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Dining in the provincial capitals and towns is spotty; some places are acceptable while others seem fortunate to be able to provide nourishment at all. Pinar del Río and Cárdenas, for example, have no acceptable restaurants. Varadero has several good Italian, Chinese, criollo, and international options, though buffets in hotels tend to be mediocre. Look for local staples, such as crocodile tail
Look for local staples, such as crocodile tail (said to be an aphrodisiac) at Guamá, roast pork on the Isla de la Juventud, and lobster at María la Gorda.
Reservations aren't necessary, except in Varadero—especially at the Mansión Xanadú and Antigüedades. Tipping is important to Cubans; an extra peso here or there is much appreciated. Credit cards not affiliated with U.S. banks or companies are accepted in most government restaurants and hotels, though never in paladares (privately owned restaurants).