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I received the following and replied that I would post it here in order that we would get wider and more up to date input :ok:

 

"Rob

It has been a while but I hope to see you in Germany soon.  Forgive me for a very left field question.  I find myself in Havana for 48 useable hours in two weeks (in Thursday out Sunday). 

Can you recommend me 4 places I must eat to experience Havana's best culinary work."

 

Let us know your favourites. many thanks :clap: 

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From the hip Santy's, 7 Dias, La Terrazza, La Guarida

 

El Cocinero, Otramanera get honorable mention

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25 minutes ago, Habana Mike said:

From the hip Santy's, 7 Dias, La Terrazza, La Guarida 

 

El Cocinero, Otramanera get honorable mention

Have not been to La Guarida or 7 Dias, but concur on Santys and Terrazza.

And I would add El Del Frente. Do not skip the salsa.

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6 minutes ago, SenorPerfecto said:

Have not been to La Guardia or 7 Dias, but concur on Santys and Terrazza.

And I would add El Del Frente. Do not skip the salsa.

You've never flown into NYC?

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I'm with @Habana Mike on La Guarida and Santi's. This past time we also did La cocina de Andrés (Holy Moly his croqueta en casueala... Liquid croquetas to die for) and also San Cristóbal. Gorgeous food all around. 

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La Terraza, La Guarida, Cocinero,

Chef Ivan y Gusto, Castropol and Habana 61 are all worth checking out also.

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It has been four years since I have been to the island, but Doctor Cafe was amazing. I would strongly suggest heading there unless others have visited recently and indicate it has gone downhill dramatically. 

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We enjoyed Doctor Cafe though though felt a bit overpriced for the quality at the time. Cuba being Cuba....

Did do San Cristobal with our Cuban family, second restaurant they'd ever been to in their lives and excited to have us dine with them there.

Unique ambience, great service and the management/owners are fantastic. Food was good not great for me though I did get to sit in the same chair Obama and Beyonce sat in.

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Santy / San Cristobal / Cocinero /Otramanera

 

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El Figaro

 

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3 hours ago, Monterey said:

El Figaro

 

One place I have always meant to get to ...but as of yet haven't 

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2 luches

Santy and La Corte del Principe

2 dinners

El Del Frente and La Guarida.

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9 hours ago, Habana Mike said:

From the hip Santy's, 7 Dias, La Terrazza, La Guarida

 

El Cocinero, Otramanera get honorable mention

This

 

I would add for an afternoon or late night snack Hotel National for a toasted Cuban samich . The sandwich is pretty good but more than that it’s the experience.

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3 hours ago, madandana said:

This

 

I would add for an afternoon or late night snack Hotel National for a toasted Cuban samich . The sandwich is pretty good but more than that it’s the experience.

Snack? That Cubano is huge!

20181109_200117.thumb.jpg.1c22e2db0a86ae0455420527242f7ec5.jpg

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For a really nice dinner, go to Vistamar especially if your traveling with a female. 

As far as everything else, Habana 61 is the one of my absolute favorite. The croquetas to the ropa vieja to the drinks.

Then there is Cafe OReilly for breakfast. 

Mas Habana for lunch

Lo De Monik also good for breakfast and lunch.

So many options. Walk around and try a few random places.

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I am surprised nobody has mentioned El Aljibe. One of the few places in Havana that I have craved from time to time so much that I’ve considered flying down for a meal (in addition to grabbing some cigars of course). I live in Miami so this is fairly doable! Man that chicken is good. 

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15 hours ago, Monterey said:

El Figaro

 

Oh I did have an excellent ropa vieja there!

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9 hours ago, madandana said:

I would add for an afternoon or late night snack Hotel National for a toasted Cuban samich . The sandwich is pretty good but more than that it’s the experience.

I would (and have) eat that if there was literally nothing else available. I so want for the Cuban sandwiches in Cuba (especially the Nacional) to be good, but they are last-resort only. Lower than the fastest of American fast food.

 

Anyone have a recommend for a really good Cuban sammy in Havana?

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38 minutes ago, SenorPerfecto said:

I would (and have) eat that if there was literally nothing else available. I so want for the Cuban sandwiches in Cuba (especially the Nacional) to be good, but they are last-resort only. Lower than the fastest of American fast food.

 

Anyone have a recommend for a really good Cuban sammy in Havana?

The "Cuban Sandwich" as we (Americans) know it, was actually perfected in Florida, probably Tampa/Ybor City. Like many dishes, the origins aren't 100% clear, but the basic Ham and Cheese sandwich that is common all over Cuba was "dolled up" to create todays "Cuban Sandwich." The best one I've ever had was at a shop in Fort Lauderdale.

The best Ham and Cheese sandwich I've had in Cuba came from a food cart sitting in front of Cafeteria Sofia at Avenida 23 and Calle O. The size of a slider made with ham sliced from the hock, "cheese", relish, watery Cuban Ketchup and soft Cuban bread. Locals where paying 5 CUP for them, I was happy to pay 1 CUC for 3 on several occasions. Much smaller and very different than the sandwiches served at the Nacional, but I think that's a good thing. 

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The food is actually one of the biggest reasons I enjoy Havana. There is plenty of really bad food at hotels and other touristy spots, but there are also some real gems. My 4 Favorites are Santy, Santy, Santy and Santy. I love seafood, and they prepare it perfectly there. But Lamparilla is also very good, and they make great G&T's. Tocamadera has the best burger I've eaten in Cuba, and a very fresh menu that changes almost everyday based on available ingredients. Nazdarovie is a Russian restaurant, owned by a Canadian Lawyer on the Malecon. I really enjoyed eating there in April and the view from the deck is nice too. 

Dr. Café is good, but as @Habana Mike said, over priced. Ive never eaten a full meal at El Del Frente, but the drinks and small plates have never disappointed. 

View from Nazdarovie:

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IMG_20190426_1535574.thumb.jpg.4734eff3810804d198941f9ba1fc7c40.jpg

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Habana 61 and 5 Sentidos were my favorite spots

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It just occurred to me what's so odd about nearly all photos of the Malecon and the bay -- no boats! Since the Cubans are not allowed to own them or even use a boat, there are never any boats out there to dot the waterscape, as you always see elsewhere.

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Destino, should be on everyone’s list 😀

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My favourite was la cocina de Esteban-nice fresh seafood with a garden to eat in and have a cigar afterwards listening to classical guitar playing. Wish I was back again !

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