Private restaurants (paladares) were legalized in Cuba during the 1990s, but it is since Raoul Castro started encouraging small business development that many internationally trained chefs have been returning to Cuba, bringing their flair, knowhow and capital to fund a host of exciting new eateries.

Cuisine in Cuba

Cuba has a rich cuisine that evolved out of the island’s layered, émigré history. Cuba Private Travel can bring you to meet up with these entrepreneurial restaurateurs and the small organic farmers who supply them. In all likelihood they will have a feast of freshly prepared ingredients waiting for you as well. The trick is knowing where to go and who to ask! Havana’s many paladares offer the full breadth of the Cuban foodie experience, from the raw, domestic earthiness of classic Creole cooking to the finest sirloin with a shrimp and celery mousse.

Here are some highlights from Havana!


Spectacular views:

  • Jíbaro

    This small, cozy restaurant in up-and-coming San Isidro, a colorful neighborhood in Old Havana, has the most delicious mocktails and a fresh, modern uptake on traditional Cuban food. Not to miss: every Friday chef Diana hosts theme night, with delicious international and local cuisine.

    Best for: Drinks with friends, Tapas, Friday theme nights.
    Don't miss: Seviche, low-temperature ribs, “la completa”, handcrafted pasta
    69 Merced Street between Cuba and San Ignacio, Old Havana
  • Grados

    Fine dining in a hip atmosphere created by chef Raulito Bazuka and artist friends. Authentic Cuban cuisine with a modern twist, in an unusual combination of informality and stylish cuisine… but it works!

    Best for: Fine dining, cocktails, a night out with friends
    Don't miss: Smoked fish, mojitos, tasting menu experience
    562 E Street between 23rd and 25th, Vedado
  • Arrecife

    Jumpin joint with excellent cocktails and great views

    Calle 32 & Avenida 1ra, Miramar, Havana
  • Antojos

    Excellent place for lunch or dinner and great cocktails in a beautiful part of old Havana. It's a time travel to the past to enjoy feelings, rhythms and authentic flavors.

    Callejón Espada e/ Cuarteles y Chacón,, Old Havana
  • Costa Vino

    Costa Vino combines creative dishes from Mediterranean, Cuban and international cuisines with a wide selection of wines.

    Best for: Wine, great views, elegant dining, wine pairing.
    Don't miss: Pork loin with chicharrones in tamarind sauce, Thai shrimps
    1209 Calzada Street apt. 1 between 18th and 20th, Vedado

Old friends are always the best!

  • Otramanera

    Elegant, sophisticated and contemporary. Otramanera provides a great dining experience, combined with its excellent wine list — definitely one of the best in town.

    Best for: Formal dining, wine lovers, romantic couples
    Don't miss: The beef cooked at low temperature over roasted potatoes and caramelized onions
    35th Street between 20th and 41st, Miramar
  • La Guarida

    Two decades on, this place has become synonymous with fine dining in Cuba. In terms of overall quality and atmosphere, La Guarida is pure value.

    Best for: Something more than a Cuban gastronomic experience
    Don't miss: The Smoked Marlin tacos with rum perfume, mayonnaise, and capers appetizer, the suckling pig in a savory honey and orange sauce (try it with Champagne)
    418 Concordia Street between Gervasio and Escobar, Central Havana
  • El del Frente

    Definitely one of the coolest bars/restaurants in town. The drinks here are exceptional. Light a cigar on the rooftop and try one of the best gin tonics, daiquiris, and mojitos in Havana.

    Best for: Exceptional drinks, light meals, get together with friends
    Don't miss: Bloody Mary “Cesar Premium”, any Daiquiri available
    303 O’Reilly Street between Habana and Aguiar, Old Havana
  • Jama

    The eccentric mix of Cuban and Asian cuisine served here is an interesting addition to Havana. Cool and authentic, Jama is one of the go-to places right now.

    Best for: Casual dining, quality Asian food with amazing drinks
    Don't miss: The steamed dumplings and signature fried rice with seafood and spices, Bloody Mary “Samuray”
    261B Aguiar Street between O’Reilly and Empedrado, Old Havana
  • La Esperanza

    La Esperanza is one of those places which gives out its own microclimate so far removed it is from your typical Havana dining experience. The décor is a riot of a quaint English drawing-room somehow mixed up with an art deco-gone-baroque style.

    Best for: Great drinks, no menu; the daily special is recited!
    Don't miss: Gin and Tonic, mojitos, Oshun banana
    105 16th Street between 1st and 3rd, Miramar
  • 5 Sentidos

    With the chef’s exquisite interpretation of traditional recipes, this new paladar measures up to our expectations and goes beyond. It is now the talk of Havana.

    Best for: Fun meals in the heart of Old Havana.
    Don't miss: The salmorejo, ceviche and the exquisite lamb
    67 San Juan de Dios Street between Compostela and Habana, Old Havana
  • La Cocina de Liliam

    A legend long before Cuban food became legendary, with classy service, secluded ambiance, and freshly cooked food to die for.

    Best for: Fine dining, early evening, family dinners.
    Don't miss: Fried chickpeas, lamb stew, paella
    1311 48th Street between 13th and 15th, Miramar

Sandwiches and snacks

Ice cream parlours

Eating out in Cuba