Five best restaurants and tips in Havana, Cuba


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!

El Cocinero


Heads up:

Fabrica del Arte Cubano
  • 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 is a window, use your imagination” El Chanchullero

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!


El Chanchullero

Heads up: 

  • IMG_4743 2
    La Floridita

    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.

La guarida’s famous stairs  @sabrazaraa

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.

La guarida


  • 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

El Atelier




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.

Tuna ceviche, Lobster and Lamb, and coffee at El Atelier

Heads up:

  • 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.

Mas Habana 

Heads up:

  • 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.
On the way from Mas Habana to Hotel Inglaterra

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!

Sabra, xo

Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die: The coolest book review.

You have all these smart, innovative and creative ideas.

You have so much knowledge and may even define yourself as an expert in your field.

And yet, you have no SUCCESs in making your ideas stick.

You probably even noticed that the more knowledge and expertise you try to get to improve your ideas, the less sticky your ideas get and the less likely your audience will remember what you said. 

I know why…

You are cursed.

But don’t worry, the brothers Heath unraveled the mystery behind your curse in their book “Made to stick” and while you can read it in one week, I will make your life easier and summarize it in one blog post.

You’re welcome 🙂

Now, I want you to take a minute and think of the “Happy Birthday” song.

Can you clearly hear the tunes and the words of the song in your head?

I want you to tap out the rhythm on the table for a friend or whomever is with you. And try to make them guess what song it it.


I want you to understand that all your friend is hearing right now is a series of taps.

(Disclaimer: They might even think you have a problem).

I challenge you to listen to the taps now without hearing in the back of your head:

Happy Birthday to you , Happy birthday to you , Happy birthday Dear Erica ♬,

 Happy birthday to you ♪

Game over.

You are cursed. Again.

It is the same with your area of expertise, you have what the brothers Heath have defined as the “curse of knowledge”.

And while you can’t unhear the “Happy birthday” song or unlearn the knowledge that you have, you might have a chance to still come up with SUCCESsful ideas.

(And yes, I know when to use upper and lower case letters if you were wondering why I was spelling success the way I just did, twice. It is the least I can do after spending 21 years in school).

Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional and if you manage to do all of that in a Story format, then that is your SUCCESs story.

If you use this checklist to tailor your melody, your audience can clearly hear it:

  1. Keep it simple. Just do it.
  2. Hold your people’s attention. How? By using the element of surprise to create mystery and produce curiosity. (Just like I did when I told you you were cursed. Admit it, you did not expect it).
  3. If you can  feel, see, remember or picture something, that’s concreteness. Use it.
  4. While not everyone is JFK or has a degree from an Ivy League school, like our authors who were professors and researchers in Stanford and Harvard schools of Business, the more detailed and vivid you make your idea, the more you lend credibility to your story, even if you went to community college (nothing wrong with that).
  5. You can be very passionate about saving whales off of the US east coast. If you expect your audience to care at the same level, you fall into your curse again. Instead, find a way for your audience to associate with your cause and experience emotions.
  6. And last but not least, statistics and data are boring (yawn) and people will probably forget them by the time you’re on your next boring slide. Stories are fun. Tell a story. AND don’t forget to keep it simple!


Again, remember, you’re cursed and only you can hear your melody. So use your SUCCESs checklist to make it easier for those who don’t.


For an audio or a kindle version of the book: click here.

For a paperback or a hardcover version of the book: click here.

Source: Made to stick by Chip and Dan Heath.