Cheap Eats 2013: Cuba de Ayer

Quick reviews of ethnic cuisines you can experience for less than $25 a person, tax and tip included.

Cost:

Most bargain restaurants are bare-bones. This one, tucked among auto-repair lots, appears more stripped-down than most—until you step inside, where the music gets your foot tapping and photos of ’50s Havana suggest an armchair getaway. The cooking lives up to that promise, catching the spirit of a Cuban grandmother. One sign you’ve found the real thing: The black beans are good enough to stand alone.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.