Havana Restaurants

Shortages of raw materials and a bureaucratized approach to food preparation in state-owned restaurants have produced many a mediocre meal, but with the privateer restaurants leading the way, Cuban cuisine is coming back. For the best cooking in Havana, seek out the paladares (privately owned establishments; the name, which literally means "palates," was cribbed from a popular Brazilian soap opera in which the heroine makes her fortune with a roadside restaurant named "El Paladar de Raquel"). Call ahead to reserve a table if you go to a paladar, and never believe a taxi driver who swears to you that the place is closed; he gets a commission for taking you to the place he is flacking for.

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  • 1. Hanoi

    $ | Centro Habana | Cuban

    Also known as Casa de la Parra (House of the Grape Arbor), this simple, yet elegant restaurant only specializes in typical criollo and Cuban...Read More

  • 2. Jardín del Oriente

    $ | La Habana Vieja | Cuban

    Those on a budget should try this lovely little place located in the gardens of Café del Oriente, which is just around the corner. A favorite...Read More

  • 3. Restaurante Europa

    $ | La Habana Vieja | Cajun

    From its beginnings as the 19th-century Europa Café, the onetime famous colonial-style café and candy shop has reopened as a restaurant serving...Read More

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