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Cuban Island Restaurant, Roanoke

Cuban Island in Roanoke Virginia

If you know me at all, you know that I love a good story. My husband's great grandmother's family was from Cuba and he lived in Miami for a while so he loves Cuban food. He introduced me to the Cuban Island Restaurant in Roanoke.

Estela Gonzalez-Perez and her husband, Manuel Hidalgo left Cuba in 1994. Manuel bought a small boat and loaded it with twenty people heading out to America for new opportunities. She can tell their story better than I but they ended up at Guantanamo Bay and were placed in Roanoke by the US government with only three months rent and three months worth of food stamps. They spoke no English but both got jobs at the Home Shopping Network, where they worked for ten years. They bought their first house within nine months due to a strong work ethic.

One day Estela's husband suggested they open a business serving food through a food truck which is how their restaurant began in 2007. They opened the doors to what is now the Cuban Island Restaurant in 2010. Estela and her husband serve authentic Cuban food with all fresh ingredients. It is one of my favorites in Roanoke now!

Cuban Island espresso

Estela, former owner of Cuban Island

Cuban Island Restaurant

5508 Williamson Rd

Roanoke, VA 24012

*update April 2024 Estela and her husband have retired but the restaurant is still open with their original recipes.


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