Restaurant of the Year- Honorable Mention

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Greg Cox of The News and Observer gave COPA an honorable mention as Restaurant of the Year 2019. "What sets Copa apart is a smattering of dishes sprinkled throughout the menu that, to my knowledge, you won't find in any other restaurant in the country... In short, Copa isn't just very good, it's unique. And in my book, that contribution to the local dining landscape makes it worthy of special notice.

Meat served on rice cakes
— Newsobserver staff

Best New Restaurant

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Greg Cox, acclaimed food critic for The News and Observer named COPA one of the "Best New Restaurants" in the Triangle and Best in Class (Cuban), saying, "Knowing that their first restaurant, Old Havana Sandwich Shop, would be a tough act to follow, husband-and-wife owners Robert Copa Matos and Elizabeth Turnbull aimed high with their second. Copa hit the target with a Cuban tapas menu (including a few gems inspired by a 19th century cookbook) and one of the best restaurant bars in the Triangle.

Restaurant sign on wall
— Newsobserver staff

The News and Observer: 4 Stars

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Greg Cox, acclaimed food critic for The News and Observer gave COPA 4 stars, saying "it's hard to go wrong here no matter what you eat" and praising the "outstanding selection of Cuban cocktails.

Chicken and rice bowl
— Newsobserver staff

Wine and Spirits: Restaurant Review

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At Copa, Roberto Copa Matos translates the aromas and textures from his Cuban childhood into plates of plátanos rellenos, chicharrones or ropa vieja on cassava flatbreads. His wife, mixologist Elizabeth Turnbull, has dug deep to find authentic recipes and Old Havana back stories for the Daiquiri, Cuba Libre, Mary Pickford and other rum-soaked classics. The results are memorable..." –Margaret Shakespeare.

Staff member preparing dish
— Margaret Shakespeare

Wine Enthusiast: Where to Eat and Drink in Durham

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Visit Copa for 19th-century Cuban dishes like plátanos rellenos (plantains stuffed with pork picadillo, then fried) and arroz con almejas (saffron rice with clams).

Fried dish served with dip

INDYweek: From Pharmacology to Farm Ecology

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With their own farm, Turnbull and Copa Matos have more control over their ingredients, not only in the kinds of crops they grow but also in how they're grown; it also allows Copa Matos to achieve his science-based farming dream." –Layla Khoury-Hanold

Customers in restaurant

Bites of Bull City: Copa Brings to Life Old Dishes from Cuba

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Read our Q&A with Matos and Turnbull below to learn about the food and drinks they’re most excited to introduce, which items will follow from Old Havana, and how the interior of the restaurant is designed to bring diners on an amazing journey to Old Cuba.

Table for two in dining area

Durham Magazine: 34 Creative Cocktails

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Get the Recipe for our Classic Canchanchara Cocktail

Promotional poster for cocktail event
— Issuu Staff

From the filmmaker: During my final undergraduate semester at Duke, I was fortunate enough to have been introduced to Roberto, Elizabeth, and COPA through one of my favorite photography professors at Duke. Within the first few minutes of meeting the hard-working husband-wife duo, I was amazed and inspired by their dedication to sharing authentic Cuban cuisine, their care for the Durham community, and their commitment to the farm-to-table movement. I made this short documentary video about Roberto, Elizabeth, and COPA in order to capture and share their story and values, and hopefully to make mouths water as well. –Harry Liang, Duke ‘21