Old Kid Back on a New Block: Sophie’s Cuban

Sophie’s Cuban, which was founded in the Financial District in 1997 and had an outpost in Tribeca until the pandemic, has opened anew on Broadway and Worth, after what seemed like some real struggles turning on the gas. Still, they got it done and lines were around the block on Tuesday when they opened. (Thanks to the heads up from N. and the pic from J.)

If they continue to serve this kinds of portions, it is one of the best deals in town. The grilled chicken entrée for $16 came with two sides (I think it’s usually three sides, but I wanted it in the aluminum platter, and with not the best Spanish-to-English translation going on between the two of us, I ended up with two, which was fine and PLENTY.) The veg that comes with the chicken has some kick. The yuca with garlic sauce is super rich and creamy, and I got the grilled veg and she was super nice to add in extra broccoli.

The beef empanada was flavorful with a salty (in a good way), flakey crust but pricey at $3.79 (they are small); you can get a box of 12 for $36 which would be great for a party. (They also cater.)

There’s an app if like that sort of thing.

Sophie’s was born downtown: Peruvian immigrant Manuela Matos had been cooking out of her kitchen for more than a decade (she started her business in the ’60s with a food stand in Lima) when she hired Cuban chef Eduardo Morgado to open her first brick-and-mortar restaurant. In 1997, Sophie’s Cuban opened on Greenwich in the shadow of the World Trade Center; two years later she opened another on Pearl, then another on New Street, and a fourth on Maiden Lane in June 2001. Neither Greenwich Street nor Maiden Lane locations survived 9/11. But Matos continued to open restaurants around the city, at one point operating nine.

When the family first came to the city, Matos enlisted her kids to help prepare Peruvian dishes at night to sell at food stands and soccer games during the day. But when it came time to open a restaurant, she thought Cuban food would be more popular here so she researched the recipes, dishes and culture and hired Morgado to tweak the menu. Her daughters Sofia Luna, Patricia and Mila Luna now run the business, with 10 locations in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn,

This is a great new addition to that part of the neighborhood, and with the new cafe opened, adds a little life to the streetscape.

Sophie’s Cuban
325 Broadway at Worth



  1. Nice to see this spot filled with new business. This stretch of Broadway in particular is pretty rough, so any new business is welcome!

  2. In early 2000’s or there was a Sophie’s on Chambers Street