Havana is one of the most beautiful and vibrant cities I’ve ever been to. Big smiles, colorful cars, old buildings, live music, but a big highlight of my trip remains our food experience so I’m going to cut the chase and jump right into it: if you have the opportunity to ONLY have five meals in Havana, here is my list for you, in a particular order:
5- El Cocinero Calle 26, La Habana, Cuba
A nice gourmet restaurant with a beautiful terrace, great service and some exquisite food. Perfect for a date night in Havana.
We started off with the two soups on the menu: corn cream with white creole cheese (A+++) and a cold beets/goat cheese soup that was just okay – don’t bother ordering it.
We had the chef’s suggestion of the day which was a risotto negro, and it was great!
- Their wine list is overpriced.
- Fabrica de Arte Cubano, one of the best nightclubs/ museums/ exhibitions/ all-in-one kind of thing is RIGHT next door, so you should consider pairing these two places together for a great night out in Havana.
4- El Chanchullero E Bernaza y El Cristo, 457 A bajos Teniente Rey, La Habana, Cuba
This was a little gem in Old Havana that was recommended by one of my Insta friends, it’s a Tapas restaurant, ideal for a happy hour kind of thing. Fresh, simple, yet super tasty.
We had the nachos that were okay, shrimps, fish and the octopus that I recommend highly! The octopus wasn’t on the menu, but you should make it a habit to always ask if there are any daily specials that aren’t on the menu at any restaurant you go to in Havana, they usually do!
My favorite was the octopus, I thought it was absolutely amazing.
Big pros: The price was very reasonable and the drinks were great!
La Floridita, where Ernest Hemingway (and myself) had the best Daiquiris in our lives, is walking distance from El Chanchullero.
So right after dinner, make room for a Daiquiri or two and some great live music!
3- La guarida 418 Concordia, La Habana, Cuba
Not only this place is THE Havana’s instagrammer dream-come-true location, but it also has some of the best food we had during our trip.
We started off with an Octopus carpaccio (that was okay), a Ceviche Verde that was ah-mazing, and our server recommended the tacos de pescado de la casa that was so good, SO GOOD that we ended up ordering more of it (and we have been day-dreaming about it for weeks now)
We also had the lobster and the fish of the day, i.e., Mahi Mahi, which were really good but I think that we were unimpressed at that point with all the seafood we’ve been eating.
- Make a reservation, it’s ALWAYS busy (you can reserve here).
- Make sure you have at least 15 minutes before or after lunch to shoot some pictures for the gram.
2- Atelier restaurant Calle 5th # 511 entre Paseo y 2 Vedado, La Habana, Cuba
This was the first restaurant we tried upon our arrival in Havana and we knew right away that we were going to have an amazing week. We started with some really good Tuna ceviche and ordered the lobster and the lamb. I think the lamb is in the top #3 of the best things I’ve ever eaten in my life.
- Ask about their daily special.
- They have a nice terrace so consider picking a day that’s not cold/windy to go there, if possible.
1- Mas habana Calle Habana, 308 E San Juan de Dios St and O’reilly St, Havana, Cuba
Absolutely everything was perfect about this food experience. We had the cheese balls, and the tuna ceviche, and beast mojitos as starters (picture with head for scale below), and then ordered the Seafood Paella (probably better than the one I had in the heart of Barcelona), King prawns, and the octopus that came with an amazing mashed potatoes with beets.
Staff was young, fun and dynamic, place was minimalist and you can tell it was made with love and taste.
- Hotel Inglaterra has an amazing rooftop for salsa dancing and it is a 10-min walk away. So after dinner, make your way there to burn some calories and meet some lovely people!
- Bodeguita del Medio, Ernest Hemingway favorite Mojito bar is also 4 minutes away. It’s a must-see in Cuba according to many locals and to my previous search, but I wasn’t really impressed.
Voilà my dear readers, I hope this is helpful to make your culinary experience special in Cuba, and leave a comment, subscribe and share it with your friends if you thought this was helpful and if you’d like to read more from me, yada yada, AND don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @sabrazaraa 🙂
Until next time, safe travels and leave no stone unturned!