Where to eat in Havana

When Fidel Castro’s brother Raoul took over the country in 2008, he allowed the gradual privatization of hotels and restaurants, forming today’s bed & breakfasts and paladar restaurants.

Consequently, you have two main eating choices: government restaurants and those operated by locals. While the menus tend to be very similar, you’ll find slightly better service at the latter.
What’s on the menu? A traditional dish that I personally loved is ropa vieja, which translated means “old clothes” and features stewed shredded beef with vegetables slow-cooked in a pressure cooker. Another popular offering to tourists is lobster. I had this twice and while portions were extremely generous both times I found the seafood to be overcooked and rubbery. Some restaurants might be a hit though!
For drinks, make sure to try Havana Club rum and Mojitos. The best drink makers tend to be tucked away and hidden.
Here are a couple of the most well-known restaurants:

Paladar Dona Carmela

My tour guide moonlighted as a night security officer at this not-so-secret celebrity spot. Beyoncé and Jay Z dined here (their picture hangs inside) and the menu focuses on traditional Cuban dishes like roast pork.

La Guarida

This is an incredible spot, located in a crumbling building in Centro Havana. From peeling paint to a grand central staircase you absolutely need to try a meal here, even if prices are slightly higher than elsewhere. The quirky interior, unique menu and incredible city views make this a must-try spot!

Casa 1830

This gorgeous restaurant has multiple dining rooms both indoor and outdoor and features the classic “steak or lobster” 3-course menu. At the end of the meal, we were treated to Romeo and Juliet cigars, which made for a fun souvenir!

La Fontana Havana

Come here for the local Cuban classics: beans, chorizo, pork chops and more and stay afterward to dance the night away. La Fontana Havana is known for its excellent drinks and live jazz, making for an unforgettable meal!

Stay in contact

To be informed about the latest news and offers.