>> Gigi's Cafรฉ Cubano | Eat the World Los Angeles

Wednesday 13 February 2019

Gigi's Cafรฉ Cubano

๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡บ CUBA
EDITOR'S NOTE: An updated version of this article (07 December 2023) is available as part of the Historical section of our Substack page. Check that out here:
Gigi's is the type of place that you could accidentally end up eating all three meals of the day in one sitting. You might step in for a delicious cafรฉ con leche and a pastry and before you know it, conversations with others have been going on for hours and despite having finished of a cubano in this time you are already starting to feel hungry again thanks to the plates of the other customers that keep coming and going.

This bustling little modern cafรฉ has been around since 1968 but updated over the years. When the sun is shining on this side of Temple Street in the morning, there may be no better spot in town than those few tables in front. Otherwise order at the counter and take any available seat, they will call your name when the order is ready. It is a great spot to join everyone, make friends, and feel like you are somewhere in Miami's Little Havana.

If you have ever made a trip to the real Havana, you will have became addicted to the jam-like guava puree that seemed to be sold in every market. It has been hard to resist a pastelito de guayaba y queso ($0.99 each, above) in any Cuban bakery every since, and the ones here at Gigi's are superb.

They also cater to the neighborhood very well and bake a range of tasty Mexican and Salvadoran pan dulce. You could spend quite a few weeks trying each of their popular selections, and by the looks of the tables, many people are doing just that.

A Cuban bakery in Los Angeles would be nothing without a fresh papa rellena ($1.25 each, above) on offer, and Gigi's does not let you down in this regard either. This "stuffed potato" is full of spices and ground beef, the mash is thick enough to stand up to the fryer and deliver both a soft interior and crispy exterior.

UPDATE 25 APR 2021: On a recent morning, still unable to sit back down at Gigi's because of pandemic precautions, a decent takeout haul (below) was procured to eat at home. The pan con bistec ($9.95, left) and media noche ($8.95, top right), both come with crisp plantain chips and really hit the spot. Of course more pastelitos and papas rellenas were ordered for good measure.

๐Ÿ“ 2200 W. Temple Street, Historic Filipinotown, Central Los Angeles


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