Cienfuegos

Cuban Restaurant / Rum Bar
Cienfuegos "Patrons looking for a taste of pre-Castro Havana need venture no farther than Cienfuegos (""one hundred fires""), an upbeat rum bar with a speakeasy vibe popular with foodies and fashionable creatives alike." New York United States 40.7257045 -73.9842873
3.87 9
Cienfuegos - Cuban Restaurant | Rum Bar in New York.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Patrons looking for a taste of pre-Castro Havana need venture no farther than Cienfuegos (“one hundred fires”), an upbeat rum bar with a speakeasy vibe popular with foodies and fashionable creatives alike... ... read full review

  • Subway:

    F: Lower East Side-2nd Avenue-Houston Street; L: 1st Avenue-14th Street; 6: Astor Place-4th Avenue

  • Phone:

    212-614-6818

  • Links:

  • Hours:

    Daily 6pm–2am

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth Cienfuegos Review

The Scene

"Patrons looking for a taste of pre-Castro Havana need venture no farther than Cienfuegos (""one hundred fires""), an upbeat rum bar with a speakeasy vibe popular with foodies and fashionable creatives alike."

Patrons looking for a taste of pre-Castro Havana need venture no farther than Cienfuegos (“one hundred fires”), an upbeat rum bar with a speakeasy vibe popular with foodies and fashionable creatives alike.

Guests hoping to snag a table in this carefree cocktail house must first pass through Carteles – its bright little sandwich shop known for delicious Cuban sandwiches and deceptively strong beer margaritas – then past a painting of nationalist leader José Martí, up a utilitarian metal staircase, and finally into a charming series of rooms sporting a sea foam and pink décor set off by gold metal scrollwork gates.

Color-washed walls, slatted shutters, and white porcelain knickknacks lend an authentic air, while communal tables, white studded leather chairs, and a roomy pink banquette provide plenty of space for the stylish crowd of artists, actors, and creative types to huddle around their shared punch bowls of booze and rum cocktails with names like Hotel Nacional.

Although a few playful patrons may attempt their best merengue moves after a few ladles of punch, the place is just too small and too packed to really get down, and would-be dancers risk the gentle scolding of the wait staff.

Always lively and abuzz with conversation, Cienfuegos offers an evening of signature cocktails, good company, and an inviting atmosphere that allows patrons to truly feel the Latin vibe in the heart of the city. Viva la Revolución!

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Tip from Emma:

When it's crowded on the weekends, you won’t get seated until your whole party shows up, so if you’ve got some rebel friends, tell them to arrive thirty minutes ahead of schedule – otherwise, you’ll be left on the sidewalk.

  • Crowd

    Foodies, artists, people in fashion and PR, creative types, groups of girlfriends, and daters, mid-20s to 30s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Ambient mambo, bolero, conga, and other forms of Cuban Creole music.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Cuban menu featuring items like braised pork tamales in banana leaf and crab gratin with saffron pickles. No reservations accepted. Wait time around thirty minutes during peak hours. Guests leave cell phone numbers with the host and are called when a table is ready.

  • Prices

    Menu $8–$16. Beer $8, wine $9–$11, cocktails $13+/single, $30+/small amigos punch bowl, $60+/medium familia punch bowl, and $100+/large royale punch bowl, rum $6–$30.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Fun casual: cute dresses, button-downs, polos, heels.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Wednesdays through Saturdays for the largest crowds.

  • Close By

    Café Cortadito (210 East 3rd Street) is a mom-and-pop restaurant with great Cuban fare and a beer and liquor license.

Cienfuegos User Reviews

Average rating:
Amazing drinks
Dana Lynn I. Sep 30, 2013
GET THE PUNCH BOWLS. These things are not a joke. Cienfuegos is known for 2 things: punch bowls and the zombie drink. The zombie drink comes in a 16 oz skull mug that you are supposedly only allowed to order one of because it is soooooooo strong. First of all, you are allowed to order more than one, and second, they aren't as strong as you think. It's mostly just an oversized cocktail. That costs $20. And comes with a pretty umbrella and fruit. The food is also on the expensive side and small (tapas style). Unless it's during happy hour when the tapas are $5, I recommend eating beforehand and coming for the punch.
Cuban food
Gor G. Jun 10, 2013
I'm pretty sure I've been here more times than my own apartment. And class. Combined. What more can I say that hasn't been said? This is easily my favorite bar in NYC, and that's saying something because I drink...a lot. I can't count the number of times I've kicked off or ended an amazing night in the hallowed grounds of this lively Cuban joint. The decor is one of the best parts. The walls are adorned with vibrant splashes of coral colors and sea greens, lending the place a lively, subterranean vibe that makes you feel like you just dropped acid in an underwater cave with The Little Mermaid (don't ask, that was a crazy night). The white wrought-iron, plush chairs, and festive music blasting overhead seal the deal. The drinks are what you're here for though, and my god, just go for a few punch bowls and don't look back. They're too spectacular to pass up. I've been here enough to see the menu change several times, and it's fascinating to see how this place evolves. In its older incarnations, the menu was split into categories by the quality of the drink - 'light and refreshing', 'bold and potent', etc. - though that seems to have gone by the wayside in favor of more fun, accessible concoctions. The punch bowl selection used to be much more extensive, but the menu changes up relatively frequently nowadays, so it sort of balances out. While I will miss the older drinks, the new ones are fantastic (since I'm a sucker for anything spicy, I particularly love the shit out of the The Honey Badger). I've never tried the food because I tend to put every one of my hard-earned dollars towards inebriation rather than self-sustenance, but I've heard great things. Service seems to be hit or miss according to other reviews, but I've never had a problem in my many times here. Try to go at off-peak hours (before 10pm on weekdays, anytime on weekdays) to get the full experience. This place is in an area of the East Village that features some of the best cocktail bars in the city - Summit Bar, The Wayland, Amor y Amargo, Death & Company - yet it beats them all because, well, there's really nothing like sharing a punch bowl filled with a delicious yet strong-as-balls cocktail with your friends in the middle of what feels like the greatest party ever thrown in the history of Havana. Cienfuegos transports you completely like no other bar in the city. Then it gets you drunk as shit. What more can you ask?
Who said there was an Embargo?
Jan B. Apr 10, 2013
Strolling threw Manhattan's East Village can be quite a trip. It is filled with dozens of quality bars such as Jim Meehan's legendary PDT and Richards Boccato's fantastic Tiki experience PKNY. Yet, less than a ten minutes walk from either of these two bars it seems that the Buena Vista Social Club has reopened with style. Somewhat hidden, as if a normal entrance to an apartment, you walk up the stairs past some dark curtains to be welcomed (at least in my case) by, so it seemed, the head-mama of this turquoise-colored merengue cave. The atmosphere is unique. A classic vision of how people can imagine Cuba and the restaurant this place was named after. The drink menu is above average. The quality of the drinks suits the area very well. The food menu is a well-selected range of cuban and hispanic dishes with a little American twist and is reasonable for the price. Most importantly is the rum list. The selection of rum is outstanding, but not outmatched. One will find a few other places in Manhattan with a similar range of rums from around the caribbean, but one will never be able to actually drink a rum in an atmosphere that is so much like actually sitting in Havana, and this is what makes the place to what is is. The ambient feeling of the surrounding with he color, candles and commitment of the staff will definitely make you say "hasta pronto" on your way out.
A Romantic Cuban Gem
Ivy K. Feb 28, 2013
My Take: Although this bar/restaurant in the East Village is not exactly easy to find, it was definitely worth it. After passing through few layers of velvet curtains and climbing up the narrow wooden stairs from Gin Palace, I stepped into a fairyland. I was taken back by how beautifully decorated Cienfuegos was. Covered in peacock-green-colored wallpaper, candles, fairy lights, and Hispanic-influenced décor, this Cuban establishment is the epitome of romance and trendiness. Cienfuegos’ menu offers a wide range of rum-based spirits, cocktails and Cuban food. I ordered the Madder Rose, which is a daiquiri cocktail while my friend ventured with the double Windsor. Though my cocktail was bitterer than I expected, I enjoyed the subtle taste of rose petals. The only thing I would complain about was the bad service. Our server was slow and inattentive, ignoring our requests on a few occasions. The Scene: Known for its authentic cuisine and punch bowls, Cienfuegos is a Cuban restaurant and bar named after the town originally founded in Cuba in 1819. If you are Cuban food and rum lover, you must do whatever it takes to check this spot out! Open from 6pm-2am, it is usually filled with customers in their early 20s to 30s – a young, hip and non-pretentious crowd. The Mexican/Latin music in the background was light and relaxing, providing the perfect atmosphere for couples and small groups of friends to have intimate conversations. The décor is Hispanic-influenced and vintage, with romantic fairy lights and candles lit everywhere. Trendy but not too hipster, romantic but not too cheesy, Cienfuegos sets the perfect ambience for a girls’ night out and romantic date. Cocktails & Cuisine: Cienfuegos specializes in rum-based spirits and cocktails, but also serves beer and wine. A wide range of rum liquors are offered on the menu– for preps who love the classic Old-Fashioned, to the wild ones who want to get a bit crazy with the family size punches and special House Zombies, served in 16 oz. mugs and is strictly limited to one per customer only! Cienfuegos serves authentic Cuban cuisine, with small plates such as yucca frita and albondigas de pollo; sandwiches such as cubanitos and sloppy joes, and desserts such as tres leches trio and churros. Prices: Cuban dinner: $8-$22. Beer and wine: $8-$12 per class: $40-$48 per bottle. Punches (from 2-10 persons): $38-$114. Cocktails: $14 What to Wear: Casual attires – Guys: T-shirt, shirt, jeans, sneakers or casual shoes, Girls: casual tops, jeans, dress, flats/heels. Insider Info/When to go: Rum lovers – time to stop by this trendy yet classy bar/restaurant for some authentic dinner and rum punch bowls with your close friends and lovers! Weekday nights are good times to go as the place is not crowded at all. Low noise level is good for conversations.
Great Date Spot
Risa C. Dec 6, 2012
I was taken here on a date, and was impressed with the location - not an easy feat as I've been to a lot of the cocktail bars in the city. I think we came on a Wednesday or Thursday night and it was fairly quiet so we were able to get a table right away. The cocktails were strong and tasty and after two drinks we then thought that getting a punch bowl would be a good idea. The decor was kind of like being in a pastel themed second hand furniture store but the punch bowl coming with drinks to be served in little teacups was a nice touch. I believe we got the Honey Badger which had a nice hint of spice. I didn't get to check out any of the food, but the server did tell us they had specials on the punch bowls on Sunday mornings, which is definitely something I'd check out for brunch!
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