitchen and smell the rich aromas it generates. You can expect that if an ethnic restaurant is any good at all that people of that ethnicity will be eating there, so expect to hear lots of people habla’ing espanol and drinking café con leche.
You came to Key West to find out why it’s so different and what makes it tick. If you step out of your comfort zone and try El Siboney you will be hard pressed to find another Cuban meal that will compare. I believe this is a must go for one of your outings when you visit or a regular spot if you’re a local.
Doug Heyman for the Food Reference website
Just got back from Key West and wanted to thank you again for your suggestions. We tried several of them. Loved the Key Lime Pie at Pepe's, as well as the enchilado marisco at El Siboney. Mangia Mangia and Turtle Kralls were also quite good. We opted not to go to Blue Heaven because we learned two different sets of guests at our B&B got food poisoning there. We didn't want to take a chance and spoil our vacation. We would have liked to visit Annie's and Bagatelle but simply ran out of time. Hopefully we can try them the next time we visit. Jeffree
The finest array of Cuban cuisine available on Key West. This family owned cornerstone of Key West is the leader in its field. Go, GO, GO!!!!!!!!!!!!! Everything is fantastic! There is even a homemade sangria! It happens to be perfect! Though not fine-dining according to decor, the food is of the highest order. This is simply the best Cuban food available. bar none! An outrageous paella and an amazing touch with seafood. They are the favorite of islanders for SEVEN YEARS!
Specials daily and take out available.
BOTTOM LINE: It is one of the places that people expect to have visited when they come here! Be prepared for a wait. But it is COMPLETELY worth it!!!!!!!!
Marc for FoodReference.com