No one takes food for granted in Cuba, where most remember the shortages of the 90s and each citizen still holds a ration card for supplies. It follows that the restaurant scene hasn’t yet caught the attention of the Michelin team. Instead, the best places to eat are Paladares – restaurants in people’s homes that work as a legal way of making extra money.
You won’t find many options outside the place you’re staying so make the most of the hotel buffet, or the feast that the owner of your casa particular (home stay) will no doubt generously provide.
Lunch and dinner
Most main meals will involve rice, salad and some sort of bean. For carnivores add meat (probably pork) and vegies, an omlette. On the coast you’ll find fish and in big cities and resorts, pizza and cheese sandwiches.
Ice cream is big news here, so much so that the date venue du jour in Havana is Coppelia’s ice cream parlour. You’ll also find lots of fresh, juicy fruit, particularly in rural areas.
Who cares about food anyway, when there are cocktails to be drunk? In Cuba, it’s all about rum: mojitos in the morning, daiquiris at lunchtime and cuba libres (rum and coke) in the evening. Havana Club is the most famous brand and fans should do a tour of the capital’s Museo del Ron.
Stay safe and buy botttled water.