About Havana Jax Cafe:
At just $5, the lunch buffet at Havana Jax (M-F 11:30 am-1:30 pm) we are one of the best, and tastiest lunch buffets in town. With mid-90s pricing and authentic flavors on our made-from scratch buffet, it’s a secret that won’t stay secret for long.
For more than 20 years, Havana Jax has been bringing Cuban flavor to the First Coast. When Havana Tax Cafe opened, it was a family venture. Armando Pulido had worked as a mechanic putting all his brothers through medical school. As soon as they became doctors, they wanted to give back to him, and Armando decided he wanted to open a restaurant, because at the time Cuban fare was hard to find in Jacksonville.
He and his wife Silivia put three of their own sons through medical school with the restaurant. Silivia is now retired, and Armando passed in 2014, though his legacy lives on.
Two of there sons Rene and Danny Pulido, are now the current owner`s of Havana Jax and Cuba Libre (the nightclub they run out of the adjacent space). Rene says that they have two goals–”to give back to the community here,” through well-priced meals that everyone can afford (these days $5 often times isn’t enough to get you through some drive-thrus, let alone a buffet) and with community service. The other goal, he says, “is to make this the best restaurant, period.” To that end, Havana Jax has a new chef at the helm. Roberto`s philosophy is “if it can be made here, we do.” He removed anything that was pre-packaged, totally revamping the kitchen.
Chef Roberto was born and raised in Cuba, learning the ropes by watching his abuela cook and his uncles roast whole pigs. He’s worked in the restaurant biz for his entire life, including hotels and resorts all over Cuba. Owner Rene figures that if Jacksonville has a taste of what Chef Roberto has to offer, that they’ll come back again and again.If you aren’t into buffet, our daily lunch specials are an affordable and delish way to go. Plus, our Cuban sandwich is hand-crafted, the ham is cured in-house, the Cuban bread is freshly baked, we use our own pickles, and even make our own mayo and mustard. Everything but the Swiss cheese was made from scratch.
The amount and quality of the food at this price has put Havana Jax at the top of my lunchtime list. Often I long for a taste of Miami, and this is the place to get it! I’m a fan of their plantain chips, black beans, sweet plantains, yellow rice, and their Cuban sandwich. Do look at their desserts and pastries on the way out, because those are definitely worth trying. Our flan is the right balance of being firm enough without being rubbery–too often I find that flan is either overdone and too firm, or it falls apart. Simply perfect.
Take a peek at our daily specials, which range from their Monday $5 Half Cuban with black bean soup & plantain chips, and our Chicken Fricassee (choice of white or dark meat) with potatoes, soffits and summer veggies, served with white or yellow rice & plantains for just $13 on Saturdays. Our Thursday dinner buffet ($8) from 6-9 pm, is also a great choice.