Havana: Food Guide - Dining Out

Capital of Cuba

Although the city is home to innumerable restaurants and cafes, food & drink in Havana will not appeal to all visitors. From traditional Cuban cuisine to its legendary cocktails, you might think there may be something for everyone, however due to strict limitations on imports, Cuba's food is all locally produced. Like many services in Cuba though, there is a state run option and a private option. State run restaurants have improved considerably in recent years, as Cuba has opened up further to tourism, but the more expensive, private restaurants are still the best choice for the gastronome. All kinds of Cuban cuisine is available, and it is possible to get a real flavour for the food of the island in most restaurants. The cooking itself is a fascinating mixture of Spanish, African and Caribbean styles. Prices vary enormously - some of the most celebrated restaurants can cost between £20-50 per head, whereas a more modest outlet (many of which still provide excellent traditional Cuban fare) can cost as little as £7 per head. International cuisine is not something the island is famous for, and the fact that the only McDonalds on the island lies at Guantanamo Bay military base gives you an idea of Cuba’s attitude to fast food. Be sure to check your bill thoroughly, as rogue drinks and starters appearing ‘accidentally’ is a common ruse to part tourists with their cash. 10% is the accepted gratuity, and will often be added automatically.