DC has long since needed a good Cuban restaurant. Enter Colada Shop, which is quickly becoming a local favorite. I stopped by a couple days ago and was thrilled with what I found.

The Creative Design at Colada Shop
The Creative Design at Colada Shop

The Scene

The restaurant is small and casual; you order at the counter and grab an indoor or outdoor spot. The food is exciting and new; modern Cuban fare made by Chef Mario who grew up in Miami with his Cuban family. I dove in with enthusiasm and was not disappointed. Empanadas at Colada Shop

The Food

Empanadas  at Colada Shop are a must-try: the spinach and cheese is made with fresh spinach and melted swiss cheese, all wrapped in a buttery crust. Equally as good is the cauliflower empanada, which is baked instead of fried. Both come with a creamy cilantro sauce (known locally as “crack sauce” because of its addictive quality!). Mushroom croquettes are earthy and savory, with a soft, luscious filling that will melt in your mouth. The veggie Cuban is my new favorite sandwich in town, it features doughy bread made crispy from the being pressed in the panini maker, veggies like mushrooms and cauliflower, and plenty of melted cheese. Wash it down with a mojito, Cuba’s national drink.

Colada Shop
Guava Pastries

Sweet Endings

Next, it’s time for coffee, sweet cream empanadas, and guava pastries. The sweet cream empanadas are stuffed with a sweet cream cheese and the empanadas are sprinkled with sugar. Perfect with a cup of steaming Cuban coffee! The guava pastries have a jam-like guava filling, and the pastry is golden and flaky.

Colada Shop
Cortadito at Colada Shop

Colada Shop: The Verdict

Colada shop is another great addition to the Shaw neighborhood dining scene. I am hoping to spend this summer on the outdoor patio at this new exciting eatery, drinking mojitos and eating empanadas. Come join me!

Colada Shop, 1405 T Street NW, Washington, DC 2oo17, Website