• Cuba Travel





This is a hard list to put together since opinions vary greatly about what makes a bar good. These places have full bars and great live music, plus you’ll find lots of locals at most of them. They are all on the list because they are the best at what they offer, and they are consistent. Some of these may be considered nightclubs, but they are all small venues, and they all have live music a few nights a week.

Corner Café has great live music in a small space that tends to get packed, but cold drinks, food, and fast service are awesome. Great local artists in Vedado, just steps from the malecon.

Espacios is the largest of the five and has a large outdoor area and is the best for people watching. It’s sort of a combination bar/nightclub/restaurant. It has a ample menu and the best food of all five. Espacios is in Playa but very close to Vedado and the Fabrica de Arte Cubano.

EFE has the best great crowd of all five! In Vedado on 23rd and F Street, the crowd is composed of locals and foreigners, mostly college age. Live music, Jazz fusion, is excellent when they have it, usually on Thursdays and Fridays, if not the DJ’s play a good selection of international hits. The food and service are very good.

La Zorra y el Cuervo, world-class Jazz in Vedado! Very limited menu, you should probably eat somewhere else, but centrally located near the Hotel Nacional and a few blocks from the malecon.

Jazz Café Miramar, world-class Jazz in Playa! You may be one of only a hand-full of patrons at this small bar in the Havana suburb of Playa, but the lack of a crowd is no indication of the quality of Jazz that is performed here several nights a week, and the acoustics are awesome. Cuba’s best Jazz musicians play here regularly, check the schedule that’s posted outside. Menu is limited, and the food is not very good, but the beers are cold and the drinks good.

The last two are owned and operated by the Cuban government, hence the so-so food, but they still draw the best musicians in Cuba. Have fun and enjoy Havana!

By Frank Gonzalez

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