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Where to Eat in Cuba? 6 Restaurants You Mustn’t Miss!

Aug, 10 || No Comments | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Food has a special place in the hearts of the Cuban people. Same as the country itself, the cuisine of Cuba is also a mixture of several different influences – Spanish, Creole, native, etc. What this also means is that there’s no such thing as one true national dish of Cuba. Instead, there are many of them that deserve to be called that.

This implies that if you’re a gourmand, you will love your time spent on the island. However, if you wanted to visit all the amazing Cuban restaurants, you would need to move here permanently. A simpler choice is to pay a visit to 6 most-iconic restaurants in Cuba! So, here they are!

Floridita – Hemingway’s Favorite Cocktail Bar & Fish Restaurant

Old Havana is full of iconic places and Floridita is one of them. This is a fish restaurant and a cocktail bar situated in a 19th-century building. The atmosphere inside will make you want to stay there forever. You will notice that in the Floridita’s cocktail bar, there is a statue of Ernest Hemingway. This is because he used to visit Floridita on a regular basis.

According to Hemingway, Floridita was the place where they served the world’s best daiquiri! We believe the same is the case today. But, apart from the amazing offer of drinks, Floridita is also famed for the seafood on their menu.

Making online reservations in Floridita is unfortunately not possible. Instead, you need book a table in person.

La Bodeguita del Medio – One of the Most Iconic Cuban Restaurants

If you want to try dishes from the, you should pay a visit to La Bodeguita del Medio. This charming restaurant is situated in a residential house in Old Havana. What’s interesting about this building is that both the interior and exterior walls are covered in graffiti.

Same as most other famous Cuban bars and restaurants, La Bodeguita del Medio was also frequently visited by Ernest Hemingway. In fact, his scribbling on the wall is still there today. Apart from Hemingway, this place had been a favorite of a number of other iconic figures from the 20th century, including Pablo Neruda, Salvador Allende, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and others.

Nazdarovie – a Soviet-Style Restaurant with a Sea View

Cuban restaurant scene is pretty diverse. One of the evidence of that is the restaurant called Nazdarovie that specializes in Soviet cuisine. The whole restaurant, situated on the 3rd floor of a building on Havana esplanade is arranged so that it celebrates the culture of the Soviet Union.  The interior obviously gives away the feeling of nostalgia, but that’s not the only reason why tourists love it.

Another reason is that it provides an amazing view of the beach. Still, the food is what attracts the most visitors. The food here is top quality, meaning that you won’t make a bad choice whichever dish you order. Still, if you want our recommendation, go for either Beef Stroganoff or Chicken Kiev, which are the two most-ordered meals in Nazarovie.

San Cristobal Paladar – a Charming Family-Owned Restaurant Serving Cuban-Creole Dishes

Thanks to Raul Castro, Cuban people are now eligible to own private restaurants. In fact, allowing the people to open the so-called paladars was one of Raul’s first moves when he replaces his brother Fidel as the head of the country. So, what exactly is a paladar? Typically, a paladar is a family-owned restaurant, situated in their home. All the meals are made and served by the members of the family.

One of the best examples of Cuban paladars is the San Cristobal paladar. Named after its owner, who is also the main chef, this place offers traditional dishes of the Cuban-Creole cuisine. Before opening the restaurant, Cristobal worked as a chef in a number of prestigious hotels in Cuba. That’s why it’s not a surprise he’s making such amazing food in his paladar.

Doña Eutimia Paladar – Traditional Cuban Dishes in an Old Havana Paladar

The owner of Doña Eutemia paladar had no official training as a chef. Neither did she ever work professionally as a chef before opening this paladar. Instead, this elderly woman got all the recopies from her grandmother.

Doña Eutemia refuses to experiment with new dishes and insists on tradition. Her dishes are made according to genuine Cuban recipes that have been around for hundreds of years.

Coppelia – One of the Biggest Ice Cream Parlors on the Planet

Havana is the home of one of the biggest ice cream parlors in the world. Coppelia has been serving over 30,000 customers every day for over half a century. The ice cream parlor emerged as a personal project of Fidel Castro himself. His idea was to provide the Cubans with the best ice cream in the world. It seems his idea has worked fine.

These days, Coppelia employs over 400 workers, who need to work really hard to serve all the customers. If you plan to try this ice cream, know that the lines are extremely long. At least, in the restaurant in the capital city! Besides Havana, Coppelia ice cream parlors can be found in two more cities in Cuba – Varadero and Santa Clara.

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