The Best of Cuba Restaurants

Rohan Vasa, Writer

This moment in time is a renaissance for Cuba, now that the country has fully reopened for tourism. The hotels in Cuba, top restaurants, music and art scene gives you a chance to see the Cuban hospitality shine, while providing a comfortable level on the luxury scale. The food in particular may not currently earn a Michelin-star, but it’s made with love. The availability of fresh seafood and the inventiveness of the Cuban people shine through in the restaurant scene. So, this is where to eat in Cuba now.

Malecon 663

At minimum, Malecon is where to catch the best sunset in Havana, in addition to where to eat in Cuba now. The ground floor is a cafe, that is decorated with repurposed furniture, where an old suitcase will be a shabby chic table. It’s actually quite creative how they repurposed materials, from the hand railings that are old pipes, and lead you up steep stairs to the roof. Malecon 663’s rooftop terrace has a bar lounge perfect for enjoying the sunset while having some local snacks and cocktails. Their DJ has skills and it’s one of the most special and undiscovered places in Havana. They have thematic nights featuring different live music from 6 pm to 11 pm.

Cinco Sentidos

One of the best dinners you’ll have in Havana is at Cinco Sentidos. This is a warmly lit dinner spot that serves seafood with one of the best selection of wines in town. Cocktails are usually the main beverage of choice, but here you can get a reasonably priced and solid wine. Located in the heart of the historic center, Cinco Sentidos presents dishes that are a fusion of Cuban and international cuisines. The ceviche of the day is a must. The presentation of the food overall is fine dining but in a warm atmosphere, and where to eat in Cuba for an elevated experience.

Jibaro

Jibaro is a small restaurant in Old Havana that has salvaged architectural pieces from the neighborhood to decorate its interior. The menu features classic Cuban dishes with a twist, bringing in Greek and Middle Eastern influences.

El Del Frente

El Del Frente, translating to “on the front” is a hip restaurant with a rooftop terrace and bar. This is where to eat in Cuba if you want to be amongst the stylish locals. El Del Frente has a wide selection of food, especially when it comes to tacos. Their lobster tacos are done up two ways; one that’s a cold lobster salad, and the other that’s warm in a red sauce. The seafood risotto is a Cuban version that is like upscale rice and beans. It’s definitely one of the cooler spots in town. You can spend an evening taking in the views while sipping on one of their exceptional cocktails or having a light dinner.

Yarini

Yarini is located at the top of the recently remodeled Gorría Art Gallery. It is a cultural landmark with a sleek minimalist design and industrial aesthetic and where to eat in Cuba for a chic scene. Besides specialty cocktails, they mainly serve seafood and meats.

La Guarida

This is where to eat in Cuba that’s as classic as it gets. La Guarida started as a small paladar (a restaurant in someone’s home) that seated twelve people. Since then, it has expanded to a full-sized restaurant that has become an icon of the food scene in Havana. They serve traditional Cuban dishes that have been elevated for a modern audience. This is probably the most touristy of all the options on our list, as even Obama stopped by when he was in town. The insider tip is to skip the dinner and head straight up to the rooftop which has one of the best views in the city. Here, you can also arrange a private cocktail-making class. They legitimately teach you to make an authentic Cuban daiquiri and the bites are even better than the food in the main restaurant.

Bleco

Bleco is a bar that brings together drinks, food, and art within one environment. It features classic cocktails and dishes that bring out the best of Havana.

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