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Old Havana Sandwich Shop now open for business on East Main

Old-havana-logo We noted here back in August that Elizabeth Turnbull and Robert Matos' new Cuban sandwich shop would open soon in the 310 East Main St. building that was a nineteenth-century home to the old Durham Sun newspaper.

Now comes word, via social media and the Sun's successor, that Old Havana Sandwich Shop has opened for business.

With "local, pasture-raised pork" and a promise of authentic Cuban cuisine and flavors -- Matos and some of the key culinary staff are of Cuban descent -- the restaurant is the latest addition to downtown's growing dining scene.

Sandwiches are the focus, but Old Havana opens at 7:30am on weekdays and promises coffee, espresso drinks and other fare in addition to lunchtime meals; with a 5:30pm closing time, take-out for dinner is also a possibility. (Besides the work week, Old Havana is open 9:00am-4:00pm on Saturdays.

The site's proximity to the current courthouse and to county offices promises a new option for local government workers and court visitors at lunch. And with coffee options (plus free wifi), Old Havana provides another option for the laptop-and-lounge crowd downtown.

(Photo via Old Havana's Facebook page.)


Elizabeth Turnbull

Thanks for this story! We are so excited to be in downtown Durham and are incredibly grateful for the support of our neighbors. Roberto may be Cuban by birth, but now he's proud to say he's a Durhamite through and through. :)


I hope they'll extend those hours in the future..really excited for this.

Michael Bacon

I'm thrilled that Old Havana is open. I can't wait to try it!

In other restaurant news, I noticed on Sunday that there's a Cosmic Cantina sign in the window of one of the buildings on Main St. between Mangum and Roxboro. Is there something happening there?


Havana is awesome!!

@ Michael that cosmic sign has been there for years.


I definitely need a burrito place in the loop. I'll continue my campaign to get Flaming Amy's from Wilmington here.


I'm excited to hear this, I am cuban and have been extremely dissapointed with all of the cuban restaurants around the area. I have heard great things about this one. I will gladly give it a try with great expectations.


I ate there yesterday and the Havana sandwich was absolutely awsome! The best Cuban sandwich I've had since my last visit to Miami.


I am cuban as well, and it was def the best Cuban sandwich i've had for years. The last Cuban sandwich I had on Calle Ocho in Miami was terrible, simply because they had become complacent.

so happy for this. the Maduros were PERFECT. and after all these places that do nothing to make beans taste good, these were honest to goodness Frijoles criollos. I would like to suggest offering an extra lil cup of Mojo on the side :)


just came back from lunch @ Old Havana - YUM!


Any vegge cubanos?


@KP there is actually a non-meat sandwich on the menu, the "Camaguey" named for the region where apparently this type of sandwich is common. its essentially a warm pressed sandwich of cheese grilled onions, mustard and pickle, i think. also the beans and rice and maduros are veg :)

Hooray for locally owned goodness

Roberto told me they're also thinking of adding a vegan sandwich, made with black beans. I had one on Friday because they had sold out of pork that day, and it, too, was fabulous.

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