Today, gastronomic tours to distant and exotic countries are becoming more and more popular. The opportunity to get acquainted with the national cuisine, try not only delicious dishes in advertised restaurants, but also the usual food of local residents is another way to join another culture, discover a palette of new tastes, and expand your ideas about the world. Thousands of photos of resort places remain in the memory of your mobile device, but the best place to store your impressions is yourself! Therefore, once in Cuba, do not remain indifferent to the holiday of life, which lasts all year round on Liberty Island - breathe deeper, look wider and try more often!
But what exactly can you try in Cuba and what makes the local cuisine so special?
Perhaps, unlike French or Italian, Cuban cuisine is not so refined, the main tenet here is: fast, simple, but, most importantly, tasty and nutritious. And also - cheap. If you want to save a lot on food, the first step is to exchange tourist currency for local pesos - they are used to pay in restaurants where locals dine.
You can eat in the capital of Cuba in numerous cafeterias, where the most popular dish is pizza with cheese and ham or chicken, and from drinks - strong and aromatic Cuban coffee. For dessert, you will be offered nuts in burnt sugar or chocolate and guava bars. Prices in such establishments are not at all high.
There is no point in going to government establishments with international, but not always successful cuisine: in private restaurants or "paladares" you will be better fed, and there are more dishes.
Gastronomically, Havana has not yet completely freed itself from American influence - otherwise how to explain the presence of American-style eateries - with fries, hot dogs and hamburgers …
If you prefer to eat in restaurants, and the street barker invites you to come inside - do not rush to agree. After all, in this case, you will pay him a commission, which will be included in the invoice. In general, the drinking and dining places advertised in the guidebooks are intended exclusively for tourists - with an appropriate pricing policy. Trust your intuition, be a traveler in the full sense of the word, and then you will discover many interesting places that are not indicated on tourist maps! For example, small cafes with their own flavor, where you will be fed an order of magnitude cheaper, but no less tasty. Get to know the locals, find out where they prefer to dine - and you will surely not go wrong with the place.
Havana is not only an administrative, cultural, but also a gastronomic capital. Here, national cuisine is often combined with European, and the choice of establishments is so wide that it will satisfy any preference. The Café Del Oriente restaurant is an elite place that not every tourist can afford to visit. The establishment is located on Saint Francis Square, next to the port, and has all the hallmarks of a high-class restaurant: at the door you will be greeted by a porter in a decent suit and escorted to a table, served in accordance with all the rules, where you will be served a signature dish: a rabbit stew in wine, and as an aperitif - expensive French wines and Cuban cocktails prepared on the basis of aged rum.
If you want to dine by the ocean, La Barca is a great place to do so. On the veranda of the restaurant, under the cool sea breeze, you can taste both exotic seafood and national meat dishes. This place is in high demand among tourists, especially at lunchtime.
In the old district of Havana, on Via Obispo, on the first floor of an ordinary residential building, there is an establishment called La Europa, which is famous for its excellent lobster preparation. We recommend that you drop in here in the evening, during which time live music is played in La Europa. The windows of the restaurant overlook the pedestrian zone, so you can watch the life of Havana, enjoying the Cuban rhythms and great taste of food.
The seafood restaurant Santy Pescador has several fishing boats and no printed menu: guests are invited to choose the freshest seafood from the latest catch. Simple port-style décor, wooden tables and views of the boats - nothing will distract you from enjoying the chef's gastronomic masterpieces. In general, all kinds of seafood dishes are worthy of special attention of Russian tourists, because at home they are unlikely to try them so fresh.
Fans of spirits can recommend the well-known brand "Havana Club". This rum is traditionally presented in three varieties, differing in aging: white, gold and old. Many other Cuban drinks have gained worldwide fame. For example, "Daiquiri" is famous for the fact that the American writer E. Hemingway spent more than one evening with this drink in the bar "El Floridita", where tourists tend to get, barely finding themselves in the capital of the island state. Mojito, a sweetened rum flavored with mint and lime, once moved from poor farms to beaches and bars, immediately fell in love with tourists and spread throughout the world. If you don't smoke or drink, then Cuba - the birthplace of cigars and rum - is the best place to try once … That's why it is the Island of Freedom!