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Restaurants, Cuban Loop
5 out of 5 stars
(7user reviews)
The pastries at Cafecito make it a top Cuban restaurant in Chicago.
Photograph: Jason Little The pastries at Cafecito make it a top Cuban restaurant in Chicago.

Time Out says

You don’t have to claim a bunk at the adjacent Hostel International to get your hands on one of this café’s ridiculously good Cuban sandwiches. Sure, sides of roasted eggplant, cannellini bean salad and briny artichokes are flavorful, but there’s no confusion over the star of the show: The Cubano’s crusty bread is toasted just right, its roast pork juicy, its pickles thick, and its mustard and gooey cheese plentiful. And once it’s devoured, only a potent café con leche will keep you from calling the café’s comfy couch home for the day.



Address: 26 E Congress Pkwy
Transport: El stop: Brown, Orange, Pink, Purple (rush hrs) to Library; Red, Blue to Jackson.
Price: Average sandwich: $6
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 7am-9pm; Sat, Sun 10am-6pm
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Users say (7)

5 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:6
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

I've lived a few blocks away from this place for 2 years and didn't know it was there until last night (if that tells you anything). It's not something I'd ever look twice at, but my boyfriend said they have amazing food, so we went. The cashier recommended "The Cuban" as their most popular and it was delicious. Prices are super reasonable for downtown ($5.99). I will definitely visit this place more often to try other options on the menu!


The line here is always incredibly long during lunch but for good reason! The warm pressed sandwiches are very delicious. Highly recommend! 


Everything about Cafecito is awesome except the long lines. And those only exist because of how awesome it is! Most certainly one of the greatest lunches you can buy in the loop. The food is amazing. All the sandwiches I've tried are great - my favorites being the chivito and the classic Cuban. Make sure to try the sides; specifically the tuna salad, which is the best I've ever had. Finally, the pastries, specifically the churros, are a great ending to the meal. They also have some bomb foreign soda selections if sugar bombs are your thing. It's no surprise they just opened their third location, and I expect it to thrive. 

Cafecito is right around the corner from where i work, so it has become a go to for me. I love going here for breakfast for a cafe con leche and a huevos chimichurri. Their caffe con leche is a great pick me up in the morning and I could drink them everyday!


You're bound to encounter a line for hours around lunchtime in the Loop at this favorite spot. I always go for the Proveletta (vegetarian!), but many other options abound for you meat eaters. Service is always great, even as the crowds are hungry. 


This is my favorite, very much hidden, gem in the loop; I actually like to pop by this place anytime that I might have a festival or event in Grant Park, or for a nice lunch after a weekend jaunt at the Art Institute, or when I'm showing some visiting friends around and want a quick coffee before taking them into the Harold Washington Library. The cafe con leche is a little sweeter than I'd prefer, but cheap and delicious; and every single sandwich here is absolutely delicious; the Cubano, the Guava-Q is finger-licking good; and every single pastry is nommy and unique, especially the alfajores (caramel/dulce de leche cookie sandwich). The cafe itself is actually directly next to a pretty hipster hostel, and the majority of the customers are definitely college students from Columbia nearby, so this isn't a place you go for ambiance, but rather for a delicious coffee and sandwich and back out on your way for sightseeing Chicago (as a tourist or a local!).


When hunger strikes downtown (as it usually does when your place of employment is in the Loop) Cafecito is a reliable place for a midday meal. The pressed Cuban sandwiches are usually smothered with interesting toppings and served piping hot (they're made to order, so be prepared to wait for your steak to cook). If you're trying to cut back on greasy meals, try the black bean soup—it's great on its own or as a side dish.