Best Restaurants in Havana
This city isn''t known for fine food, and eating out in Havana
can be disappointing if you don''t know where to go. There are two
kinds of restaurants in Havana: government-run and privately-owned.
The state-run restaurants have improved dramatically since the
country reopened to tourism and tend to be cheaper, but the
independent restaurants, called paladares, are often the best place
to go for good food and lively atmosphere.
Restaurants in Havana lack the international variety of many
other large cities. You won''t find great Asian, French or Italian,
but the Cuban and Creole options make up for it at restaurants like
La Cecilia or La Fontana Habana.
There are a few fast-food chains, including El R??pido, which
serves burgers, pizzas, fried chicken, and other watered-down
options. For something a little fresher look out for Pain de Paris
outlets, which bake bread and croissants, and offer a variety of
While dining out is beyond the reach of most Cubans, there will
often be a second, higher-priced, menu for tourists. Be sure to ask
for prices before ordering. Scams are common in Havana restaurants,
and check your bill for extras that may appear. Some restaurants
may add a service charge, if not then generous tipping of at least
10% is customary and appreciated.
Mes??n de La Chorrera
Specialising in simple Creole dishes and tapas and, boasting
plenty of colonial Spanish flavour, Mes??n La Chorrera is situated
by the seaside in an old fortified tower built in the 17th century
and old cannons can still be found pointing through the loopholes
in the dining room. An outdoor terrace provides the option to dine
on delicious Spanish influenced dishes
and the restaurant sometimes features live music. Open daily for
lunch and dinner. Bookings recommended.
Address: Malec??n between Calles 18 & 20, Vedado
Named after the novel by Cuban author Cirilo Valverde, this
delightful garden restaurant featuring caged parrots overhead and
romantic tables laid-out under thatched-roof garden specialises in
mostly Cuban cuisine with special attention to dishes with lobster
and steak. The menu is delicious and offers plenty of seafood and
traditional Creole dishes, such as Roast Suckling Pig or Congr?
Rice. On certain nights live music entertains diners and keeps the
atmosphere buzzing well into the night for a dining experience to
remember. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Bookings
Address: 5ta. Ave. entre 110 y 112, Miramar (Opposite Servi-Cupet
Prado Y Neptuno
The popularity of the pizzas at Prado Y Neptuno would have you
thinking the chefs were from Italy, but this spacious and intimate
Italian restaurant with dark tinted windows and colourful tiles
features delicious fare with everything from pizza and pasta to
meat, chicken and seafood dishes to tantalise the taste buds. The
bar at the entrance is a good place to kick off your dining
experience and there is a good selection of Italian wines. Open
daily for lunch and dinner. Bookings recommended.
Address: Corner Paseo de Mart? & Neptuno, Centro
One of Havana's most popular restaurants, La Guardia has seen
the likes of many a celebrity and is an institution in the city's
dining scene. Not always the easiest restaurant for visitors to
find, once you ascend the cracked marble staircase, you're on the
right track to discovering one of Havana's culinary gems. This
charmingly intimate eatery's nooks and crannies are always buzzing
with activity and the atmosphere is enchanting. Dishes such as
rabbit lasagne, pork in ginger plum sauce, spinach crepes and tuna
stuffed peppers tantalise the taste buds while the friendly and
efficient wait staff tend to your every need. For a seriously
romantic night out, request the balcony table for an intimate
dinner with views over the neighbourhood. Open daily for lunch and
dinner. Booking essential.
Address: Calle Concordia # 418, Entre Gervasio y Escobar
Website: www.laguarida.com (Spanish only)
Paladar La Fontana Habana
After the Cuban government issued a law allowing the creation of
small businesses in 1993, two young university students, Horacio
and Ernesto, combined their love of Cuban food and entrepreneurial
skills to create La Fontana Habana. Located in one of Havana's
trendiest neighbourhoods, the stylish La Fontana offers classic
Cuban dishes fused with international favourites and specialises in
grilled meat and seafood. Start with the Ceviche scented with sweet
basil or the octopus grilled over charcoal with pesto, dive into
brochettes of chicken with fruits and bacon, or fish scented with
aged rum and herbs before ending off with guava shells with cheese.
Open daily for lunch and dinner. Bookings recommended.
Address: 3ra A, esq. 46, No. 305, Miramar
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