Review: Bongos Cuban Cafe

Bongos Cuban Café is a table service restaurant located in Downtown Disney’s West Side open daily for lunch and dinner.

BongosAmbiance

Bongos is exactly as you would image a Cuban Café with its open, airy “old Havana” style décor.  With its high ceilings and bright colors, you easily feel like you are in a real Cuban Café.  The restaurant is much larger than I imagined it would be.  There are two floors with seating both indoors and outdoors.  If you are able to sit outdoors, you will have an amazing view of the Characters in Flight balloon departing and returning.  On select evenings (usually Fridays and Saturdays) a live band performs and the dance floor is opened.  The only downside to the openness of the restaurant is that the sound travels and can make the restaurant very noisy during busy times.

Bongos5Menu

The menu at Bongos is quite lengthy.  It was much larger than the menu at most table service restaurants on the Disney property.  You will want to take your time looking over it!  The menu is mostly Cuban food including such delicacies as Cuban style steak, tamales, fried sweet plantains, and shrimp Cuban criolla.  The kid’s menu has picky eater safe options such as pizza, chicken nuggets, and hamburgers.

Bongos3Food and Drink

You can’t go to a Cuban restaurant without ordering a mojito, right?  I ordered a traditional mojito, which was strong, yet refreshing on a humid Florida evening.  One for more than enough for me though!  For my entrée, I chose the Cuban style steak, which is thin tenderized steak seasoned with garlic salt and mojo topped with onions and parsley and served with fried green plantains, white rice, and black beans.  The steak was a little over cooked for my taste.  I prefer my steak cooked medium and this was well done.  I was expecting it to be spicy, but it wasn’t.  The seasoning and flavors were perfect.  The fried green plantains were crispy and perfectly cooked.  I think they are an acquired taste, however.  Some people love them and others despise them.  I for one thought they were the best thing on my plate.

Bongos2Service

At times it was difficult to hear our server since it was a little noisy; however, he was extremely friendly and knowledgeable.  He was immediately able to answer any questions we had and offer up suggestions, which impressed me since it was such a lengthy menu!

Bongos4Overall

If you are a fan of Cuban food, you won’t want to miss Bongos Cuban Café.  If you don’t mind loud, live music and enjoy dancing, try an evening on the weekend.  If you would prefer a quieter dining experience, you might want to try lunch on a weekday.  I can’t wait to go back to try a Cuban sandwich!

Alexia is a fan of all things Disney, especially the food!  When she is not helping plan magical vacations you can find her on Facebook or Twitter.

4 Thoughts on “Review: Bongos Cuban Cafe

  1. Michael Carr on 19 July, 2016 at 8:23 am said:

    Went to Bongo’s last night with 6 in my group. $300 including tip spent which I left a really good tip because the waiter was great the Hostess was even better, just wish the food and atmosphere was half as good. Dont get me wrong the food was good but i should have spent $ 125-150 for the meal. I ordered the cuban style $45 seafood platter, not worth $45. The lobster was over cooked and very small over all I should have spent $25 at best. My Dads Skirt stake was just ok per him. My Mothers Lobster was wonderful and my wifes was rubbery. My Two girls order chicken nuggets and the breaded chicken. The chicken was wonderful but the french fries were luke warm and soggy. Maybe because this was a cuban restaurant and these were FRENCH fries. The atmosphere would be great if I didnt like or want to talk to the people I eas dinning with. But this dinner was a celebration of my parents 52 wedding anniversary. The music was so loud even my teenagers were miserble let along the havic the loudness played on my Dads hearing aids. I realize the Cuban population really likes the loudness but per the waiter numerous other tables complained also and multiple request to turn the volume down was put in to the manager without any compromise or adjustment. This dinner was a real disappointment a let down. Mike

    • Mike, I’m sorry to hear about that. You may want to contact the General Manager – Mark Weissberg. The phone number is (407) 828-0999 or email him at Weissberg@bongoscubancafe.com. I think you’ll get a better response by contacting the restaurant directly rather than contacting Disney since the restaurant isn’t owned or operated by them.

      • Michael Carr on 27 July, 2016 at 8:36 pm said:

        I did as you asked and I notified the GM of Bongo’s with no response. Im disappointed in the lack of concern in the satisfaction for his customers and I feel it showed in the low quality of the food served. I feel sorry for his employees as they will be the one who suffer by low tips and having to listen to complaints.

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