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What to Eat in Havana

The food scene in Cuba is unlike few others in the world, but not in the way you might think. Yes, there are staple dishes and notable places to eat and drink, but like much of the country, food is heavily socialized. Cuba has a tricky history with trade relations and, as a result, food must be rationed. As a visitor, your food won't be rationed, but try not to get disgruntled if meals listed on restaurant menus aren't available. And considering the average Cuban only makes 471 pesos (about $20) per month and is typically rationed five eggs during that same time period, don't be surprised if you find locals staring at you for not finishing your meal.

Moros y Cristianos, or congris, may be a phrase you hear at restaurants or see on menus, and no, it doesn't mean its literal translation (Moors and Christians). It's actually a combination of black beans and rice served with your choice of meat. Stews made with shredded beef and vegetables (ropa vieja) are also a popular dish to make in the home, as is suckling pig. Fried plantains are a must-try snack, along with Cuban coffee. Cuban coffee is espresso mixed with sugar while brewing. It is so strong that it is served in tiny cups, so don't expect to find anything resembling a Frappuccino here.

There are two types of restaurants: state-run restaurants and paladares, or private establishments. State-run restaurants primarily cater to Cubans and hold a reputation for offering less than stellar food and service. Paladares, on the other hand, are privately owned eateries housed in residences that tend to offer better food and service. Popular paladares include the French-themed Le Chansonnier, San Cristóbal, which serves Cuban-Creole fusion food, and Atelier. Another iconic eatery lauded by both travel experts and visitors is La Guarida, which was featured in the Oscar-nominated Cuban film, "Fresa y chocolate" ("Strawberry and Chocolate"). The former movie set became so popular that its owner turned it into a restaurant.

As the inventor of the mojito and the daiquiri, not to mention world-class rum purveyors, Cuba – especially Havana – thrives come nighttime. If you're a Hemingway fan, stop by El Floridita, home to the writer's favorite daiquiri. If you want more than just a bar, try Fabrica de Arte Cubano, which features multiple bars and has space for an art gallery, a dance club and a concert hall. For strictly dancing, hit up La Casa de la Música in Centro Habana (there are two locations in Havana – stick to the central one). Tropicana is a name that might come up in your research, too. It's not a club, but rather a historic Las Vegas-style cabaret show. No matter what path you choose, make sure to end your night at El Malecón.  

Find the Best Restaurants in Havana

  • #1
    Lo de Monik
    #1 of 940 Places to Eat in Havana
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 122 reviewsTripAdvisor (122)
    $ - $$ | Caribbean, Latin, Cuban, International, European
    Chacon y Compostela, Havana Cuba
    Read More »
  • #2
    Casa Mia Paladar
    #2 of 940 Places to Eat in Havana
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 614 reviewsTripAdvisor (614)
    $ - $$ | Caribbean, International, Cuban, Latin, Seafood, Fusion
    Calle 1ra #103, entre Calle C y Calle D, Vedado, La Habana, Cuba 1er Piso, Havana 10400 Cuba
    Read More »
  • #3
    Mojito-Mojito
    #3 of 940 Places to Eat in Havana
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 644 reviewsTripAdvisor (644)
    $ - $$ | Caribbean, Latin, Bar, Seafood, Cuban
    Muralla # 166 Entre Cuba y San Ignacio, Havana Cuba
    Read More »
  • #4
    Oasis Nelva
    #4 of 940 Places to Eat in Havana
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 106 reviewsTripAdvisor (106)
    $ | Cuban
    Calle Havana Esquina Muralla, Havana 10100 Cuba
    Read More »
  • #5
    Mas Havana
    #5 of 940 Places to Eat in Havana
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 416 reviewsTripAdvisor (416)
    $ - $$ | Caribbean, Latin, Spanish, Cuban
    Calle Habana, 308 E San Juan de Dios St and O'reilly St, Havana Cuba
    Read More »
  • #6
    San Ignacio 214
    #6 of 940 Places to Eat in Havana
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 351 reviewsTripAdvisor (351)
    $ - $$ | Caribbean, Latin, Seafood, International, Mediterranean, Spanish, Cuban
    San Ignacio 214 Habana Vieja, Havana Cuba
    Read More »
  • #7
    Jibaro's
    #7 of 940 Places to Eat in Havana
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 161 reviewsTripAdvisor (161)
    $ - $$ | Cuban, Fusion
    Merced 69 e/ San Ignacio y Cuba, Havana 10100 Cuba
    Read More »
  • #8
    5 Sentidos
    #8 of 940 Places to Eat in Havana
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 592 reviewsTripAdvisor (592)
    $ - $$ | Caribbean, Latin, Seafood, International, Cuban
    San Juan de Dios # 67 Entre Compostela y Habana, Havana 10400 Cuba
    Read More »
  • #9
    Habana 61
    #9 of 940 Places to Eat in Havana
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 2064 reviewsTripAdvisor (2064)
    $ - $$ | Seafood, Cuban
    Calle Habana No. 61 entre las calles Cuarteles y Peña Pobre, Havana 10100 Cuba
    Read More »
  • #10
    Esquina de Cuba
    #10 of 940 Places to Eat in Havana
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 249 reviewsTripAdvisor (249)
    $ - $$ | Caribbean, Latin, International, Cuban
    Calle Cuba #203 / Empedrado y O"Really Esquina Empedrado, Havana 10100 Cuba
    Read More »
  • #11
    El Cafe
    #11 of 940 Places to Eat in Havana
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 234 reviewsTripAdvisor (234)
    $ | European, Cafe, Cuban
    Amargura #358 e/ Aguacate y Villegas, La Habana Vieja, Havana Cuba
    Read More »
  • #12
    D'Next Bar Cafeteria
    #12 of 940 Places to Eat in Havana
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 529 reviewsTripAdvisor (529)
    $ | Italian, American, Bar, Pizza, Cafe, European, Diner
    Calle Teniente Rey # 512 e/ Monserrate y Bernaza. Habana Vieja, Havana 10100 Cuba
    Read More »
  • #13
    Chacon 162
    #13 of 940 Places to Eat in Havana
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 292 reviewsTripAdvisor (292)
    $ - $$ | Caribbean, Latin, Seafood, Cuban, Central American
    Calle Chacon 162, Esquina a Callejon de Espada, Havana 10100 Cuba
    Read More »
  • #14
    Opera
    #14 of 940 Places to Eat in Havana
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 178 reviewsTripAdvisor (178)
    $ - $$ | Italian, Mediterranean, European
    Calle 5ta N. 204 Entre E y F One block from Presidente Hotel and 600 meters from Melia Cohiba Hotel, Havana 10400 Cuba
    Read More »
  • #15
    Somos Cuba Restaurant
    #15 of 940 Places to Eat in Havana
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 236 reviewsTripAdvisor (236)
    $ | Cuban, Caribbean, Latin, Central American
    San Ignacio 202, Havana 10100 Cuba
    Read More »
  • #16
    San Juan Bar & Grill
    #16 of 940 Places to Eat in Havana
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 331 reviewsTripAdvisor (331)
    $ - $$ | Latin, Bar, Cuban, Caribbean, Barbecue
    San Juan de Dios #9 E/ Habana y Aguiar, Habana Vieja, Havana Cuba
    Read More »
  • #17
    IL Rustico
    #17 of 940 Places to Eat in Havana
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 186 reviewsTripAdvisor (186)
    $ - $$ | Italian, Pizza, Mediterranean, European
    Calle San Juan de Dios . /Entre Calle Habana y Compostela/ Numero 53, Havana Cuba
    Read More »
  • #18
    Otramaneralahabana
    #18 of 940 Places to Eat in Havana
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 217 reviewsTripAdvisor (217)
    $$ | Caribbean, Latin, Cuban, International
    Calle. 35 # 1810, Havana 220150 Cuba
    Read More »
  • #19
    Cafe Brown
    #19 of 940 Places to Eat in Havana
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 134 reviewsTripAdvisor (134)
    $ | Caribbean, Latin, Bar, Cafe, International, Cuban
    San Lazaro No. 1017, Havana Cuba
    Read More »
  • #20
    Maximo Bar
    #20 of 940 Places to Eat in Havana
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 160 reviewsTripAdvisor (160)
    $ - $$ | Cafe, Healthy
    Calle Cuba 6, Havana Cuba
    Read More »

Explore More of Havana

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