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Cuba lives up to its namesake with exuberant salsa, charming waiters and a guy rolling cigars in the window on weekends. David Martinez, former chef at Havana’s celebrated Hotel Nacional, has created a menu that’s full-on tropical: snapper en guayabera de platano (“a Cuban shirt of crusty plantains”) and halibut al estilo Hemingway. On a warm summer evening, with people and music spilling out through the sidewalk greenery, the place is transporting.

Venue name: Cuba
Address: 222 Thompson St
New York

Cross street: between Bleecker and W 4th St
Opening hours: Mon–Thu 11am–midnight; Fri, Sat 11am–1am; Sun 11am–midnight
Transport: Subway: A, C, E, B, D, F, V to W 4th St
Price: Average main course $15. AmEx, Disc, MC, V
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