Home Culture Rumba’s Café: Authentic Cuban Fare in the JC Heights

Rumba’s Café: Authentic Cuban Fare in the JC Heights

by Jordan and Joelle Hernandez
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When authentic Cuban food is mixed with the deep history of the tropical island and generations of tradition, the result is Jersey City’s Rumba’s Café. After locals shared the frustration of having to drive around for authentic Cuban food, this local eatery was the answer. Share in the joys of traditional cuisine at 513 Central Avenue, Jersey City. Read on to learn more about Rumba’s Cafe and its menu.

Rumba’s Café

The Roots

The word “Rumba” has taken on a few different meanings over the years. It is derived from the Spanish word rumbear which means ‘to party.’ While the term encompasses different types of Caribbean music, rhythms, and dances, depending on the region using the word, it may have more a specific meaning such as ‘to dance’ if using the true sense of the word or “to party” if used in a more casual sentence. Due to the presence of African slaves in South America and the Caribbean, rumba dance and music have had influences from both Africa and the Caribbean. The Rumba’s Café shares on the website that Rumba was “developed in rural Cuba, and is still danced in Havana, Matanzas, and other cities as well as rural areas.”

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Rumba’s Café

This vibrant and varied feel is incorporated into the Rumba’s Café today. Serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this café is a party at any time of the day. Guests of the restaurant have taken to Instagram with captions such as “this is home”, “the best cheat meal” and “mango shake what your mama gave you” under the Rumba’s Café tag to prove just how delicious the food is.

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The Menu

Rumba’s Café

Rumba’s Café starts the day at 6AM daily with a full breakfast menu. Classic Cuban breakfast platters including eggs, mashed green plantains, fried cheese, Spanish coffee also known as café con leche, and fresh orange juice are enjoyed by early morning café visitors. The morning cold beverage menu offers shakes such as mango, papaya, and mamey, a South American fruit like an apricot.

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The lunchtime menu at Rumba’s Café boasts a large variety of sandwiches. Choose from crowd favorites like the grilled cheese and the BLT, or venture into popular Cuban picks such as the Spanish Sausage Sandwich, the Cuban hamburger, or the ham and cheese.

The Café stays open until 9PM daily which makes it perfect for dinner and fun. Start off with the appetizer menu to get a taste of options like empanadas, plantain chips, and croquettes before enjoying larger entrees of pork chops, fried red snapper, or baby skirt steak. Add on sides such as black bean soup, rice with green pigeon peas, or red beans.

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Sweets influenced from different areas of the world like tiramisu and chocolate cake have found their way on the menu alongside Cuban favorites like mango pie, tres leches cake, and flan.

The Specials

During the week, Rumba’s Café has different specials each day. Be sure to check out the menu to see what daily options are available. For those who want to try what Rumba’s Café has to offer, options for dining in or take out are available. Visit the website to place an order online for takeout or call 201-216-9655 to place an order over the phone. Visitors are welcome to dine in at Rumba’s Café as well. Check out the site to learn more, view pictures of the delicious menu, and order.


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