Casa de Palo
- The Malecón
Do what local Habaneros do and grab some beers, a bottle of rum or if you are really on a tight budget a planchado (0,3 cl tetra packs of rum for 0,90$) and go to the Malecón. The famous seafront fills up with people at night, especially on weekends. The area around the Hotel Nacional or the Hotels Melia Cohiba or Riviera(Malecón y Paseo) are popular spots to meet old and new friends. In August, the Malecón is also the place where Havana’s carnival is held.
- La Casa Balear (23 y G)
At the crossing of the streets 23 and G (or Avenida de los Presidentes) there is a big yellow mansion called la Casa Balear, like the Spanish islands. This place is a cultural center with activities on the weekends, in particular on Sunday afternoons, but it also a bar with almost the cheapest mojitos (15 CUPs) in the city. This bar is a popular place for young Cubans to hang out with friends and a have a couple of drinks. Although crowded on weekends during the week it is a quiet place to hang out and get some drinks.
- Free concerts
- Happy Hours
- Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
I know, at home you are used to going one supermarket to get all your groceries from meat and bread to vegetables and yogurt. Well, Cuba is a little different: Fresh fruits and vegetables you can only find on farmers markets or buy from street vendors, not in supermarkets. But they are fresh and locally cultivated and yes, mostly organic!
Try mangos and avocados in Summer and Tomatoes and Mamey during Winter.
- Big Portions
Cubans love to eat and to eat a lot. So an important criteria for a good restaurant from a local point of view is that the portions are big. It is perfectly normal to ask for a doggy bag to the rest of the food back home.
- Drinks and Food
First of all, there are state-owned restaurants. They can vary a lot in terms of price and quality of food and service.
Paladares are restaurants owned and run by private persons. Now the main restaurants and the high-quality ones are private. Thanks to those places the Cuban food gained his former variety again, also the decoration and presentation of the places and dishes are usually more special. Normally better chefs work in a Paladar.
Of course, there are bad ones as well.Cafeterias
The Cafeterias are the Cuban alternative to international fast food chains. Since 2013 Cubans have the possibility to be auto employed and open small businesses so in the last years a lot of people opened their own small fast food places. Most Cafeterias are a lot cheaper than Restaurants and serve fast food or Cuban dishes for small Prices. Typical fast food are pizzas, burgers, and sandwiches. Most of the bakeries and Cafés are also private run.
Everybody knows that day, some love it, some fear it and some people hate it. All around the world, this day is connected to a lot of pressure and money spending for your loved ones.
As in other countries, in Cuba people also celebrate Valentine’s day, but it’s called differently. February 14th in Cuba is the “Día de los Enamorados “or also the “día de la amistad”, so it’s the day for loved ones and also the day of friendship. And believe me, people take this celebration seriously!
So here are some tips for Valentines Day in Cuba:
If you want to eat out that day, make a reservation or eat early. Streets, especially in Havana are packed that day! Everybody goes out with their partner, date or just a group of friends. Outside of restaurants and cafeterías, there are queues and every place has their own special offer for that day.
check some of them out at A la Mesa.
If you hate Valentines Day, stay in or get a bottle of Rum and make new friends at the Malecón.
If you want to take somebody out to impress him or her, here are some ideas for:
Also, you can just go out wandering the streets and watch what the others do!
It’s going to be a unique February 14th that’s for sure!