Until recently, this colourful Caribbean island was far from renowned for its food. But since the economic reforms of 2011, the restaurant scene in Cuba has flourished with displays of extreme creativity and skill. Now is the time to visit, to get a taste of both the traditional and the newly emerging era – and the dining options are almost endless.
You can spend as little or as much as you want in Cuba, and rest assured that if you are travelling on a budget, you can enjoy a wide variety of vibrant local dishes. Here are just a few recommendations:
1. Breakfast in your casa particular will set you up for a day of exploring. If it’s not included with your room, it’ll cost no more than £3, for which you’ll be served fresh juice, coffee, a tropical fruit plate (with amazing mangos), eggs, bread, sometimes pancakes and maybe even a grilled cheese sandwich.
2. If you’re in Havana at the weekend, don’t miss a night out at Fábrica de Arte Cubano. This cultural centre in a converted factory is a hive of creativity, with art exhibitions, live music and wonderful food and drink. Grab a stamp card on the way in, order away and pay for what you’ve had on your way out. Open from 8pm Thursday to Sunday – get there early to avoid the queues.
3. Not a cheap eat, but a must-try drink while in Trinidad – a canchánchara is a speciality cocktail made with rum, honey, lime and ice that is served in a small terracotta cup. To try the real deal, go to Taberna la Canchánchara at 90 Calle Real del Jigüe.
4. Cigars are famously embedded in Cuban culture, with tobacco being one of the main crops grown in the country. Make like Che Guevara and dip the end in honey before smoking – it’s surprisingly flavoursome.
5. For a sugar rush, the cakes are a real treat at Havana’s Pastelería Francesa by Parque Central. This is a great location to sit back, relax and engage in some people watching and vintage car spotting.
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All recommendations have been reviewed and approved as of January 2018 and will be checked and updated annually. If you think there is any incorrect or out-of-date information in this guide please email us at email@example.com.
Travellers are advised to read the FCO travel advice for the country they are travelling to.