Cafa Havana is as authentic a Hispanic restaurant as Ocala has to offer.
Located near downtown (923 N Magnolia Ave), the restaurant is inconspicuously situated next to a laundromat in the Magnolia Village shopping plaza.
Although formerly attached to a furniture shop, the cafe now specializes in Cuban and Puerto Rican food, boasting an extensive menu of authentic dishes that are made fresh daily and served for breakfast and lunch.
In addition to the classic sandwiches including the popular Cuban and steak variations, the restaurant serves up a variety of meats, rices, and beans that can be purchased a la carte or as part of a lunch special.
Both red and black beans are available, and both white and yellow rice come mixed with vegetables or pork.
Perhaps most well-known for their meats, a favorite across Latin America is lechon, which is seasoned pig that is usually slow roasted.
In Puerto Rico, the most popular variation of this dish is “pernil,” which is roasted pork shoulder. It is accompanied with a crispy skin, known as the “cuero.”
It’s not often that you find pernil or lechon accompanied with its cuero, alongside a bevy of Hispanic sides including Yuca fries and maduros (sweet plantains).
For those looking to satisfy a sweet tooth, the cafe offer has pastries and baked goods including quesitos, which are cream cheese-filled pastry twists that originate from Puerto Rico.
No Cuban cafe is complete without its drinks, and Cafe Havana is no different. Cafe con leche, a type of Cuban espresso that combines strong coffee with milk, is one of the many hot coffees available.
Another favorite of Puerto Ricans is Kola Champagne, a sweet cola that has permeated and become a favorite throughout Latin America for the last 100 years.
The staff at Cafe Havana is friendly and welcoming, giving the feel that every customer is apart of their family.
Cafe Havana is open five days a week, Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you plan on visiting, tell them we sent you and share your photos and experience with us in a comment below, a letter to the editor, or through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.