VictorCParticipantJuly 10, 2015 at 4:40 amPost count: 1
What a great book and guide to Havana !
I will be staying in Havana Vieja ( Old Havana ) and was wondering if Mario or readers could recommend some good restaurants to check out.MarioKeymasterJuly 10, 2015 at 2:47 pmPost count: 211
For restaurants in Havana, a great website is http://www.alamesacuba.com/en/la-habana/
It lists almost all the restaurants in the city, even the tiny ones, and in some cases even puts up the menu.There are lots of photos too. Unlike tripadvisor.com, on this website you get more facts and less customer reviews (which tend to be all over the place and confusing.
I have a short list of some restaurants in Old Havana which I have gone to and found to be a very good value.
Doña Eutimia – A nice place. It’s a tourist restaurant, so the prices are not exactly low, but still, for the ambiance and the food, it is not bad. It’s close to Plaza de la Cathedral (http://www.alamesacuba.com/es/la-habana/restaurant/dona-eutimia/#!/gallery)
Los Nardos – It’s probably the most popular restaurant in Old Havana, if not in Cuba. It’s hard to get into sometimes because there is a long lineup. Lots of tourists and locals. Ask for the Cuban menu, as the prices are lower. (http://www.alamesacuba.com/es/la-habana/restaurant/los-nardos/#!/gallery)
El Asturianito – The prices here are cheaper. The restaurant is in front of the Capitolio. Local Cubans love this restaurant and it is starting to attract foreigners too. A good all around place. (http://www.alamesacuba.com/es/la-habana/restaurant/el-asturianito/)
Habana 61 – This is a newer restaurant. I stumbled upon it one day and I was quite pleased with the food and service. It is a bit more upscale, but the prices are reasonable. The ambiance is modern/European. It’s a cool place and gives you an idea of what the restaurant scene in Cuba is developing into. (http://www.alamesacuba.com/es/la-habana/restaurant/habana-61/)
La Moneda Cubana – A nice place. This is really a family run establishment. They will cater to whatever you want. Even if they don’t have a dish on the menu, they will make it for you if you want. Every day they have different specials. (http://www.alamesacuba.com/es/la-habana/restaurant/la-moneda-cubana/)
Europa – A state run restaurant located on Obispo street. It’s tourist oriented and the prices are a little higher than the other restaurants on the list, but it is convenient and they often have live music playing. On the website you will see a pretty accurate price list. You can expect to pay about 10$ per person for a full meal, which is not bad for a restaurant in Old Havana. (http://www.alamesacuba.com/es/la-habana/restaurant/europa/)
Also, restaurant La Mina is similar… you can check it out here (http://www.alamesacuba.com/es/la-habana/restaurant/la-mina/)
Chu-Chu-Wah – For something casual, this is a good place. The prices are cheap, but the food is good. It’s like a fast-casual restaurant you would find anywhere in the world. They serve Italian food and also hamburgers.. They have a website with prices too (http://www.actiweb.es/chuchuwah/)
Art Pub – Like a pub; food and drinks. Locals like this place. Popular with students. It’s small, but very clean and good looking. It’s a simple place, and that is part of it’s charm. Not expensive. (http://www.alamesacuba.com/es/la-habana/restaurant/art-pub/#)
I hope this helps you. I didn’t write much about the foods at the different restaurants. If you’ve been to Cuba then you already know that most restaurants basically sell the same types of foods. The list of available ingredients in local markets is low, so there is not a whole lot of variability in restaurant offerings. Pork, pizza, pasta, some fish, chicken. The main differences between restaurants is how they present the foods and the ambiance. All of the above restaurants should be appealing and they are a good value.
take care and have a great trip!
DianshanGuestJuly 18, 2015 at 6:44 amPost count: 195
- This reply was modified 8 years, 7 months ago by Mario.
Great info on food places! Just to confirm, can we tourists visit local places for food or only those tourists restaurants? I do see that tourists restaurants are a lot more expensive and to eat there 2-3 times a day for the time I’ll be in Cuba will cost a fortune. Another question related to that would be the currency – we normally will change CUC, but local places charge by CUP – how then do we get CUP? Have you tried the street food?Mario RizziGuestJuly 19, 2015 at 3:04 amPost count: 195
Hi, tourists can eat wherever they want. I prefer to eat street food during the day. I will only go to a restaurant at night… and usually only to cheap, locals restaurants which charge in CUP. I almost never go to restaurants that charge CUC. It really is simply a choice… I like to stay in places away from the tourist areas, and in those places, most restaurants just charge CUP.
As for currency, you can exchange you currency at a CADECA for CUC.. and then, at the same CADECA, you can exchange the CUC into CUP. You just do it in 2 separate transactions. First to CUC, then to CUP.
When I am in Cuba, I do 90% of my shopping in CUP. I buy food in the markets in CUP. I buy beer at local shops in CUP. Restaurants in CUP. Cinema and shows in CUP. Taxis in CUP. .. The only thing I pay for in CUC is the casa particular, and if I go to a more upscale restaurant or bar, I use CUC.
In the end, you save some money. The trip still costs, but you save by using CUP. It is perfectly legal.. And, in fact, it is likely that in the next few years they will eliminate the CUC currency and use only CUP.. The government has been talking about it, and will probably start doing it in the near future.
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