7 Best Restaurants to Eat Traditional Cuban Food in Havana

Jack Guy

Restaurants offering world cuisines are opening up all across Havana thanks to reforms on private businesses, but you should make a point of trying traditional Cuban dishes too. Here are some of the top restaurants for traditional favourites in Havana.

Los Naranjos

Restaurant, Cuban

It’s traditional Cuban with a twist at this fashionable spot in Vedado. The food is more expensive than the average paladar, but it’s worth paying extra for the innovative menu and frequent live music.

La Rosa Negra

Restaurant, Cuban, Vegan, Vegetarian

You’ll find traditional Cuban dishes at this atmospheric spot, but they’re cooked without animal fat. Bring your vegan and vegetarian friends here, and enjoy one of the many cocktails too.

Doña Eutemia

Restaurant, Cuban, Caribbean

Ropa vieja
© Rinaldo Wurglitsch / Flickr

An Old Havana stalwart that serves the best ropa vieja in town, this little place is a real find. Sandwiched between more touristy restaurants in one of the busiest alleys of the old town, Doña Eutemia stands out for great food at accessible prices. Don’t forget to try a frozen mojito while you’re here, and book ahead to make sure you get a table.

La Barraca

Restaurant, Cuban

Many people visit the Hotel Nacional to sip on a cocktail while looking out over the Malecon, but fewer venture into the restaurant that sits in the same gardens. It’s a sophisticated place that has an air of mid-century glamour, so it’s best to dress up. Be aware that plenty of the other diners might be smoking cigars.

La Guarida

Restaurant, Restaurant with Rooms, Cuban

© Tony Hisgett / WikiCommons

Right up there among the most famous restaurants in Cuba is film-star favourite, La Guarida. Jack Nicholson and other members of the silver screen elite have been seen here, and with good reason. Don’t be put off by its popularity; the food is wonderful and the setting is atmospheric.

El Patio Plaza de la Catedral

Restaurant, Bar, Cuban, Caribbean

Old Havana is known for its tourist traps, but this place serves great food at friendlier prices than most. It’s heavy on traditional fare in the classic style, so think chicken, plantains, and rice with beans.

La Cocina de Lilliam

Restaurant, Cuban, Vegetarian

Join the likes of US President Jimmy Carter in dining at this garden restaurant, where an intercom entry system adds to the exclusive feel. Before you go remember that it’s only open Tuesday to Saturday each week, and closed for the last two weeks of December.

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