9 Top Seafood Restaurants in Havana, Cuba

Dig in to tasty shellfish I
Dig in to tasty shellfish I | © infinitecroatia/Pixabay
Barbara Maseda

Freshly-caught lobster, shrimp, octopus and fish prepared by expert chefs for amazingly low prices are an undeniable highlight in Cuba if you like seafood. Though it may not be as common an option as you would expect in an island nation, a number of restaurants in Havana will go the extra mile to keep the necessary ingredients in stock. Here’s our guide to the best places in town.

1. Amigos del Mar

Restaurant, Seafood, Cuban

Located near the mouth of the Almendares river overlooking the sea, and decorated with all kinds of sailing and fishing gear, Amigos del Mar (‘Friends of the Sea’) is a dream come true for sea lovers. An ample outdoor terrace offers great views of the ocean and the fishing community around it, and in addition to fantastic seafood dishes, the place even gives customers the chance to go on short boat trips or go fishing.

2. Donde Lis

Restaurant, Cuban, Seafood

This restaurant in Old Havana serves both Cuban and international food, with a long list of seafood options on the menu. From delicious soups and entrées, including different variations of carpaccio, ceviche and the house octopus with malanga chips, Donde Lis certainly caters to the preferences of seafood lovers. Highly recommended are the American lobster, and the seafood grill – the most expensive dish on the menu, and still under $20.

3. El Litoral

Restaurant, Seafood, Cuban

A building in the Malecón with an interior design that imitates the inside of a ship and a fantastic view of the ocean, El Litoral is one of the best places to have seafood in Havana. Unlike other establishments that purchase their products from local fishermen, El Litoral keeps its fresh and varied supply of fish and seafood using a boat that belongs to the same family that owns the restaurant.

4. El Templete

Restaurant, Seafood, Cuban

This restaurant overlooking Havana Bay has an interesting concept that combines visual arts and culinary art: every month, El Templete shows a different collection of works by a visual artist, each inspired by a given set of dishes or ingredients. The chef of the restaurant in turn designs the month’s menu around the art in the exhibition. The seafood menu includes some of the best types of local fish, like red snapper, tuna and cod, as well as shrimp and lobster.

5. Habana Mia 7

Restaurant, Seafood, Cuban

Located in Vedado, Habana Mia 7 is a gourmet restaurant with an ample offering of seafood, including delicacies such as the summer grilled lobster, and the ‘Big Shell’ (an assorted plate of grilled lobster, shrimp, blue and white fish, octopus, mussels, and prawn). Like many of its kind, this restaurant also has an ocean view, very close to the Cohiba and Riviera hotels in Paseo Street.

6. Vistamar

Restaurant, Seafood, Cuban

With a beautiful waterfront view and stylish interior, Vistamar is a lovely place to enjoy a meal, or simply have a typical Cuban cocktail and seafood starters such as octopus with Parmesan cheese and pesto, or fish ceviche. The speciality of the house is the ‘mariscada‘, a tasty combination of lobster, shrimp and red snapper. The menu also include a large selection of Cuban food, from pork and chicken to lamb and rabbit, while the seaside location affords astonishing views of the sea and the sunset.

7. Río Mar

Restaurant, Fusion, Cuban

Located on the left bank of the Almedares river, at the exact point where it meets the sea, Río Mar (‘river’ ‘sea’) offers beautiful views and fresh dishes. Cold appetizers, like fish ceviche, fish carpaccio and shellfish cocktails, are perfect to enjoy with typical Cuban cocktails, while the list of main courses includes the Río Mar fish and octopus; fish fillets in white cream with shrimp; and the Río Mar pasta with lobster, fish and shrimp.

8. Mediterráneo Havana

Restaurant, Seafood, Mediterranean

A two-story house turned into a family restaurant, Mediterráneo Havana is a farm-to-table restaurant in the heart of Vedado, Havana. Like many restaurants looking to offer their clients good quality products in a market where finding (fresh) ingredients is not always easy, Mediterráneo Havana has found a solution in growing their own crops. Seafood starters include octopus carpaccio, and shrimp with different types of vegetables. The menu also includes an extensive offering of pasta and pizzas.

9. Santy Pescador

Restaurant, Seafood, Japanese

Near tourist attractions like Fusterlandia and the Hemingway marina, Santy Pescador is an excellent place for seafood lovers, and one of the few places where you’ll find Japanese food in Havana. Overlooking a small marina, it is located in the middle of a fishing community, and has its own exclusive supply of fresh fish. Though it’s removed from the city center, and not well-known among the locals, most taxi drivers will know how to get you there.

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