Let’s all take a minute and welcome Rumba to Capitol Hill! The sister restaurant to Tango, (one of my all-time favorites – mostly because of their dessert, but also because their food is solid and who doesn’t like all-night happy hour or a good half-price wine night?) Rumba is located right next store to Tango in the middle of Pike Street – right between downtown and the fun part of Capitol Hill. Rumba is exactly what it sounds like – a bar that is focused on rum! Captain Jack Sparrow would love it.
When you walk into Rumba, you instantly feel like you are in Cuba (or rather, what I imagine it feels like to be Cuba). The dark wood booths, tables, chairs and bar are complemented with aqua blue seating, which is the most amazing pop of color. I bellied up to the bar around 5:20pm and was only one other person there. By the time we left at 6:45, the place was completely full.
Festive Cuban atmosphere aside, Rumba’s happy hour is sadly just that – a single hour from 5-6pm – and doesn’t really offer a deal that makes it worth it to get there on or in time. Daiquiris, which are typically $8.50 are discounted to $6, and the baked empanadas (chorizo, chicken and veggie) are $3.50 each – regularly priced at $5 or 3 for $12.50.
After empanandas and daiquiris no. 1, 2, and 3 (no. 3 just happened to be my favorite, the crowd favorite, and Ernest Hemingway’s favorite) we ordered the Rumba guacamole ($10.50) which is served with plantain chips, reminiscent of the ones served at El Camino in Fremont but thinner and crispier. Other (yet to be ordered) menu items include coconut prawns, chips and a variety of salsas, and tacos. While nothing on the menu is priced more than $12, the best way to experience it all would be to order everything with a group of friends and share!
Since Rumba doesn’t offer what I consider to be a “true” happy hour, I can’t recommend that you book it there by 5pm, but it’s a fun lively spot that I’ll definitely return to for great drinks, the ambiance and to learn more about the hundreds of different kinds of rum they have lining the shelves of the bar.
This is one place where the rum will never be gone!