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MJE3 Feb 18, 2010 01:40 AM

I would love to hear about great places to eat in Havanna, Cuba. Many thanks.

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    RosemaryHoney RE: MJE3 Mar 3, 2010 10:33 AM

    I posted this report on my experience with food in Cuba:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/613788

    In Habana, we ate a couple of times at the brewery on Plaza Vieja (the name is slipping my mind right now...it's yellow and pretty obvious), which had good beer and decent food, plus a "grill night" with solid burgers. We also ate at a couple touristy spots in Habana Vieja, all of which were just ok. I gave a specific account of El Patio, which is one of the highly regarded restaurants. In addition, we ate at one of the Mediterranean places (can't recall the name now, but it's in the Lonely Planet) and it was very good. Overall, I'd say keep in mind that in Habana, you'll get a lot more atmosphere than tastiness. I found the street food and cheap, pizza places and local establishments to be far better than the restaurants that cater to tourists (true in most places, right?) and those trying to offer some form of Cuban haute-cuisine, despite the limitations of their society.

    But it's a gorgeous, dynamic city, so I'm sure that you will enjoy your trip even if the food isn't outstanding. Have fun!!

    1. Veggo RE: MJE3 Mar 8, 2010 04:46 PM

      It sounds corny, but La Floridita will make a memory with the finest mahogany bar you have seen. The restos at the Nacional and the Melia Cohiba are pretty good, 80 years apart. As are the two at Marina Hemingway. Cuba is indeed the jewel of the Antilles, but it is not a foodie destination. It is a communist economy, without price lists or cash registers.
      Pero no le preocupe, le gusta lo que offrece por seguro.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Veggo
        justbeingpolite RE: Veggo Jul 9, 2010 06:30 AM

        I thought the daiquiris at La Floridita were far better than the food. There are small private restaurants in private homes around Habana. We ate in a place called Vistamar, in the Miramar area. It was a small home overlooking the ocean with a pool, in a row with similar, but decrepit homes all with empty pools. Very interesting. The food was really good, and different than in the in town restaurants.

        1. re: Veggo
          prima RE: Veggo Oct 20, 2011 10:26 AM

          Has anyone eaten at El Floridita lately? Is there anything you'd recommend on the menu http://www.floridita-cuba.com/contenido/menus_restaurante_floridita.htm besides the daiquiris?

          Neat wiki entry on El Floridita: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floridita

        2. q
          Quimbombo RE: MJE3 Jul 9, 2010 02:23 PM

          Here's a guide: http://www.cubaabsolutely.com/travel/...

          1 Reply
          1. re: Quimbombo
            Veggo RE: Quimbombo Jul 9, 2010 04:50 PM

            A fun site! The pictures are the best part. When lobster thermidor at La Floridita costs the equivalent of $44 US, and the average cuban earns $7 per month, it makes one wonder what the servers think.
            Also, that table that is reserved for Sammy Davis Jr. at La Bodeguita del Medio? They can go ahead and let others use it now because he died 20 years ago :)

          2. v
            VeryOldJock RE: MJE3 Feb 16, 2012 08:39 AM

            La Guarida in Havana was very good at first visit. Not so good a week later - service was very "grumpy". Great location though. Newly opened Ache in Cienfuegos was very good, and Finca La Ermita in Vinales (NOT the hotel) was better than most. We also had reasonable food at bar where Buena Vista Social Club were performing in Havana (27 Jan 12). Some of the food in Cuba is dreadful. It doesn't taste of anything. Beware of state run tourist places, eg El Floridita - good bar, awful food.

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