Something that really surprised me was the Cuban food!!! It was a lot better than I expected! I mean don’t get me wrong, it’s no way anything like the food in Italy or France, but definitely exceeded our expectations!!! Oh, and they are very keen on rooftop bars too! I did a lot of research beforehand and talked to friends who went before me, so I was able to go to some recommendations for the best places in Cuba! And now, all you have to do is read this post to know the best places instead of doing research for hours and hours!!!
Alright, so let’s get started!!!
1. LA GUARIDA
So this is probably the most popular and famous restaurant in all of Havana. And after going I can see why. When you walk in, it looks like this empty palace, then you walk up this huge staircase and are greeted with this balcony in the picture above. Then, you go up another staircase to get to the actually restaurant! However, our reservations were at 9:00 pm, but we arrived at 8:00, because they have the most amazing rooftop bar. I didn’t know this beforehand, but there are TWO levels to the rooftop bar believe it or not! There is the first level of the rooftop bar that pretty big(first picture below), but then there is another TINY staircase to a smaller rooftop, a bit more intimate(second picture)! And I have never seen a rooftop bar with two levels! Have you?!?!?
As for the food, it was pretty good! Nothing spectacular, but definitely really good! However, you must make reservations about a month in advance! However, just going to the rooftop bar is a must!! You can make reservations on their website, here!
2. EL COCINERO
My parents and I went here the first night we were in Cuba and it was so fun! You ask why? Because it had another rooftop bar! The restaurant itself is actually outside on the rooftop, and then they have their big bar in the front! It was really nice because it had modern furniture and hanging mood lights. Again, you had to walk up a spiral stairwell to get to the restaurant, kind of like you were walking up a tower. The mojitos were fabulous, and this restaurant had really great tapas and the grilled lobster tail was amazing! Here are some pics of the view below!
I talked all about this iconic daiquiri bar in my last blog post! It is a must go to place and you can read about it here!
4. EL DEL FRENTE
This restaurant is located on O’Reily street which is right near Floridita, so it is in the central part of Havana. Again (of course), they have another rooftop bar! When you walk in, they have an inside restaurant, then you go upstairs and they have another bar with table seating, so you can order dinner on the rooftop too! The empanadas were great, and so were the drinks! You can tell they spend a lot of time making and assembling the drinks! Super strong though, so be careful!
5. 304 O’REILY
This was by far the best restaurant we ate at! Again, you must get reservations for this place, because they book up fast! But, you must come here because you will not be disappointed! Their complimentary garlic plantain chips are on another level, the watermelon mojito is insane and is a must! Oh, and their paella is killer!!!!!
Something I did not know, but quickly found out while in Cuba was that they have some amazing ice cream! Seriously!! The best ice cream place in Cuba is Coppelia! You will see a very long line that could take hours to get ice cream, but that line is mainly for the locals. If you want, you can wait in line with the locals and get their ice cream really cheap, or you can go in the “tourist” line for a little more, and have no wait! We went in the tourist line, and it was worth it!! Delicious, delicious ice cream! Yum!!
7. STREET FOOD
Cuba has some really great street food, I was so happy to learn that! My favorite? The churros!!! These were by far the best churros of my life! They were crispy, not mushy like the ones in the US, and the sugar tasted way better than any sugar in the US! LOL!! They also have meat sandwiches, coconut water, and these tortilla chips with cinnamon and sugar!
Well that is it for my food places!! I am currently recipe testing the churros and plantain chips so stay tuned for a blog post on that when I master it! When you guys go to Cuba, you have to let me know if you like my recommendations, and please let me know if you try any other restaurants that aren’t on this list!! Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you soon!