A guide to food and drink in Cuba

Wherever you eat while you’re on holiday in Cuba, you’re bound to have a culinary adventure. If you’re dining in Havana you’ll find a fantastic range of restaurants. Venues serving tasty traditional home cooking, as well as those offering a more extensive international menu. In seaside locations such as Caya Coco delicious fresh seafood served in relaxed beach-side venues is the star choice.

Exploring Cuba's delicacies

Traditional Cuban cuisine, known as comida criolla, is widely available and delicious. When touring the island’s restaurants you’re bound to encounter ropa vieja which is a tasty dish of shredded beef and vegetables. You can also enjoy an abundance of sea-fresh lobster and prawns on your Cuba holidays, as well as local pork, chicken and beef.

Pulses and a variety of root vegetables also feature on many menus, so vegetarians needn’t fear. They’re incorporated into delectable Caribbean main courses or eaten as a side accompaniment to those fresh fish and meat options. To drink, look out for classic Mojitos and Cuba Libre – naturally – or fresh fruit juices sold from street kiosks.

La Guarida, Havana

You’ll dine in some style once you enter the hallowed portals of this fantastic restaurant. The venue is called a Paladar, which means it’s a private restaurant and offers the very best of Cuban cuisine. Sit in the elegant dining room and look out over Havana. Hollywood A listers regularly eat here and when you sample the food, you’ll soon see why. Expect traditional Cuban food served with a touch of class and style.

La Cocina del Lilliamme, Havana

For wonderful Cuban food, La Cocina del Lilliame hits the high notes each and every time. This family run restaurant serves plantain, rice and peas as sides and some fantastic pork, chicken and veal dishes as mains. The wine list is extensive and the restaurant also prides itself on its exotic ice creams – expect to sample basil, ginger and cinnamon among the ingredients. Lobster is on the menu alongside many other local delicacies, where the portions are generous and the prices are very reasonable indeed.

Nazdarovie, Havana

The name of this restaurant means ‘cheers’ in most Slavic languages. When you think of Cuba’s long association with so many things eastern European, it does make sense to visit this restaurant when in downtown Havana. There’s green vodka-based mojitos, wonderful Russian dumplings and some of the most stunning cheesecake on the island. Although you won’t eat Cuban food here, you’re sure to be pampered and enjoy a fantastic meal.

Varadero 60, Varadero

Varadero 60 is the place to go for a swanky treat, this restaurant oozes class. With its wonderful decor, its beautifully presented dishes, as well as its tasty repertoire, Varadero 60 certainly delivers on style and delicious food. From lobster courses, to seafood pasta and a fantastic selection of BBQ platters, a meal at Varadero 60 is a superb treat.

Restaurante Donabarbara, Guardalavaca

Sitting in a shaded courtyard enjoying mojitos, or sampling some fantastic ice cream are just some of the pleasures you’ll enjoy at this restaurant. Plantain, rice and peas and sweet potatoes are all on the menu as well as sugarcane juice, if you’re feeling brave. Lobster is something of a house speciality and marlin and chicken are also served. If you’re visiting with a large group of friends and you wish to have a suckling pig, one will be roasted especially for you. With its extensive choice of dishes and fantastic customer service you’ll soon understand why this restaurant constantly receives rave reviews.