In 1962, Eddie Benedit Sr. and his family came from Cuba to the United States. They literally arrived with "only the clothes on their backs.” Some years later, Eddie Sr. decided that he wanted to open a Cuban restaurant. His wife ~ Debbie thought he was nuts, but in 30 days, the Havana Sandwich Shop was opened with the support of his father Guido Benedit and his wife Debbie as the original co-founders.

The Benedit Family were the first to bring a full Cuban menu to the restaurant scene in Atlanta. They opened their original eatery on Buford Highway on Feb. 9, 1976, and two weeks later, Ms. Benedit discovered she was pregnant with Eddie Jr. Ms Benedit says her son Eddie, "literally grew up in the restaurant, and has been involved since the beginning. This restaurant would not be where it is today without the hard work and dedication of Eddie Jr".

Quality, consistency & affordability..

All the dishes served at the restaurant originate from Ms. Benedit's late husband Eddie Benedit Sr., and his family. "Most of the recipes are foods he grew up with living in Cuba," she said. "That man could cook anything he put his hands on, and he never cooked by the book. It was always by sight or taste, and everything still tastes the same as when he was in the kitchen". What was most important to Eddie Sr was quality, consistency and affordability". Today, Havana Restaurant employs 10 people, some who have been with the Benedit family for over 15 years.
The most popular item on the menu? What else but the infamous Cuban sandwich! Also popular are the Empanadas which are fried turnovers. The Maduros (ripe plantains), the Tostones (green plantains) and Yucca Frita (yucca fries) are also "incredible side items ", says Ms. Benedit. Beyond the sandwich menu, other popular items served on both the lunch and dinner menus are the Pork and Steak plates, that are accompanied by rice+ black bean soup. The batidos, or milkshakes, are flavored with mango, guava, papaya, strawberry and banana; all are really wonderful, very much like a tropical smoothie.
Havana was named one of four of Atlanta restaurant survivors along with the Varsity, The Collanade, and Pano's & Pauls.
"Fresh and Original! The food is unique and never status quo"
The Original Havana Sandwich Shop established in 1976
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