HAVANA TOP 5 RESTAURANTS
TOP 5 HAVANA RESTAURANTS WINTER 2018
HAVANA RESTAURANTS GUIDE
Last year seven of Havana’s best restaurants were closed by the Cuban government. So far this year none have been closed, here are the TOP 5 survivors for the 2018 winter travel season.
Ivan Chef Justo/Al Carbon are in the heart of Old Havana should not be missed, they are across the street from the Museum of Bellas Artes and Museum of the Revolution. There is a bar that’s great to pop-into for a quick drink in Al Carbon, and don’t forget to try the house specialty of roast pork leg, which should be accompanied with congri and yuca, and the cuatro leches dessert. Ivan Chef Justo/Al Carbon are the same place with two names and different seating areas, in Old Havana at Aguacate 9 and the corner of Chacon Street.
La Cocina de Lilliam in the Havana suburb of Miramar is the best place to have dinner if you’re going to the Tropicana Cabaret. Of these five restaurants this is the one that serves “typical” Cuban food and was one of the first paladares to open in Havana. La Cocina de Lilliam is on 48th Street between 13th and 15th.
O’Reilly 304 in Old Havana is the most famous of these five and for good reason. It has an international flair, and the food is a wonderful fusion of local ingredients and the best of the world. This is one of the few places in Cuba where you can order a steak in Cuba! It’s at 304 O’Reilly in Old Havana near La Bodeguita del Medio.
Il Rustico opened in Old Havana in November of 2017 and has already established itself as one of the best restaurants here. It does not serve Cuban food, the owner is Sicilian, and they specialize in Italian and Sicilian food, and it is awesome. If the tuna steak is on the menu be sure to order it! Il Rustico is close to La Bodeguita del Medio and the malecon, and they have Chianti which is next to impossible to find in Cuba! Il Rustico is on San Juan de Dios street between Habana and Compostela.
Dr. Café is one of the first high-end paladars to open in Havana and has very few tables in their air-conditioned dining room, so call ahead if you don’t want to sit outside. The menu changes daily but it’s all good, and the croquetas are the best in Cuba! It’s in the parking garage of a pre-1959 apartment building, and may be a little tricky to find, but it’s worth the effort, you will not be disappointed! Dr. Café is on 24th Street between 1st and 3rd Avenue.
Lunch and dinner will cost from $15 to $25 per person with a couple of drinks. Though they don’t advertise it, most of these take U.S. dollars, and usually at a better exchange rate than the bank. Bon appetit!
By Frank Gonzalez