And a full week later I'm going to tackle our favorite eats and drinks in Havana once and for all!
I suggest you take this post with a grain of salt (as you should all of my posts) as these spots are simply my suggestions. I may be leaving off some real gems, so do some digging before you go!
On vacation we typically just like to stumble into wherever our path leads us, however as we quickly learned in Havana that's not always possible- especially when it comes to dinner. If you want to go to some of the more popular spots you will need reservations.
Every person, and every site, told us to go to La Guarida. And so the first thing we did upon landing in Havana was take a cab there to make a reservation. It was the best food we had (and most expensive) but the view on top of the building overlooking the city was well worth it. Had we not made reservations it would have been a 3-4 hour wait we were told.
The first night in Cuba we stumbled upon El Chanchullero, a place that felt like Havana's hipster joint. We didn't have reservations so we had to wait outside for about an hour, but again, we felt it was worth it. It was a cool atmosphere with good service and fun music.
Just down the street from El Chanchullero is a little spot called El Dandy, which might have been one of my favorite places. It had a good hole-in-the-wall feel to it, which we all know I love. El Dandy also had strong drinks with good bar style food. With no reservations we got lucky and only had to wait about 25 minutes.
Our favorite thing to do was walk the streets of Old Havana and sit down at a sidewalk cafe with live music.
Shamefully, we went to Cafe Paris two days in a row. We just enjoyed it so much we figured why not. It wasn't so much the food or the drink that was awesome, but the location that was so great. It was just a few blocks off the main plaza and great for people watching.
We attempted to eat at one of the bigger restaurants right in the plaza (see pic 5) but the service was terrible and the food was extremely over-priced. Makes sense, given its location. You'll be tempted to sit there as well, but I'd suggest just grabbing a drink like we did then moving on down the road. You can do better.
Hotels/ Rooftop Bars:
We went to a different rooftop every day. Below is a pic from the Saratoga. This hotel is gorgeous and so is their rooftop pool. Anyone can go up and enjoy the views and grab a drink by the pool so we took advantage.
Hotel Ambos Mundos was great for pre dinner drinks on their rooftop (and you could get wifi if you bring your internet card!)
And I also suggest sitting outside in the huge chairs at Hotel Nacional de Cuba with a rum drink and a cigar, while taking in the sights. (See last two pics.) I could just imagine the old timey Havana parties that used to happen at this place.
And that concludes some of our favorite spots to eat and drink in Havana. Are they all pretty touristy? Definitely. But we're tourists so I guess it worked!
If you still have questions about Havana ask me below or shoot me an email!
And now it's time to watch Big Little Lies... ahh I can't wait. Is it good? Please tell me it is, I need a new series in my life.
Check out the Do's And Don'ts of Cuba here.
9 Things You Have To Do Before You Visit Cuba.