7 Best Restaurants to Eat Traditional Cuban Food in Havana
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.
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.
Restaurant, Cuban, Caribbean, $$$
An Old Havana stalwart that serves the best ropa vieja in town, this little place is a real find. Sandwiched between more touristy restaurants in one of the busiest alleys of the old town, Doña Eutemia stands out for great food at accessible prices. Don’t forget to try a frozen mojito while you’re here, and book ahead to make sure you get a table.
Many people visit the Hotel Nacional to sip on a cocktail while looking out over the Malecon, but fewer venture into the restaurant that sits in the same gardens. It’s a sophisticated place that has an air of mid-century glamour, so it’s best to dress up. Be aware that plenty of the other diners might be smoking cigars.
Restaurant, Cuban, $$$
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, 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.