The Cuban Coffee Queen is a small, modest snack shack with zero indoor seating. But why would you want to sit inside in Key West anyway? Simplicity, with authentic Cuban coffee and sandwiches are all it took to make this tiny business the best in Key West.
With all of the loud marketing schemes connected to chain beach restaurants, Cuban Coffee Queen is just refreshing. The menu is simple and straightforward. I love the overall feel of the waterfront location we went to. Because of it’s popularity, there are now two locations on the island.
The coffee shop started up after a kite surfer made his way to Cuba and learned how to make authentic fare from the locals; particularly their robust, yet smooth coffee. “One day in Cuba, I met a lady who made the best coffee and Cuban toast. She told us stories and showed me how to make a real cafe. I will never forget the Cuban Coffee Queen,” the site says of their humble origins.
I went traditional and ordered the Cafe Con Leche; basically a ridiculously good, unsweetened latte. When visiting iconic food spots, I go with what made that place so famous, or something specifically suggested by a local. The Cafe Con Leche is not only iconic here, but it was recommended by many. So it was the obvious choice. Steamed milk rounds out the bold flavor perfectly. While the blend was strong, it was pleasant and not overpowering. I’m going to go out on a limb and say it was the best coffee I’ve ever had. And I’ve tried a lot of coffee.
The prices were extremely reasonable; there’s nothing quite like finding an affordable, enriching experience while traveling. Cuban fare is not a rarity in Key West, but the stripped down, “back to the basics” offerings at Cuban Coffee Queen allow for a better taste of the culture. Believe the hype; Cuban Coffee Queen meets all expectations.