There is a myriad of restaurants of all categories and standards in Havana, from hole-in-the-wall to luxurious rooftops or venerable mansions. Here are all the best restaurants in Havana gathered in one place!
Restaurants in Havana Cuba have a tendency to stay open most of the day’s 24 hours and transform themselves after the time of day and the moods of the customers.
Some places open for an early breakfast, then they head into lunchtime with more dishes on the menu and higher music. Later they transform into a dinner place during the afternoon with soft music and great ambiance into the evening!
Towards the end of the night, most restaurants are more like bars that serve food as well. Kitchens close somewhere between 10 pm and 2 am.
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Quick Facts Havana!
Havana, the capital of Cuba, was founded just over 500 years ago, and has a population today of around two million!
The city is a noisy, busy conglomerate of beautiful colonial-style houses, narrow streets, wide avenues, music, bars, rubble, and art. There are traces of the colonial era everywhere, as well as US influence, Soviet support, and the ever-present revolution.
Skip to the bottom to learn a little bit more about Havana city districts!
Also read: 33+ Legendary Things To Do In Havana 2023!
So, What Are The Best Restaurants In Havana Cuba?
Here is the overview of restaurants serving you from early lunchtime and into the late-night dinners, organized by the city districts of Havana.
Best Restaurants In Old Havana
Among the best Old Havana restaurants, you find a lot of paladares scattered around the narrow streets.
A paladar is basically a restaurant, the specification is that a paladar is a private initiative, a word often used to describe a family-run restaurant (as opposed to a state-run restaurant).
Some paladares are highly renowned and can be looked up online with a homepage, on Tripadvisor, or other review services, while others are completely offline.
Mojito Mojito is a super cozy place at the bottom of Calle Muralla, just a stone through from the Plaza Vieja. It is needless to say famous for its mojitos but does also have a large drink menu apart from that.
The food menu at Mojito Mojito is varied, from traditional Cuban dishes to pasta and pizza and classic European meals like filet mignon.
The service is super attentive, the staff speaks English and they are flexible for situations when you unexpectedly have to run early and make a doggie bag for you!
During our visit, there was a little band playing to entertain in-house, which can be a “love” or “hate” thing for some people. It is kind of charming but makes your own conversation a bit challenging.
Prices are not the cheapest, I would say $$$($). This is in the hardcore tourist area of Old Havana.
Filet mignon: 1000 CUP/$39
Shrimp in garlic: 500 CUP/$19,5
El Dandy In Calle Teniente Rey
Finally, as place by place has reopened in Havana after the Cuban society started easing up on the covid restrictions in November 2021, one of my favorite places has opened its doors to seated guests again!
El Dandy, on the corner of Teniente Rey and Villegas in Parque Cristo, is back in business! Serving great drinks, wine, and beer, and for the time being, they have a menu of tacos & pasta.
The locale of El Dandy is not at all big, but it is super charming, open (the streets are almost inside), and plays great chill music for your lunch or dinner here. Or just a drink in the bar, if that is what you need.
El Dandy opens at 8 am to start serving you breakfast and coffee, and closes at midnight after the last guest has had the last mojito!
Tacos 550 CUP/$22
A glass of wine 150 CUP/$6
5 Sentidos In Old Havana
On the corner of the streets Compostela and San Juan de Dios, behind large glass windows is a chic place called 5 Sentidos.
This is the kind of place where the staff is “uniformed”, the music is suave, there are white tablecloths on the tables and the wine is served in large elegant glasses.
The menu is a combination of Cuban and International food, and the presentation and the quality are excellent. Also, the service is superb.
5 Sentidos is great for a special date. The ambiance definitely has a more high-end feel to it, that makes you feel that there is a dress code (there probably is), and the food, attention, and atmosphere are equivalent.
I really like this place!
Antojos is a laid-back paladar in a tiny little alley at the end of Callejon Espada between Cuarteles and Chacon in Old Havana and is an inside and outside seating kind of place.
You can enjoy your meal under red parasols in the quiet street, or inside in the charming venue that has a lot of wooden detail and decor.
Have a chicken sandwich for lunch outside, while the street is still calm in the late morning. The food and the service are great, and rumor has it that Antojos is also great for early or late dinners!
Breakfast sandwich 250 CUP/$10
Coffee & juice 200 CUP/$8
Paladar Kilometro Zero
Paladar Kilometro Zero is a tapas bar on the corner of Teniente Rey y Avenida Belgica in Old Havana. It opens super early at 8 am and stays open into the night, so this is one of the places that change ambiance throughout the day.
Two of the four walls of Km Zero have huge open doors to the buzzing life on the street outside.
The interior inside is a busy fiesta of colors with wall paintings, decorations in the ceiling, and walls, a typical Cuban mixture of strong impressions for all senses.
This includes the food, Km Zero has great breakfasts, a super tasty tapas menu for late afternoons and evenings, and often live music into the night. I absolutely LOVE the tiny chicken tacos and the ceviche – demasiado rico!
Taco with chicken & glass of wine 600 CUP/$25
D`Next American Diner
D`Next is a paladar, a private restaurant, that looks exactly like an American diner from the 50ies!
This place also opens early, you can get breakfast here at 9 am – and it stays open late into the evening.
The menu is more American than Cuban, but it does have a variety of international and Cuban dishes available.
Super friendly staff and nice atmosphere “despite” the modern fast-food ambiance in the interior!
Cuban breakfast with eggs and grated cheese, juice & coffee 600 CUP/$25
This place is my absolute daytime favorite for breakfast and lunch in Old Havana. El Cafe has great sandwiches, perfect coffee, and always freshly made juices with lots of ice in the heat.
The interior of El Cafe is elegant, with an incredibly high ceiling, light colors, and classic details, it could easily be a coffee shop in any victorian building somewhere in Europe!
Although not a place that stays open into the small hours, it works well into the afternoon for lunch, so I am putting El Cafe on this list anyway!
Chicken sandwich 400 CUP/$15, coffee & juice around 100 CUP/$4 each.
La Vitrola is a charming busy noisy place on the corner of Plaza Vieja in Old Havana.
It is super touristy but still has an eclectic charm with the crowded ceiling ornaments, jukeboxes, and uniformed staff that are very friendly and all speak English.
They open at 11 am and stay open into the night. You can be seated inside in the middle of all the decor, or outside where the hustle and bustle of musicians and passers-by keep you on your toes.
The menu is varied and international, and there is something for everyone here.
El Floridita Restaurant & Bar
Around 200 meters from my house is the Floridita restaurant and bar, a place that I pass almost EVERY day, but still had not visited in almost three years!
Why is that?
Well, probably because I am allergic to all things touristy. I do think I might be a bit arrogant sometimes in my effort to be a traveler – not a tourist.
El Floridita is probably one of the largest restaurant-tourist attractions in Havana, as it was (one of) Ernest Hemingway’s favorite hangouts. They even have a full-size statue of him inside, sitting at the bar.
So I touched the ground, looked them up, and reserved a table. And I am really happy I did!
El Floridita is divided into two parts, the bar, and the restaurant.
The bar part is where you can hang out along a really long bar, next to Hemingway, or relax in a lounge with a cocktail while a band plays live music in a corner of the room.
The guests are exclusively tourists, yes, but no wonder. The bar is stylish, I conclude.
The Deep Red Restaurant Area
The inner area is where the restaurant is, and that is like a different planet. You take a tiny step up and into the dining hall, which is like a red sinner’s den.
There is rococo furniture, white tablecloths, deep red carpet covering the floor, large murals painted on the walls, and eclectic art and lamps to top it off. Not really what I expected!
Soup + shrimp main course & one glass of wine 980 CUP/$40
Also read: Why You Should Visit Cuba Now!
I decided to have a seafood soup to start (the cheese platter was not available), and a shrimp main course with a glass of white wine.
Quite surprisingly, the soup was exquisite. And so were the shrimps, with pumpkin, possibly the best shrimps I have had in Havana!
If we were a group of people, I think I would have liked to stay here for a full evening.
The experience was not at all touristy, and I stand corrected. I definitely recommend you try the restaurant here when you stop by, and not just a drink and a selfie with Ernest!
In Parque Cristo, on the corner of Calle Teniente Rey and Calle Bernaza, you find Cafe Cristo.
This place is what you might call “authentic“, it has a small entrance with the tired bar just inside, an open window out to the busy street outside, an 80ies fast-food glass-door refrigerator with a couple of beers or sodas (if they have found some that day).
There is a kitchen making traditional Cuban dishes, and previous guests have written greetings all over the walls and ceiling!
You can see the chef doing his thing through a hole in the wall in the kitchen, the staff is pretty relaxed but nice, and normally has a smile for you.
If you want to sit down, there are a few equally brown tired tables to choose from, but lots of people (myself included) get takeaway here!
A comida with rice and chicken is 250 CUP (2,5 dollars), and while you wait you can have a mojito for a dollar and a half, the bartender will whisk it up for you!
More Restaurants In Old Havana
- Teniente Rey 360
- Al Sarten
- Los Nardos
- Paladar Amistad de Lanzarote
- El Almendron
- Paladar Doña Eutimia
- Restaurante Ana, Calle Obispo 2nd floor
Best Restaurants In Havana Central District
Centro Habana, or the Havana Central District, is an area similar to Old Havana, but the streets are narrower, the buildings more scruffy and there is more noise, people, dogs, and, well, dirt.
But there are quite a lot of culinary gems hidden in this area if you want to explore!
This barrio has a lot more Cubans than foreigners walking around, and you will not really spot the super nice bars and restaurants until the night sets over the city.
Malecon 663 is actually a hostel, but they also have a cafe, restaurant, and bar for non-clients.
The place is super cool, situated on the Malecon of course, with an uninterrupted view of the Malecon, the Caribbean Sea, and the entrance to the Havana harbor.
There are seatings on all floors (which are three or four), and from the rooftop terrace, you can enjoy a meal, a drink, AND the glass jacuzzi that is there for guests to enjoy.
The interior is weird and colorful like the Cuban spirit, and there are details to discover everywhere. It may be smart to book here in advance!
Address: Malecon 663, price $$-$$$.
In the narrow Centro Habana street Calle Concordia, there is not a lot of light after the sun goes down. So the tall open double doors that are the entrance to Paladar Michifu are a bright twinkling contrast to the dark street, inviting you in!
Just inside the doors is the elegant bar welcoming you for an aperitif to wind down, before you are shown to your table.
The seating areas are super charming, with lots of colorful pillows, comfy sofas, and artsy details.
Paladar Michifu is a restaurant that is borderline “fine dining”, but has a very chill atmosphere and super decent pricing on large and tasty meals that will keep you full for hours.
The service is great, the staff is ever attentive to your every need, and the ambiance is friendly and social. Make sure to book in advance, this place is very popular!
Address: Calle Concordia, esquina Escobar, Centro Havana. Pricing $$-$$$, pay in cash only (CUP or Euro/Canadian dollars)
La Concordia is also situated in Calle Concordia for convenience, and the absolute best feature of this place is the rooftop terrace!
The entrance from street level is not very noticeable, but there is a guy standing in the doorway to welcome you (and clean your hands).
Then you need to climb two (high) Cuban stories of narrow steps until you reach a cozy restaurant locale with a warm atmosphere.
Another little ascent and you are on the top floor, a super elegant and airy rooftop terrace where you can enjoy a whole evening, as long as the weather permits!
The service is really good, and the staff is very attentive, although it is worth mentioning that on this night in January there were not a lot of guests at La Concordia.
We order red wine, which at the moment is not available in glass, NOR in normal bottles – they only have magnum bottles of wine!
For someone who loses at least 50% of the restaurant vibe without wine (beer does not cut it), that is a downside.
From the menu, you can choose between tapas courses to share or full meals. We chose tapas, and the meals to share were sizeable, but unfortunately, a bit dry, and not completely warm when they arrived.
All in all, the food is no more than ok, the ambiance is superb, the service is very friendly and attentive, and the price is decent. And the view from the rooftop is magic!
Address: Calle Concordia 453, entre Gervasia y Belascoain, Centro Havana. Pricing $$$, pay in cash only.
More Restaurants In Central Havana
- Paladar San Cristobal
- BEMBE Tapas & Bar
- La Flor de Loto
- Doña Alicia
- Viejo Amigo
- Restaurante La Juliana
- Cafe Galy
Best Restaurants In Havana Vedado District
Vedado with its wider avenues and streets has a more quiet and modern vibe to it than Old Havana.
There are several easy-to-spot paladares and restaurants in Vedado Havana, around the area of Calles (streets) 21 and 23, which is also where you find the Yara Cinema and the famous Coppelia ice cream parlor.
Below are a few suggestions, to give you some options to research if you like.
Bone Má In Vedado
Bone Ma is a paladar in a quiet part of Calle 21, hidden on a slightly elevated terrace among large trees providing shadow and a nice airy oasis for your meal. Also, the staff is super friendly, and the service is impeccable.
Like many other places, Bone Ma opens rather early and starts serving breakfast, before the staff, and the menu changes with the day and turns into a lunch place and then a nice dinner venue in the evening.
The menu is varied and offers pasta, salads, and burgers as well as breakfast from all the corners of the world.
Bone Ma opens at 08:30 am, and closes at midnight! A nice breakfast with coffee and juice is 400 CUC, or around €15.
Address: Calle 21 between L and M, price $$/$.
El Loco Loco
Just down the street from the wide majestic stairs up to the grand University of Havana is a tiny little place called El Loco Loco.
This paladar is on the second floor up a super narrow stairwell in a narrow house, and once on the top of the stairs, there is a small restaurant space with bright colored art everywhere!
And a tiny little terrace as well with seating for 2×2 tiny people!
Once seated you can take in all the details of the place, and above the stairwell, you came up you will see portraited all the “santos“, the saints of the Yoruba religion, also called Santeria.
The staff was friendly and quick, I had my cervesa and coffee in no time, and the camarones con ajo, shrimp with garlic, were perfect!
Price: decent, $$.
More Restaurants In Vedado Havana
- Cafe Laurent
- Santa Barbara Paladar
- El Cocinero
- La Paila Fonda
- El Biky
- Cafe Presidentes
- Waoo Snackbar & Restaurant
- Habana blues
- Cafe Mamaine
- Los Amigos
- La Cocina de Esteban
- Havanas 21
- California Cafe
- La Rueda
- La Roca
- Pizzeria Vita Nuova
Best Restaurants In Havana For Fine Dining
For an elegant night out, with excellent service, impressive a la carte menus, and the equivalent of candle-lit dinners, there are also fabulous places to have your dinner in Havana.
Whether you want a romantic date with your partner or just a treat to yourself, these places are highly recommended by former guests from all over the world.
La Guarida In Central Havana
In a building from the beginning of the 20h Century, La Guarida is one of the really fantastic a la carte paladares, privately owned restaurants, in Central Havana.
Hidden behind a double wooden door from a scruffy street, and three stories up, you arrive in an exquisitely elegant lobby kind of area where the staff welcomes you.
At La Guarida, you can choose to be seated elegantly indoors, or if weather permits, in one of the two large white-clothe romantically lit terraces.
The indoor part of the restaurant tables is spread out across various rooms like stately dining halls on beautiful art-tiled floors.
The glass design in the gorgeously crafted wooden doors to the balconies is spotless, and details all over the interior are impressive.
The two top floors both have large terrace areas with elegant dining tables and lighting, providing a stunning night view of the city and also live music from time to time.
Service from start to finish is superb, and when you finish your meal you can move to the little top-floor terrace bar that has framed the view of the city within a huge wooden frame!
At La Guarida, you really want to stay for the whole evening to enjoy everything, I promise you. And try the lobster, you will not regret that either.
Address: 418 Calle Concordia, entre Gervasio y Escobar. Price: $$$$, cash only (€, $, CUP).
Ambiance: Just amazing.
Paladar San Cristobal In Central Havana
I probably have passed Paladar San Cristobal a million times, on my way to the market on San Rafael street where they always have pork and ham for sale.
And I have always thought, I REALLY need to go here sometime!
The elegant, tall, and wide entrance to San Cristobal lies like an inviting little surprise in the rather scruffy and run-down exterior which characterizes this neighborhood.
Finally, I got around to it, right after someone told me this is one of the places President Obama went to dine when he was visiting in 2016. Really! I am thinking it better be good then.
Paladar San Cristobal is for real one of the best restaurants in Havana Cuba, apart from the small matter that they do not have a rooftop terrace (with which I generally have a very close relationship).
The wine is exquisite, the tapas starter to share is super tasty, both fish meals are perfectly done with delicious garniture, and the service is happy, warm, smiling, and fast! Also, the price is not cheap, but not super expensive either.
Consider taking a bici-taxi here, as the place is in the middle of Central Havana’s narrow conglomerate of streets. It is not very dangerous, but you just might get a little lost!
Address: 418 Avenida San Rafael 469, entre Lealtad y Campanario, Centro Havana. Price: $$$/$, cash only (€, $, CUP).
Ambiance: Super cool.
Other A La Carte Restaurants In Havana
- La Cocina de Lilliam Miramar
- La Torre del Oro Focsa building Vedado
- Otramanera Miramar, Playa
- El Cocinero in the Vedado
- Riomar, in Miramar, Playa
- Paladar La Esperanza Miramar, Playa
Check out the best rooftop terraces restaurants & bars in Havana!
Havana City Districts
Old Havana is the original city of Havana, where the city was founded. The narrow colonial streets are encompassed by beautiful architecture hidden behind scruffy house facades with thousands of artsy decorative details.
Around 500.000 habaneros live in Old Havana, and here you find historic plazas, buildings, museums, a catholic cathedral, bars, restaurants, and a few clubs!
Central Havana is the city district with the highest-density population in 2022, and here there are fewer tourists.
Habaneros live their everyday life here, there are small shops, markets, lots of people and cats, and dogs, and the area is more run-down than Old Havana.
This might be the more “authentic” part of the oldest city districts, but hidden here you also find some of the best restaurants in the whole of Havana!
The Vedado is the entertainment district of Havana, with wider avenues, more modern architecture, large parks, and home to the venerable Hotel Nacional, where the elite of the world’s rich and famous partied in the 30ies!
What the Vedado lacks in colonial charm, it regains in space and beautiful places, houses, and hotels. Here are also a lot of embassies, shops and of course, restaurants.
Miramar & Playa
Miramar and Playa is the westernmost highest-end part of Havana today, housing the financial district, conference hotels, international hospitals, and homes of old presidents and other VIPs.
In this area are several luxury resorts, the famous 5th Avenue, Marina Hemingway as well as numerous embassies and financial institutions. And restaurants!
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Super Cheap Places To Eat!
There are two prices for eating out in Cuba; one for Cubans, and one for yumas, extranjeros, turistas. For us visitors!
That is not to say that there are two different menus (although that is sometimes the case, sometimes in print, and other times just decided as you walk in the door).
But some places are super cheap either way, whether you are a visitor or a local. Here is where (or how)!
Doorway Shops And Holes-In-The-Wall In Havana!
Outside the tourist streets of Old Havana, and in the streets of Central Havana, you find private or semi-private doorways where people sell little snacks, like a pan con jamon y queso, sandwich with ham and cheese, little biscuits, home-made juices or yogurt, that kind of things.
This may cost down to 60 Cuban pesos for a small sandwich, which is about 60 cents!
When breakfast is hard to find and I don’t want to go to a breakfast place, I often find one of these doorways and get a sandwich para llevar, to bring home. They are quite nice and super cheap, and I have not yet had any tummy trouble on such occasions if that should worry you!
Wrap-Up Best Restaurants In Havana Cuba!
This article is a work in progress, and I add reviews of more great places to the list of the best restaurants in Havana, Cuba as I eat my way through the bustling Cuban capital.
Hopefully, this will help you find somewhere that is exactly what you want and need for your holiday cuisine experiences!
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Do you have any questions about Cuba? Leave a comment, or send me an e-mail! Happy to help!