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Cuban Restaurants
La Guarida 

La Guarida
Calle Concordia # 418 Entre Gervasio y Escobar., Central Havana
Tel: 537 866 9047
Type: International
Open: Lunch: noon-4. 30pm, Dinner: 7pm-midnight
La Guarida has become a Havana institution especially for people visiting Havana; everyone's been here from Calvin Klein to the Queen of Spain. The setting is marvellous: one climbs cracked and battered marble stairs past a once-grand ballroom full of drying washing to an intimate and enchanting restaurant, which is usually humming with activity. The atmosphere is so wonderfully charming that it is easy to overlook the food which, while consistently good, could be better given that this is such a Mecca. In particular the menu is very slow to change (it was revamped for the first time in many years during 2006).

La Paella 

La Paella
Hostal Valencia, Oficios #53 corner Obraría., Old Havana
Tel: 537 867 1037
Type: Spanish
Open: noon-11pm
One of our favourite choices for dinner in Old Havana, La Paella has a relaxed, intimate and charming ambience fully in keeping with the lovely boutique hotel (Hostal Valencia). The trademark paella dish is not perfect but pretty damn good and the wine selection not bad either.

La paella 

La paella
Calle Oficios No. 53., Old Havana
Tel: 537 867 10 37
Type: spanish
Open: noon-midnight daily
The house restaurant, La Paella, has a specialty of Valencian paella which won the International Paella Prize in Valencia. Their young Cuban chef has also triumphed in other contests, and is a rather proficient cook. The 68-capacity restaurant is decorated in a traditional Spanish theme, complete with bullfight photos, paintings from that country, historical images and more.

La Roca 

La Roca
Calle 21 # 102, entre L y M., Vedado
Tel: 537 834 4501
Type: Cuban
Open: noon-midnight
An extremely popular place with Cubans and foreigners La Roca offers ok food for very good prices in an art décor style setting with multi-coloured glass windows. At 11pm a Cuban comedy set starts up for which there is often a long line of Habaneros keen to see the latest in Cuban humour. You are welcome to stay and enjoy the show although this will require a superb level of Spanish to make sense of it. Dress for the cold, air conditioning is intense.

La Torre 

La Torre
Edificio Focsa Calle 17 # 55, entre M y N., Vedado
Tel: 537 838 3088
Type: International
Open: noon-midnight
Now fully renovated both the bar and restaurant offer un-matched views across Havana. The food is not bad either, at CUC 15 for a tasty steak this is a good venue if you want to eat in style.

La vicaria 

La vicaria
5ta. ave y 182., Playa
Tel: 537 273 9101
Type: cuban/international
Open: noon-midnight
A pleasant place to enjoy the cuban cuisine. t is a training restaurant for Cuban chefs, waiters and waiters. Good food and the Service, of course, great because they were being observed and trained.

Los doce apóstoles 

Los doce apóstoles
Complejo Morro-Cabaña., East Havana
Tel: 537 863 8295
Type: Criolla cuisine
Open: noon-11pm
For tradional Creole food and a fine view of the Malecón, the Twelve Apostles, situated at the foot of the lighthouse by the Morro Castle, is a good bet. The meat platter is good value and will not leave you hungry. At 11pm the place turns into a good nightclub.

Los naranjos 

Los naranjos
La Giraldilla. 222 y 37. La coronela., La Lisa
Tel: 537 273 0568-9
Type: Cuban/Caribbean
Open: noon-midnight
Enjoy cuban traditional food and international food in a huge neo-colonial house's patio decorated with three orange trees and an old fountain. Opinions vary on La Giraldilla. It is next to the Macumba nightclub which is extremely popular on nights with good groups playing. The entire complex is very upmarket featuring acres of white marble. The restaurant itself is either overpriced serving bland food or one of the most elegant high class places in Havana.

Los Nardos 

Los Nardos
aseo de Martí (Prado)# 565, entre Teniente and Rey and Dragones, Central Havana
Tel: 537 863 2985
Type: Spanish/Creole
Open: noon-midnight
This is a very popular place worth the wait outside in distinctly insalubrious surroundings (bookings aren't taken). The restaurant has a curious status, being neither fully private nor fully state run. Rather, it is promoted as an Asturian cultural centre and is decorated accordingly, complete with football memorabilia. The wine rack is impressive, although, sadly, not always fully stocked. The tasty food comes in large portions at excellent prices: try the Lobster Termidor (CUC 9. 50). Service is also pretty good—once you actually get seated.

Mesón de la Flota 

Mesón de la Flota
Calle Mercaderes #257, e/ Amargura y Teniente Rey., Old Havana
Tel: 537 863 3838
Type: Spanish tapas
Open: noon-midnight
A fantastic place to go if you enjoy your dinner with live flamenco. It does become quite loud so probably not so good if you want to chat. Service is good, the sangria excellent and the tapas pretty spot on (spicy potatoes, chorizo and shrimps in garlic being the highlights), the only real drawback are the main dishes which are a bit of a letdown—stick to the tapas.

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