Some samples of current food and drink prices in Havana


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A friend sent me these recently. Receipts from lunches in Santy's and from one of the new beach places at 1 y 70, Miramar.

All prices in cup. The usual official rate is 25 cup to $1USD.

What you'll get, again officially, is about 23.5 cup to $1USD.

https://www.bc.gob.cu/historigrama/137

For the sake of ease, I'll use 25:1 here.

The total for Santy, lunch for 6 people (at the official rate 25:1) about $800

A plate of pasta $42

Beer (national beer) $6

Sushi, Tataki and Sashimi all $28USD per plate.

Santy_Receipt_2021.JPG.759969d06ab383e34c47ab78971ff9db.JPG

 

1ra y 70 not much better. I know these places, they were not expensive two years ago, Espacios prices. The owner of Espacios owns one of them, (called "Muelle"). They may be more expensive at night time (some of them go late), but this was lunch.

Again, about 6 people for lunch. Official exchange rate prices, this time before tip.

Total: $444 USD

Beer (Cristal): $5 each

Mojito: $12

Espresso: $3

Ceviche: $19

Croquetas: $12

Lomo Alto de Res (I think that's what we'd call sirloin steak here, nearer the shoulder of the animal) $38

Fillet of fish: $24

Grilled Chicken: $22 

One Amaretto: $10

Some travelers will be in for some surprises next week. Prices (again officially) are three to four times what they were 18 months ago.

1y70.jpeg.92a7c596b8417e6d7fecf9b750b49a92.jpeg

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16 minutes ago, Cigar Surgeon said:

Just to add more confusion to the mix, in what currency were you paying for things and what was the exchange rate provided for said currency? 

E.g.: did you take all your currency down as USD, or pay in EUR or get EUR converted while you were down there.

Those are not my receipts. These were sent to me by a friend who lives in Cuba. I'll be bringing euro with me next week when I go.

I know those receipts were paid for in cup, not any other currency. Trying to pay in a restaurant in a foreign currency, even a private restaurant like Santy or those places on 1ra y 70, they will charge you the official rate of 25 cup : 1 USD or about 28 cup : €1 euro or about 19 cup :$ 1 CAD.

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I think prices are going to be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what shocks many when they return to Cuba.  Everyone I have spoken to in the past few months has said they have passed the "Special Period" when it comes to scarcity of food, medicine, fuel, household items, lines forming at 4 and 5 AM, etc.  For those lucky enough to have $$$ and pay someone to wait in line for you...it doesn't much matter since there's often nothing to buy.  

Un tremendo cagazón. 

 

@Ryan, I did read in another thread you were heading there soon.  You going to be there on the 15th of November?

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The black market exchange rate is around 70 CUP: 1 USD and 88 CUP: 1 EUR. No one should be exchanging CUP at 23-25 CUP: 1 USD. Anyone would be thrilled to give you 65:1 on just about every street corner. 

I don't blame anyone for adhering to the official exchange rate, particularly since no one really wants CUP anyway. Everyone is trying to get EUR or MLC.

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6 minutes ago, NSXCIGAR said:

The black market exchange rate is around 70 CUP: 1 USD and 88 CUP: 1 EUR. No one should be exchanging CUP at 23-25 CUP: 1 USD. Anyone would be thrilled to give you 65:1 on just about every street corner. 

I don't blame anyone for adhering to the official exchange rate, particularly since no one really wants CUP anyway. Everyone is trying to get EUR or MLC.

I won't be paying the US dollar figures I quoted above, but lots of people will. I will take photos of the currency exchanges next Tuesday at Jose Marti Terminal 3. Or try, I've been stopped before.

Edit. By the way, I'd advise against street corners in any country in the world when it comes to changing money. For Cuba, friends. And better yet, ex-pat friends. I've had a Cuban friend who I've known for 8 years offer 40 cup : 1 EUR just two days ago. I was a bit p***ed off at the time, but I can't blame him. What's worrying is that he is so desperate for money that he would forget that I would know exactly what exchange rate is possible.

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12 hours ago, Ryan said:

I won't be paying the US dollar figures I quoted above, but lots of people will. I will take photos of the currency exchanges next Tuesday at Jose Marti Terminal 3. Or try, I've been stopped before.

Unfortunately, I'm sure you're right. 

It baffles me that anyone going to Cuba this soon wouldn't know what the deal is or do some basic research. 

Wait until they start seeing the bank charges from their MLC purchases at 1.16% on the back end. The regime is trying to gouge as many people in the first few weeks and months as possible before they realize what's going on. 

 

12 hours ago, Ryan said:

By the way, I'd advise against street corners in any country in the world when it comes to changing money.

Obviously I was being a bit hyperbolic. Your casa particular owner can probably get it done fairly easily.

But for now it seems we're going to need both CUP and MLC, or at least a Euro bank card for MLC purchases. Regular Cubans can't accept MLC as it's card only and is inconvertible to CUP, so CUP isn't going anywhere at the moment. And of course, why wouldn't they ask for the "official" exchange rate of 25:1 and at least try and get in on the government hustle. If there's a dispute the police would certainly uphold the vendor's request for 25:1 even though listed CUP prices reflect 70:1. 

As far as even getting out of the airport in a taxi, everyone needs to make sure they land with EUR cash on them and negotiate all prices with Cubans in EUR with the 70:1 rate in mind. 

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