La Herencia Cafe

Cuban
good
Worth a return
Jess Dawson | December 14, 2018
Save

La Herencia is is a Cuban restaurant halfway down Aviles Street — the oldest street in America., If the weather is warm enough (it usually is), there will be a few black metal tables and chairs outside, where diners casually enjoy their meals listening to The Godfather soundtrack trickling over from the Italian joint next door. Seating inside is at bistro tables in a dining room with cream colored walls.

Our waitress cheerfully explains that everyone comes for the PBS-touted guajiro — an omelet served over Cuban toast with pork, beans, salsa, and cheese. But in her opinion, the breakfast wrap is better … that is, if you want breakfast (which is served all day).

Every time she brings something to the table, she is extremely excited about it, proclaiming,  “It’s so good!” She is right about the ceviche, which is fresh, with a ton of lime, served with slightly dry but just-toasted baguette.

Star of the show is the Media Noche, which is a spin on the classic Cuban but made on soft, sweet bread not unlike a Hawaiian roll. As in a regular Cuban, it is pressed flat, smooshing all the pork, ham, cheese, and mustard together. The pork is tender and there’s just the right amount of mustard. I could use about three more pickles, but that’s an easy fix. On the side, tostones (crisp-fried slices of plantain) are heavily salted and have starchy insides. Our waitress brings a Costco-sized tub of Valentina hot sauce. It’s good for dipping.

Mojo roast chicken with plantains, rice, and beans has great flavor but is a touch dry. The rice and beans help, as do the plantains, which are thick, sweet, and juicy. It’s best all mixed together with a squeeze of lime and a drizzle of hot sauce.

We resist flan and tres leches, but sit a while longer on the sidewalk watching sightseers and even a few filmmakers walk through the historic street. Town trolleys stop right outside the restaurant, making it an easy place to visit on a tour of St. Augustine. 

What to Eat
La Herencia Cafe, Media Noche
Media Noche
Must-Try
Media Noche is a Cuban on sweet egg bread, served with crunchy tostones (fried plantain slices).
La Herencia Cafe, Ceviche
Ceviche
Must-Try
Ceviche is heavy on the lime and onion, served with warm toasts.
La Herencia Cafe, Mojo Chicken
Mojo Chicken
Must-Try
Mojo roast chicken with plantains, rice and beans, plus a squeeze of lime.
Directions and Hours
closed now
Sunday8:30am - 8pm
Monday8:30am - 4pm
Tuesday8:30am - 4pm
Wednesday8:30am - 4pm
Thursday8:30am - 4pm
Friday8:30am - 10pm
Saturday8:30am - 10pm
Information
Price
$$
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Dessert
Credit Cards Accepted
Yes
Alcohol Served
Yes
Outdoor Seating
Yes
Website

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • The Floridian

    St. Augustine, Florida

    Southern food meets sustainable ingredients at The Floridian, home of pickled pepper shrimp, biscuits with pork belly, & fried chicken with hot-sauce honey.

  • Safe Harbor Restaurant

    Jacksonville Beach, Florida

    At Safe Harbor, the fish is as freshly-caught as you’d expect in a fish market next to the water. The menu’s must-eat: spicy blackened shrimp.

  • Good Dough

    Jacksonville, Florida

    Good Dough is a Jacksonville neighborhood bakery that sets a high bar with fried chicken doughwiches and torched crème brûlée doughnuts.

  • Beach Road Chicken Dinners

    Jacksonville, Florida

    Jacksonville’s vintage southern fried chicken house, dating back to 1939, Beach Road serves chicken all ways along with a wide variety of worthy side dishes.

  • O’Steen’s Restaurant

    St. Augustine, Florida

    St. Augustine’s best shrimp are served at O’Steen’s. Also unique local red Minorcan clam chowder and fine Southern-style side dishes. Popular & always crowded.

  • Saltwater Cowboy’s

    St. Augustine, Florida

    From simple seafood to fancy meals and backwoods cracker specialties, Saltwater Cowboy’s is a trip to old-time Florida along the marshy intercoastal waterway.