Q-Roo Paul’s Pick: Qubano Restaurant in Isla Mujeres

Source: Q-Roo Paul

Regular readers of the blog know that it is a rare event when we name a particular restaurant as an official Q-Roo Paul’s Pick. The last time this happened was back in January of this year when we added Pizzeria Manglar to the list.

It’s not that we haven’t eaten at great restaurants since January, of course we have. However, in order to be named as an official pick, we have to be certain that the food quality, service and experience is consistently excellent over a period of time.

With that being said, we are adding Qubano Restaurant in Isla Mujeres to the list. We’ve been visiting this restaurant for about six years and the food has always been excellent.

The Food

Qubano is a Cuban restaurant that serves both traditional and non-traditional dishes.

An example of a non-traditional dish would be the Decadent Cuban Nachos, which uses tostones (fried green plaintains) instead of tortilla chips (shown below). This is Linda’s favorite all-time favorite!

Decadent Cuban Nachos: tostones topped with picadillo, tomatoes, scallions, bacon and a dollop of cream. (Source: Linda Kurtzweil)

I have two favorites on the menu: the Elena Russ Sandwich (shown below) and the Cuban Sandwich, which is not shown below because I ate it before it occurred to me that I should have taken a picture first.

Elena Russ Sandwich: honey baked ham, turkey, cheese, strawberry jam and cream cheese. (Source: Linda Kurtzweil)

No matter what you end up ordering, we highly recommend that you start any meal with an order of tostones (fried green plantains) complete with mojo (a sauce made with garlic, onions, sour orange and olive oil).

The mojo at Qubano is the best that either of us has ever tasted and it is absolutely addictive.

Tostones with mojo…and yes, Linda took a bite of that one in the front before taking the photo. (Source: Linda Kurtzweil)


You can find additional information on their Facebook page:


Let’s Wrap This Up

Qubano’s is our first stop whenever we visit Isla Mujeres and we usually visit it more than once during our stay.

On our most recent trip to the island, we actually ate there a total of five times in four days. I know that sounds like a lot, but in our defense, one of those times was just for a quick snack of tostones with mojo.

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About the Author

Q-Roo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He and his wife moved to Mexico looking for to maximize their retirement income. In 2016, they started a blog called Two Expats Mexico (qroo.us) sharing their experiences, as well as information about the logistical and legal aspects of retiring south of the border. The blog has been viewed over two million times and the articles have been republished in numerous periodicals across Mexico.

25 Comments on "Q-Roo Paul’s Pick: Qubano Restaurant in Isla Mujeres"

  1. Kaye Richardson | September 2, 2017 at 8:53 am |

    We’ve only been to Isla Mujeres once, but we’ll be back! Loved it! Making a note of that restaurant! Thanks!

  2. Hungarian potatoes are to die for!

  3. Edith Henneberg | September 2, 2017 at 9:03 am |

    Love the Hungarian potatoes and they make a fantastic Cobb salad.

  4. Would love to get a recommendation of where to stay on Isla

  5. Could you share a sample of prices in US dollars so we can budget for food there. The other times we’ve been to Isla have been all-inclusive. Thanks!

    • Tosotones: $80 pesos ($4.49 USD). Most dishes range from $150 – $185 pesos ($8.42 USD – $10.39 USD).

  6. Gerald Bourhis | September 2, 2017 at 10:07 am |

    Thanks for the tips on where to eat. Those photos of the dishes look great…I’ll take your word that the Cuban sandwich did also. LOL. Looking forward to your next post on accommodations there. Have a fantastic day!

  7. Dave and Phyllis | September 2, 2017 at 10:45 am |

    Yes, Man, that place looks marvelous. My wife and I were last on the Isla in 1984-5 (we cannot recall which year that it was), but we stayed at the El Presidente, which was on the far side of the Island, if I have it right. The Isla was also quite quite beautiful and quiet! We recall really enjoying the snorkeling, with thousands of fish and the water was inviting.

  8. The sound (and look) delicious! Living in the Riviera Maya, is it hard to get to Isla Mujeres? Would you recommend Isla Mujeres for a day trip for someone staying in a Cancun area resort for a week?

    • Isla Mujeres is only an 18 minute ferry ride away from Cancun. It’s a great place to go for the day.

  9. I would have to agree. The fact that they can offer me gluten-free AND be delicious, is a winning combo! If you are still there, try North Garden. It’s brand new, offering nontraditional cuisine, with the freshest ingredients. It just had a soft opening while they are getting in their feet. Fernando is an amazing chef and owner. You may recognize him from Rooster’s. Give it a go! I agree, Cubanos IS something to write home about!

  10. Rick Neubert | September 2, 2017 at 2:10 pm |

    Great restaurant. We also go there a least once while on the island…and yes the Cuban is delicious.

  11. Sheila a Sonnier | September 2, 2017 at 3:09 pm |

    We really appreciate your blog, we are considering retiring in Mexico (yucatan Coast). You have certainly given great information on different areas .

  12. Will have to try Qubano when we get settled in Playa–sounds delightful! Love Cuban food! During our brief time in Playa, my favorite was barracuda with chocolate mole at Chango’s. Our of this world! We tried so many wonderful restaurants while there, but that stood out the most! And , of course, Papa Charlie’s in the neighborhood. We are ready for excellent food! Can’t wait!
    And for coffee, Ah, Cacao!! Evelyn

  13. I have to agree, I LOVE this restaurant and of all the delicious restaurants on Isla Mujeres, and there are many, this is the one that we eat at the most. Looking forward to being there this winter. Kitty

  14. Wkmayfield59@yahoo.com | September 4, 2017 at 3:58 pm |

    Thank you both for all of this wonderful information. We are planning an outing to Isla Mujeres and will fast in preparation!

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