5 Places to Eat in Havana, Cuba

I went to Havana with extremely low expectations of their food. I had read from numerous bloggers that the dishes were often bland due to the limited resources the locals had. They did mention that meals from paladars tasted extremely better than those from government run restaurants. For reasons beyond just taste, I had planned to only visit paladars during my time in Cuba.

With the exception of a few dishes, the food in Cuba was surprisingly very good and flavorful. Now, I will add that I researched restaurants for a long time. I checked TripAdvisor, blogs, and articles for the best places to go. I read numerous reviews and took into account prices, location, and options.

Once I had narrowed down possible paladars to eat lunch and dinner, I made sure to make reservations. We were a group of 11, so reservations were absolutely critical for dinner when we all planned to eat together. For lunch, we never ran into any issues finding a place to eat because we’d split up into smaller groups. In the itinerary I made for the trip, I included about 8 possible options for lunch for people to choose from. That way if a place was too crowded, they could easily walk to the next place.

Here is a list of the 5 spots I was able to check out. They are in order from my favorite to least favorite!

1. Habana 61

My favorite meal during my trip! The octopus carpaccio was so delicious, I still think about it at times. The pork was juicy and packed with flavor. These daiquiris were the perfect addition to the meal at a unbeatable price. My friends ordered both the lobster and ropa vieja and really enjoyed it as well.

Address: Calle Habana No. 61 e/ Cuarteles y Pena Pobre
Hours: 12PM-12AM
Reservations: Online portal only works for Cuban locals – Call to reserve. My friends and I (group of 6) were able to snag a table for lunch as a walk in.

2. Vistamar

This gorgeous paladar is located right off the water in Miramar. Unfortunately due to timing issues, I wasn’t able to dine here during the day or for sunset. I’d definitely recommend doing that! Although still beautiful at night, the view during the day is breathtaking. Do yourself a favor and order the beef carpaccio. It melts in your mouth and the toppings really made it taste even more wonderful.

Address: Avenida 1ra No. 2206 e/ 22 y 24
Hours: 12PM-12AM
Reservations: Booked online on website and received an email confirmation. Called 24 hours before reserved time in order to confirm.

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3. 304 O’Reilly

I really loved the vibe at 304 O’Reilly. The place itself is small and reservations are preferred. The workers worked it out for my friend and I though and made room for the two of us at the bar. We loved the music, the menu options, and the drinks. They even gave me a flower at the end of my meal!

Address: O’Reilly No. 304 e/ Habana y Aguiar
Hours: 12PM-12AM
Reservations: I didn’t make reservations, but I believe you can do so either on their website or via Facebook.

4. La Guarida

This is a must visit. The place itself is gorgeous and great for photo ops. Reservations are an absolute must as this is one of the most popular paladars in Havana. Enjoy drinks on the rooftop as you wait for your table (ours wasn’t ready until 45 minutes AFTER our reserved time). While I wasn’t crazy about my pollo asado dish and my friend hated her lobster one, others really enjoyed theirs especially the ropa vieja.

Address: Concordia No. 418 e/ Gervasio y Escobar
Hours: Unknown, but my reservation was at 9:30PM
Reservations: Booked online on website and received an email confirmation. Called 24 hours before reserved time in order to confirm.

5. Cafe Laurent

While the view and dining space at Café Laurent was beautiful, the food was lackluster. I ordered a beef tenderloin dish which was drenched in oil and the meat itself was pretty tough. I didn’t hear many complaints from my friends on their dishes though.

Address: Calle M #25 e/ 19 y 21 (Vedado)
Hours: 12PM-12AM
Reservations: I found the restaurant’s page on Facebook and messaged them in order to make the reservation. Called 24 hours prior to reserved time in order to confirm.

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Also here are few of the places I had on my list, but was not able to try.

Nao Bar Paladar (my brother actually dined here 3 times so it must’ve been good!), Casa Miglis (a Swedish twist on Cuban cuisine), El Chanchullero (cheap eats), and Atelier (good spot for dinner with a nice terrace).

2 replies »

  1. Finally, someone who went out of their way to find good quality food in Havana! I lived in Havana for 3 months and I hate it when I hear people bash Cuban food! I am actually in the middle of writing a post about how to travel Havana. I hope you check it out. I am definitely going to have to visit these restaurants on my next trip. Thanks for the tips 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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