Cuba is the most fascinating place in the world right now. No destination offers are more remarkable combination of art, culture, history and sheer passion and forbidden excitement than Cuba — but while it has a number of enchanting qualities, it will be some time before Cuba will be mistaken for a foodie destination, for a number of reasons.
Having said that, there are some must-visit restaurants in Havana (and an even larger number of hyped but underperforming paladares)— and one star one rises above them all: La Guarida. Check out the latest Cuba Journal video for a look.
Best known for its feature role in the Cuban film Fresa y Chocolate, La Guarida is simply the one restaurant you must eat at while on a trip to the country.
This isn’t just a restaurant — it’s an institution. Having first opened its doors in 1996, the eatery is set in a fading but lovely early-20th-century building filled with eclectic decor and as well-trained wait staff as you’ll find in Cuba; it’s a place that regularly brings together a who’s who of Cuba and whose tables are in high demand.
More importantly, the food is solid and often creative, from smoked marlin tacos to oxtail to, yes, even Provencal rabbit. That’s because this restaurant has legitimate ingredients and talented chefs, making for a real, earnest culinary experience that is decidedly hard to find in the country (the dessert is spectacualr, too).
That all makes La Guarida the Best Restaurant in Cuba.