It’s taking me a while to get to my Havana city guide, so I thought I would start with something a lot of people have been asking me about: Cuban food. Was it good? YES! Also, coming from a big U.S. city, it was extremely affordable to eat in Havana. We enjoyed delicious, three-course meals for less than 10 CUC per person. Ah, take me back to made-from-scratch flan and $3 piña coladas, please. Cue Jimmy Buffet too. If you like piña coladas… and getting caught in the rain …
Now, I can’t take credit for all of these fantastic finds. Our good friend Neha, who had visited Cuba before, led us to some of our favorite restaurants. She and I particularly enjoyed the frothy mojitos at Dona Eutemia and convincing our guys to get dessert after every meal. (You are on vacation!) If you’re visiting Cuba soon, check out the following guide on where to eat in Havana.
*As I mentioned in my first post about Cuba, download maps.me before you leave. You can easily find directions to my recommendations using this handy app.
** Make sure you always double-check your bill for the tip. Most of the time it’s included – sometimes it’s not. If it’s not included, tip 10-15%.
Casa Particular: It was such a treat to eat homemade Cuban food! Our hosts outdid themselves and both the Mr. and Mrs. were in the kitchen to prepare a delightful breakfast. It was delicious and more than we could consume. Ham and cheese omelets, fresh tomatoes, bread, crackers, fruit, fresh juice, tasty coffee. Yum! Cubans love sugar in their coffee, and if you ask for no sugar, you can expect to drink the strongest coffee your taste buds have ever tried (it gives real meaning to the phrase “it’ll put hair on your chest!”). For 5 CUC, not only is this the best bang for your buck, but this money also goes straight to your hosts.
El Dandy Bar y Galleria: We both agreed that we had to eat breakfast at a cafe in Havana before we left, and we loved this place so much that we actually went back the following day — even though they completely forgot our order the first day and we waited over an hour for eggs and bacon. (Time has no meaning in Cuba.) We loved the eclectic vibe with the 50s-style working refrigerator, old books, and friendly cat who liked to sit with “his guests” at the table. Bacon lovers, rejoice! You will love this place. Eggs, scrumptious bacon, toast, coffee – it doesn’t get better than this for less than 5 CUC/person.
Cafe el Escorial: Need a little pick-me-up? Re-caffeinate at this cozy cafe and joy the sights and sounds of Plaza Vieja. We bought two bags of Cafe el Escorial’s coffee beans for less than 8 CUC to take back to the U.S. Tip: you can skip the very long line if you buy whole beans! I’m sipping on my Cuban coffee as I write this. 😉
Lamparilla 361: I read about this little lunch spot before we left, and we just happened to be blocks away during our first full day in Cuba. To all of my trendy hipster friends, this is your place. Once you step inside, its vibe is much more San Francisco’s Mission neighborhood than Old Havana. However, once you take a look at their handwritten menu, you’ll change your mind. It’s Havana through-and-through. I got the chicken salad and Will ordered the ceviche. We split the cheesy chicken croquettes (mmm… so good!). We highly recommend this for lunch — if not for the food, go for the decor.
El Chanchullero: This is quality food at insanely cheap prices. We went two nights in a row because we loved this place so much! Enjoy good drinks and fresh and flavorful meat and vegetable bowls all while sitting on crates (very hip). It turns out that we weren’t the only ones who knew this was a good spot. The line can get long, so if you’re hoping to eat here for dinner, plan to arrive around 5 or 6 pm. I ordered the chicken + tomato bowl, the men ordered pork, and Neha ordered lamb (small serving compared to everything else). Chicken and pork are the way to go – as is the $1 flan for dessert. 🙂
Dona Eutemia: I only managed to get a picture of my frothy mojito (my favorite part of the meal), but this was such a good restaurant in a charming location off of the Plaza de la Catedral. We all got something different but were equally happy with our dishes. We topped it off with flan for dessert again. The calories were worth every bite!
El Del Frente: We didn’t eat here, but maybe we should have! Everything from the trendy rooftop bar to the perfectly curated drinks was A+. Will ordered the peach daquiri. I ordered the piña colada, then we switched because… marriage? We thoroughly enjoyed both drinks! Tip: Havana is smaller than you think – if you’re in the neighborhood, make a reservation.
KM Zero: I’ll be honest — this might be more of a tourist spot but we loved the live music and our XL piña coladas. If you’re in the neighborhood, it’s a good find.
El Floridita: Hemingway’s favorite bar in Havana. Snag a table and a pic with Hemingway and enjoy the traditional daiquiri – I certainly did. You’ll scoff at the price (6 CUC) now that the rest of Havana has spoiled you, but it’s worth it to enjoy one of Havana’s most famous bars. Sit back and enjoy the live music. You’re in Cuba!
Was this helpful? Let me know in the comments below! If you have been, where would you recommend to eat in Havana?
Thanks for stopping by!