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5 of the best restaurants, bars and cafes in Cuba

26 December 2015 ( 04 January 2017 )

Filled with atmosphere and a welcoming vibe, homely Cuban restaurants serve some of the most wondrous dishes you’ll come across anywhere in the world.

A Cuban restaurant
Cuban cuisine is filled with wonder and flavour...which one would be your favourite?

Popular foods in Cuba include everything from rice and black beans to chicken and shredded beef, and sampling the island cuisine is a real treat for your taste buds. 

Below are five of the most popular foods of Cuba and the best places to indulge in them.

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Moros y Cristianos at Doña Eutima

Step into Doña Eutima and you’ll find yourself in an easy-going restaurant, which is definitely a go-to place for fine Cuban cooking. 

This paladar — the Cuban term for privately owned restaurants named after the person who runs them — rustles up some gorgeous moros y cristianos (‘Moors and Christians’), a dish of black beans and white rice, which is one of the flagship dishes of Cuban gastronomic culture. 

With cosy sofas and lively colourful cushions in the coffee bar area plus soft lighting in the dining room, both the food and the ambience of this restaurant will charm you.

Tostones at Café de los Artistas

Situated on Calle Aguiar in Old Havana, the elegantly named Café de los Artistas is a warm, down-to-earth restaurant and the ideal place to sample tostones

Crushed just the right amount and then fried, these plantains boast a delicate texture and a sweet and sensational taste. While you are at the restaurant you can also enjoy light fish and pasta dishes at reasonable prices. 

On the walls of this eatery you’ll find pictures of the greats of Cuban dancing.

Ropa Vieja at Porto Habana

Literally translating as ‘old clothes’, the delicious traditional Cuban dish of ropa vieja is nothing of the sort, but rather a colourful meal of shredded steak served with vegetables. 

You can sit down to this tasty Cuban dish with a glass of red wine at Porto Habana, in New Havana. Located in a high-rise building, the restaurant overlooks the Cuban capital to provide you with a view as inspiring as the food.

Lechón asado at Nao Bar

Lechón asado (roasted pork) is one of the house specialties at Nao Bar and it is a popular dish in Cuba. 

Located near the waterfront in Havana’s historic centre, the bar features decor that imitates an 18th century galleon and you can take a look at the ship memorabilia as you dine. 

The chefs at the restaurant are dedicated to finding the best ingredients in Cuba so that you can sit down to a truly marvellous meal. For dessert, why not try one of the restaurant’s refreshing piña coladas?

Chicken in bitter orange sauce at El Aljibe

Chicken dishes are something of a masterpiece in Cuba since they are prepared with a range of seasonings. At El Aljibe, the chicken is served in a bitter orange and garlic sauce, a quintessentially Cuban style that you’ll find in many a recipe here. 

The restaurant is buzzing with atmosphere, allowing you to enjoy some live music while you eat your meal.

The history of Cuba makes it an interesting place for foodies since it is a real fusion of different cultures. 

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With fine food influenced by places like Spain, Africa and the Caribbean, plus invigorating drinks, such as the cocktails and the cuba libre (rum and coke), the island feels almost designed to delight the palate.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.