In the Vedado, one of Havana’s liveliest neighborhoods, you’ll find a jumble of state restaurants and paladares that have multiplied at the speed of light in recent years.

Some of them are really good, and even if it’s often a bit more expensive, it’s really worth it.

Our selection presents you with establishments that have given back to gastronomy its letters of nobility in Cuba.

Gourmet break

COPPELIA

Calle 23, at the corner of Calle L

Open every day from 10am to 7pm.

The Coppelia remains the most famous glacier in the country.

You can find its branches all over the island. Very popular meeting place for the inhabitants of the capital, customers settle on the 1st or 2nd floor.

Remember, however, that you are not in Rome or Naples! Nothing to do with Italian ice cream…

Coppelia’s ice creams are particularly sweet and the artificial flavours, you’ve been warned. 

Good and cheap

CARIBEÑO
  • Calle 21 n° 62, at the corner of Calle N
  • +53 7 830 0383
  • Open from noon to midnight. Between 4 and 10 CUC the dish.

The sign opened in the 1940s.

The price-quality ratio for the delicious Cuban and international cuisine on offer is one of the best in the city, which makes up for the somewhat sad setting of the place.

The homemade dish, the grilled pollo will delight you.

Note that in the evening, from 11pm, the restaurant turns into a cabaret.

THE CATEDRAL
  • Calle 8 n°106 Between Calzada and 5ta
  • +53 7 830 0793
  • Open from noon to midnight.
  • Count 5 CUC the meal.

This new restaurant with a simple setting is excellent value for money, one of the best you can find in Havana.

The menu is simple, consisting mainly of pasta dishes, classic Cuban dishes and pizzas, but the portions are consistent and the prices are really low.

A large pizza costs between 2.95 CUC and 5.95 CUC.

As for the mojito, it is really cheap at all: 0.95 CUC! And it’s good, we tested it.

A good plan for wolf hungry people and tight budgets.

EL PERRO CALIENTE
  • Avenida 23 At the corner of Calle K
  • Open 24 hours a day. 10 Cuban pesos for the sandwich and 10 Cuban pesos for the drink.

A little hungry? Head for El Perro Caliente, the home of the hot dog, where you can treat yourself to a small sandwich with delicious chicken or pork sausages for a riquiqui price, at any time of the day or night.

This typically Cuban address is also the opportunity to live a very local experience, far away from other tourists.

The proof: you pay in Cuban pesos and not in CUC. Enjoy your meal!

EL GRINGO VIEJO
  • Calle 21 no. 454, between Calle E and Calle F
  • +53 7 831 1946
  • Open every day from noon to 11pm.
  • Dishes from 6 to 15 CUC.
  • Ring at the black gate of n°454 Calle 21 until we come to pick you up.

The restaurant is located in the basement.

Once inside, you’ll feel like you’ve left Cuba to eat in a restaurant… American.

This very family paladar is regularly visited by artists from the capital.

Original dishes and good wine list.

NEREI
  • Calle 19, at the corner of Calle L
  • +53 7 832 7860
  • Open from noon to midnight.
  • Dishes from 10 to 20 CUC.

Good Cuban and international cuisine relatively elaborate, served on a shaded terrace of very pleasant Creole style.

Rare enough to be noted, the quality of the bread, almost faithful to our French bakeries.

PUNTO G
  • Calle 17 n°360
  • at the corner of Calle G
  • +53 7 832 8354
  • Open every day from noon to midnight.
  • Count 10 CUC the complete meal with drink.

A small unpretentious paladar at the corner of Calle G (hence its name) where typical Cuban dishes are eaten.

The portions are generous and the service is fast. Very correct prices.

LA ROCA
  • Calle 21 No. 102, corner of Calle M
  • +53 7 334 501
  • Open from noon to 2 am.
  • From 10 CUC the meal.
  • International cuisine.

Quite diversified range of meat, seafood, fish, pasta and rice !

Note the quality of the lobster. Special mention in the cellar with more than a hundred wines on the menu, including good wines from France, Italy, but also from Chile and Portugal.

The setting is simple and unpretentious, yet pleasant. Note that the restaurant turns into a comedy showroom from 10pm (5 CUC per person).

UNION FRANCESA DE CUBA
  • Calle 17, at the corner of Calle 6
  • +53 7 842 4493
  • Located near the Riviera Hotel.
  • Open from noon to midnight.
  • From 5 CUC the dish.

The establishment has several floors.

On the ground floor, it is the restaurant of international cuisine; on the first floor, it is a pizzeria; on the second floor, it serves grills (parrilladas) and Cuban dishes with a terrace as a bonus.

Nothing to do with high gastronomy, but you get your money’s worth. 

Good tables

ATELIER

In a superb white-walled villa, a restaurant, with both a design and old-fashioned setting, is located on the 1st floor.

Works of contemporary Cuban artists decorate the restaurant room with great taste.

The proposed author’s cuisine is delicious.

We particularly appreciated the lobster escabeche and the chicken fajita.

A very good address.

CAFE LAURENT
  • Between Calle 19 and Calle 21 – Calle M
  • +53 7 831 2090 / +53 7 832 6890
  • [email protected]
  • Open from noon to midnight.
  • Between 30 and 35 CUC for the meal and 10 % more for the service.
  • Reservation recommended.

On the top floor of a large building of the Vedado, an extraordinary paladar with a superb view of the city from the terrace or the outdoor bar.

Inside, it’s chic, cosy and designed to the point where you feel like you’re in Miami at times.

The sails, the blinds, the paintings, the furniture from the 1950s, everything has been carefully studied and it’s really successful.

On the drinks side, it’s champagne, cocktails and Rioja wines, and on the food side, it’s a festival of scents and colours.

Your taste buds will love the seafood and meat specialities divinely prepared and presented.

We highly recommend the grilled lobster, which is delicious and hearty, for only 16 CUC.

On the service side, the ladies will appreciate José and Lorenzo, two beautiful dark Cubans, nice as all, but above all very professional.

So, it’s true, it’s a bit expensive, but the prices are more than justified.

It’s really a very good Vedado table.

LECHANSONNIER
  • Calle J n°257 between Calle 15 and Calle Linea
  • +53 7 832 1576
  • Open every day from 5pm to midnight, on Friday and Saturday the evening continues with music until 6am.
  • 30 CUC the meal.

No sign at the entrance of this restaurant, so it is not easy to find it but it is at the same time what makes all its charm!

Only the regulars, or the clever ones, have access to it because they have the address.

You have to climb a staircase to reach the door of a beautiful colonial house.

There, just ring the bell and an elegant waitress will come and open it for you.

However, it is impossible to imagine a restaurant hiding in this house from the outside!

The interior is carefully decorated in a design style, with beautiful contemporary works of art on display here.

The lights are subdued and the whole setting is truly harmonious.

On the food side, the French influence is very much present as the establishment is also based in Paris at 14 rue Eugène Varlin in the 10th arrondissement.

You can therefore recharge your batteries on a culinary level if you are homesick for it.

The wines will help you there because many come from France.

The bar with blue lights is ideal for an aperitif or a small digestive, to the sound of soft lounge music.

A good address.

EL COCINERO
  • Calle 26 – Between Calle 11 and Calle 13
  • +53 7 832 2355
  • Open for lunch and dinner.
  • Reservation recommended at the end of the week.
  • Count from 20 to 25 CUC the meal.

The establishment, opened less than a year ago, is original because it is installed in an old olive oil factory, a big tower that you can see from far away on the road and that you can’t miss!

To reach the restaurant, you have to climb the spiral staircase of the tower, which gives a bit of a lighthouse feeling.

When you get to the top, it’s up to you to see if you prefer to sit on the large lounge terrace or rather in the room, more intimate perhaps and less show off.

The decoration is tasteful everywhere and you can see it even in the plate where the presentation is refined.

Your taste buds won’t be disappointed either because everything, or almost everything, is delicious.

So much so that the French expats of Havana have taken over the place, but so has the local bourgeoisie.

Result: at the weekend, you have to think about booking if you want to dine at Cocinero.

A very good table to discover.

AT FRAGNOL
  • Calle H n°107 Between Calle 5ta y Calzada
  • +53 7 832 2146 / +53 5 3979 127
  • [email protected]
  • Open from 19h to 22h and later on reservation.
  • Count from 17 to 22 CUC the complete meal.

At the end of a small residential street in the Vedado, you can’t miss the yellow front of this establishment with a cat, the famous Monsieur Chat, drawn by the illustrator Thomas Vuille.

A few traces of yellow cat paws, painted on the ground, will show you the way, not far from the entrance.

Sitting on the terrace of a superb colonial house, you will have the impression of being received by a friend, or rather a friend because Chantal is the character here.

This colourful Frenchwoman, who is not lacking in guile, is the owner of the place. She is full of good advice about Cuba where she has been living for several years, and with good reason: she married a Cuban who works with her.

But above all, she has an undeniable quality: she is a cordon-bleu and she has passed on her know-how to her teams.

The house specialities are crab pie, grilled lobster, rossini beef fillet (depending on beef availability) and a smooth octopus for the main courses, and homemade profiteroles or flambéed pineapple for desserts. From the beginning to the end of the meal, you’ll be delighted.

It’s easy to understand why the delegation of the French Film Festival comes to dine there every year; in 2014, the director Christophe Barratier, President of the Festival, accompanied by, among others, actors François-Xavier Demaison and Pierre Niney were there, even privatizing the restaurant.

And in 2015, the festival delegation returned with Costa-Gavras as guest of honour.

In short, it’s a really good address, original and gastro, not to be missed.

RESTAURANT 1830
  • At the corner of Calle 20 Calle Calzada
  • +53 7 553 090
  • [email protected]
  • Open from noon to midnight. From 15 CUC the meal.

A restaurant facing the sea, installed within the walls of a superb 19th century mansion, with a pretty Japanese garden.

One of the best tables in town, run by the French chef.

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