Caribbean Tourism

Cuba

Places to Eat - Sancti Spíritus

El Mesón, on Plaza Honorato del Castillo, in a building which was the first post office, closed Mon. Rumbos has the Saratoga café on the plaza, serving drinks and snacks, and in 2000 will be opening a restaurant overlooking the river. El Conquistador, Agramonte 52 Ote. Delightful building, friendly staff, mainly Cuban dishes, moderate prices, open until...

Places to Eat – Cienfuegos

The place to go for its style, if not for the food, is Palacio de Valle, by Hotel Jagua, a building dating from 1894 in a mixture of architectural styles but with Arab influences predominating, incredibly ornate ceilings and other decorations. Open 1145-2300 for food, from 1000 for drinks, meals US$10-22, speciality seafood, upstairs on the roof is a bar...

Places to Eat – Camagüey

State-run restaurants, apart from those in hotels, include Rancho Luna, on Plaza Maceo, open 1200-1400, 1800-2200, and La Volanta, on Parque Agramonte, open 1200-2300, both of which offer Cuban food and you will be asked to pay in dollars. You can pay in pesos at Pizzería La Piazza on Agramonte on the corner with Maceo, but there may be a queue. On the...

Places to Eat - Varadero

Mi Casita (book in advance), Camino del Mar entre 11 y 12, T63787. Meat and seafood, open 1800-2300. La Cabañita Camino del Mar esquina 9, T62215. Meat and seafood, open 1900-0100. Oshin, Chinese, in grounds of Sol Palmeras. Open 1200-1500, 1800-2300, popular, reservations essential. Habana Café, at Club Las Sirenas, T668070, copy of Habana Café at Meliá...

Places to Eat – Pinar Del Rio

The state-run Rumayor, 2 km on Viñales road. Specializes in pollo ahumado (smoked chicken), overpriced at US$6.50, grim toilets, open 1200-2200, closed Thur, cabaret at night, see below. Nuestra Casa a paladar on Colón 161 entre Ceferino Fernández y Vandama. Pleasant, nicely decorated roof terrace, enormous meal for US$7, pork or chicken with 2 salads, yuca...

Places to Eat – Matanzas

La Ruina. Very attractive Rumbos restaurant converted from sugar warehouse, open 24 hrs, dinner US$2.5-10, delicious pastries, great ice cream, pesos and dollars accepted, live music at weekends. Pekin, 83 entre 292 y 294. Open daily 1200-1400, 1800-2100, foreigners pay in dollars. Año 30, 272 entre 75 y 77. Open Mon-Sat 1200-1400. Café Atenas, 83 y 272 on...

Places to Eat - Havana

Miramar: El Tocororo(national bird of Cuba), 18 y Av 3, T242209. Excellent food at US$40-60 a head, open Mon-Sat 1230-2400, old colonial mansion with nice terrace, great house band, no menu, ostrich steak, prices fluctuate widely but one of the best restaurants in town. La Cecilia, 5 entre 110 y 112, T241562. Good international food, mostly in open air...

Places to Eat & Entertainment – Ciego de Avila

There is the usual crop of low quality state run restaurants, including the followings: Mesón El Fuerte, Av Las Palmas on Plaza Camilo Cienfuegos; Moscú, Chicho Valdés 78, closed Wed; Solaris, on west side of Parque Martí, top floor of 12-storey building; El Colonial, Independencia 110, nice courtyard; La Romagnola, Chicho Valdés y Marcial Gómez, Italian;...

Places to Eat - Santiago de Cuba

Hotels have restaurants & mostly serve buffet meals. Three restaurants run by Rumbos (Combinado is the collective name) on Plaza Dolores (known as Búlevar locally), Italian, Chinese and creole food, quite expensive and low on local atmosphere; opposite them on Búlevar is Matamoros, which is better although prices are quite high with a system of US$1=1...

Places to Eat – Holguín

There are several paladares. Aurora, on Martí, has a good reputation and is popular. Jelly Boom, also on Martí, near the cemetery, is supposed to be the best in town; ask around for others as they change quickly. Pizzería Roma on Maceo with Agramonte at the corner of Parque Céspedes, is state-run. La Begonia, is a Rumbos cafetería on the Plaza Central....

Places to Eat – Guantanamo

Restaurante Caribe, on top of a tower block near Hotel Guantánamo. Local food, pay in pesos. Plenty of paladares, most of whom charge in pesos but will accept dollars. Price should be about 45 pesos per person, but some raise it for tourists. Two paladares on Av de los Estudiantes (Paseo) and a number of street stalls selling pork sandwiches for 5 pesos,...

Places to Eat – Guardalavaca

El Cayuelo El Cayuelo, short walk along coast from Las Brisas, good for lobster, open daily 0900-2300. Most hotel restaurants in the hotels offer buffet meals which get very dull after a few days. There are restaurants in the Centro Comercial but no paladares in the area.

Places to Eat – Bayamo

Restaurante 1513 Restaurante 1513, Gen García esquina General Lora, T425921. Open 1200-2200, small but recommended by many Bayameros. La Casona La Casona, Plaza del Himno Nacional, behind the church in a corner. Nice wooden bar, pizzas or spaghetti for 5 pesos, courtyard at the back completely covered at head height with flowering vine, lots of little green...

Places to Eat – Baracoa

The isolation of Baracoa has led to an individual local cuisine, mostly featuring coconut milk and fish. 80% of Cuba’s coconuts are grown here. Don’t miss the cucurucho, a delicious mixture of coconut, fruit and sugar served in a cone of palm leaves and sold at roadsides for about 3 pesos. Lots of paladares, many of which are well-established, most offer...

Food & Drink

Food: Food is not Cuba’s strong point, although the supply of fresh food has improved. Hotels tend to serve buffet meals which can get tedious after a while, but breakfast is usually good and plentiful and you can stock up for the day. The best meals at reasonable prices are to be had in the private restaurants, known as paladares, where you can get items...