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. La Guarida

    $$$$ | Centro Habana | Latin American

    Still Havana's most famous paladar, La Guardia has reached almost legendary status. Enrique Nuñez and his wife, Odeysis, have transformed their...Read More

  • 2. La Flor de Loto

    $ | Centro Habana | Chinese

    While both its decor, neighborhood, and context may be Chinese, this restaurant has very little to do with the Orient. (Frankly, rare is the...Read More

  • 3. Los Nardos

    $ | Centro Habana | Cajun

    Situated right across from the Capitolio, it might be easy to miss Los Nardos if it wasn't for the long queues. Popular among locals, hefty...Read More

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