EL BIKY RESTURANT & BAKERY
El Biky is one of Havana’s newest cooperative restaurants, but it is more than that, it is also a bakery and a bar. In Central Havana, at the intersection of Infanta and San Rafael Streets, just a few blocks behind the University of Havana campus. It is centrally located, and is worth a stop for either lunch or dinner. Right next to the restaurant are the El Biky bakery/pastry shop that’s take-out only, and a door over is the bar that has table service, and offers the same food and menu as the restaurant. Though it is a coop, and co-owned by its’ employees and the Cuban government, it is very nice, everything is new, clean, and nicely done. The pizza is not the usual Cuban variety with a lot of dough and some tomato paste, they actually put some effort into them, they have a thin crust, and they are pretty good. But I definitely wouldn’t order a pizza, because everything else is much better. The typical Cuban dishes are all good, from grilled chicken or pork chops with black beans and rice, they are all excellent. Try the grilled octopus, it is awesome! They also have wine by the bottle, and the glass, and the bakery next door has great bread.
Prices are low for Yumas, that’s what they call Americans in Cuban slang, with lunch costing about $14 USDs with coffee and drinks. The service here is typical of Cuban restaurants, and depends entirely on your luck. Sometimes the waiters are on the ball, and sometimes they’re totally batty, and they all disappear simultaneously for ten minutes. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! El Biky is in Central Havana, just a few blocks from Vedado and the University of Havana campus.
The address is Esquina Infanta y San Rafael, and the phone number is 7 870 6515. Reservations for dinner are a must all week, and also required for lunch on weekends. If you get there and there’s a long line, check the opposite side of the building where the bar is, it’s sometimes empty while the restaurant is full, they serve the same food and it’s just as nice.
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By Frank Gonzalez