Dear Gothamist,

I will be moving to New York this summer and starting school at NYU in the fall. I currently have a second job as a waitress in a hip Cuban restaurant here in my hometown, where the customers like that I speak Spanish and know the culture behind the food. Since Gothamist is such a well-known foodie, can you suggest upscale Cuban or Latino restaurants where the service is known for being more friendly than stuffy and the checks are on the somewhat high end?

Back to Waitressing, Philly

2004_05_askcubanrest.jpgThere are lots of great Cuban restaurants in New York. Hopefully they're hiring, but if you are looking for a job or just want some good food, here are some suggestions:

These are Zagat's recommendations for Cuban restaurants, which is probably a good place to start. We at Ask Gothamist also recommend:

Cafe con Leche in the Upper West Side has 2 locations, both on Amsterdam. One at 80th St. and one between 95th and 96th.

Cafe Habana at 229 Elizabeth St. in SoHo.

Son Cubano on W 14th between 9th and 10th. A little pricier but very highly recommended.

Havana Village at 94 Christopher Street in the West Village.

Hispaniola at 829 W 181st Street. It's not strictly a Cuban restaurant, but definitely has a lot of Latin and Carribean influences. And, besides, more people should come up to Washington Heights. (And it looks like you can apply for a job there from the website.)