Cuba travel: Where to eat

Top 10 options for foodies in Havana

(Associated Press)

HAVANA – With a nearly non-existent wholesale food industry and an agricultural system that can't keep up with demand, chefs face a shortage of ingredients. But they do not lack of creativity.

Since Cuban officials legalized privately-owned restaurants in 1993, the paladar circuit in Havana has been growing.

To catch up, mobile phone app A la Mesa Cuba provides a directory that helps tourists find their best options.

Here is a list of some of the most popular restaurants in Havana:



Reservations are required. The tables are set with antique china and glassware and the artwork changes and is usually for sale. The menu is handwritten and it changes every day. 


Address: Calle 5ta, No. 511 altos, Paseo and 2nd in the Vedado neighborhood

Phone: 53-7-836-2025

7 recommendations: Saveur, Thrillist, The Guardian, National Geographic, The Culture Trip, CNN  and The New York Times recommend it.



La Guarida:

Reservations are required. It has been open since 1996 with a menu that includes Malanga Gnocchi and Watermelon Gazpacho with Grilled Shrimp. It was the site of the film "Fresa y Chocolate" in 1993.


Address: Concordia No. 418/ Gervasio y Escobar, Central Havana

Phone: 53-7-866-9047

6 recommendations: Saveur, Thrillist, National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, The Culture Trip and The New York Times recommend it. 

Celebrity guests: Beyonce, Jay-Z,  Ana de Armas and Natalie Portman



Le Chansonnier:

Reservations are required.  Italian chef embraces nouveau cuisine with main courses that include the Duck Le Chansonnier, chicken breast with a tamarindo sauce. 


Address: Calle J, No. 257, in the Vedado neighborhood.  

Phone: 53-7-832-1576

6 recommendations: Saveur, Thrillist, The Guardian, National Geographic, CNN and The New York Times recommend it.


Doña Eutimia:

Reservations are required. They serve Creole Cuban cuisine with a menu that includes Ropa Vieja del Chorro, the house specialty. 


Address: Callejon del Chorro No. 60c, Plaza de la Catedral in Old Havana.  

Phone: 53-5-270-6433 

5 recommendations: Thrillist, The Guardian, National Geographic, The Culture Trip and The New York Times recommend it. 


Cafe Laurent:

Reservations are required. Seafood with views of the sea. Items on the menu include the octopus carpaccio. 


Address: Calle M #257 penthouse c/21 y19, 1200 in the Vedado neighborhood.  

Phone: 53-7-831-2090

5 recommendations: The Guardian, National Geographic, The Culture Trip, CNN and The New York Times recommend it.



San Cristobal

The restaurant is in a 20th-century mansion. Cuban dishes include the Solomillo de Cerdo a la Campesina

Address: 469 San Rafael.  

Phone: 53-7-860-1705

3 recommendations: Thrillist, The Guardian and The Culture Trip recommend it.

Prominent guest: U.S. President Barack Obama. 


El Cocinero:  


The restaurant is under an imposing brick chimney and requires going up three flights of circular stairs to an outdoor terrace. Tapas are their specialty. Some of them include the Croquetas de Pescado, Chorizos Parrilleros and the Empanadillas. 


Address: Calle 26, between 11 and 13 between the Vedado and Miramar neighborhoods


3 recommendations: Saveur, Thrillist and The Culture Trip recommend it. 

Celebrity guest: Katy Perry



La Cocina de Lilliam:

The restaurant's menu includes seafood, lamb, pork, chicken and veal options. 


Address: Calle 48, 1311, between 13 and 15, in Playa

Phone: 53-7-209-6514

3 recommendations: National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler and bonappetit recommend it. 



Santy Pescador:

The restaurant serves sushi at a small fisherman's wooden house. 


Address:  Calle 240A, Jaimanitas near the Marina Hemingway

Phone: 53-5-264-5843 and 53-7-272-4998

2 recommendations: Thrillist and bonappetit recommend it. 



Corte Del Principe:

A casual restaurant serves Italian food. The menu doesn't include pizza.  


Address: At Pjea between Libertad and Victoria

Phone: 53-5-255-9091

2 recommendations: Saveur and Thrillist recommend it. 








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