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'Upscale' Restaurants in Havana

'Upscale' Restaurants in Havana

Old Jan 3, 17, 6:09 pm
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'Upscale' Restaurants in Havana

With only 2 nights in Havana I'm hoping to maximize dinner culinary experiences.

Any thoughts on the following:

El Cocinero

La Guarida

Cafe Laurent

304 O’Reilly

Any other suggestions?

Also, how have folks handled reservations? Can't seem to find any of these on Open Table.
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Old Jan 3, 17, 6:25 pm
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Upscale and in Cuba and seriously Open Table? You know they opened a new Cafe Toke, you pay maybe $5 for a sandwich, but that same sandwich is made in their kitchen and sold for 50 cents next to the cafe to Cubans.
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Old Jan 3, 17, 6:55 pm
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Originally Posted by djjaguar64 View Post
Upscale and in Cuba and seriously Open Table? You know they opened a new Cafe Toke, you pay maybe $5 for a sandwich, but that same sandwich is made in their kitchen and sold for 50 cents next to the cafe to Cubans.
But you saved me over $1k US by moving from a hotel to a casa. ^ So I want to blow some dough on the emerging paladares scene! ^^ (and the open table comment was meant to be a joke...)
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Old Jan 4, 17, 7:05 am
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These two are my favorites for quality vs price:


Sia Kara Cafe owned by a french chef, very affordable and delicious. Trip Advisor

La Teraza near parque central. Plates are huge and great prices. I reccomend the lamb. Trip Advisor



If you really want upscale:

Cafe del Oriente and El Templete are the only ones I have been to. To me it's not worth the price you pay for what you get.


I have been to 304 Oreilly but it's not really a restaurant, more a bar with tapas/snacks. Very small place.

For reservations, you need to call as there are no open table system in Cuba or any other online system.

Last edited by el_che; Jan 4, 17 at 7:10 am
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Old Jan 4, 17, 7:05 am
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
But you saved me over $1k US by moving from a hotel to a casa. ^ So I want to blow some dough on the emerging paladares scene! ^^ (and the open table comment was meant to be a joke...)
I like Monguito, their fired fish dishes are the best. Its across from the Habana Libre. There is a fancy schmancy new diner type restaurant cant remember the name, Bilkeys or Wilkeys, try and splurge there. I like to stick to typical Cuban cuisine and I don't tend to go to restaurants that remind me of North America in any way.

I'm sure you will have a great time, enjoy!
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Old Jan 7, 17, 6:15 pm
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There was a decent Middle Eastern restaurant near the Plaza San Francisco, but I can't remember its name.

On the whole, though, the most memorable thing about Cuba was NOT the food.
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Old Jan 7, 17, 9:51 pm
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Originally Posted by ksandness View Post
On the whole, though, the most memorable thing about Cuba was NOT the food.
+1
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Old Jan 8, 17, 7:49 am
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Just curious....
The 'regular' restaurants I ate in (including those chosen by Cuban friends as a special night out together) were about 6 to 10 CUC for an entree. Some were good, a couple were really almost inedible, with the price within that range not a predictor.
At those 'preferred' ones mentioned by name in posts above, what were the prices like? (I saw at least one post elsewhere talking about 30 CUC per plate !!.)
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Old Jan 8, 17, 6:56 pm
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Originally Posted by VidaNaPraia View Post
Just curious....
The 'regular' restaurants I ate in (including those chosen by Cuban friends as a special night out together) were about 6 to 10 CUC for an entree. Some were good, a couple were really almost inedible, with the price within that range not a predictor.
At those 'preferred' ones mentioned by name in posts above, what were the prices like? (I saw at least one post elsewhere talking about 30 CUC per plate !!.)
Those pricey restaurants are for gringos.
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Old Jan 31, 17, 11:02 am
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We went to San Cristóbal Paladar. This is the place where President Obama ate with his family. I thought it was just OK. The lobster nuggets were good, but the meat wasn't super tender. Nice friendly waiter that was telling me about all the different kinds of rum, including some really expensive ones. He said that the one President Obama bought for $2,000 wasn't even the most expensive one made there.

We tried to get into La Guarida (stopped in there personally) but they said they were full every day for the next 5 days.

We found zero correlation between price and quality of food. YMMV. The very best Ropa Vieja I've ever had was about $3 (Locos por Cuba on San Lazaro). And a chicken curry dish at Karma (in Vedado, just down from Cuba Libro bookstore) was outstanding, at $5. Go figure.

Originally Posted by ksandness View Post
On the whole, though, the most memorable thing about Cuba was NOT the food.
I agree.

.

Last edited by BangkokTraveler; Jan 31, 17 at 11:09 am
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Old Jan 31, 17, 12:59 pm
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Originally Posted by BangkokTraveler View Post
We went to San Cristóbal Paladar. This is the place where President Obama ate with his family. I thought it was just OK. The lobster nuggets were good, but the meat wasn't super tender. Nice friendly waiter that was telling me about all the different kinds of rum, including some really expensive ones. He said that the one President Obama bought for $2,000 wasn't even the most expensive one made there.

We tried to get into La Guarida (stopped in there personally) but they said they were full every day for the next 5 days.

We found zero correlation between price and quality of food. YMMV. The very best Ropa Vieja I've ever had was about $3 (Locos por Cuba on San Lazaro). And a chicken curry dish at Karma (in Vedado, just down from Cuba Libro bookstore) was outstanding, at $5. Go figure.


I agree.

.

Yes, not worth paying too much for food in Cuba, you wont get michelin star quality there. I prefer the cheap places, 5 CUC for a meal. Believe me I even ate for 1CUC and was satisfied.

Last edited by djjaguar64; Feb 2, 17 at 5:53 pm
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Old Jan 31, 17, 7:03 pm
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Originally Posted by djjaguar64 View Post
....you wont get michelin quality there.
Michelin tires?
Jajajaja
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Old Feb 1, 17, 7:24 pm
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As noted here: https://insideflyer.com/forums/threa...e-last.138175/ we dined at Café Laurent Habana and Ivan Chef Justo over two nights. The lobster dish at the former was some of the best I've had (and I've had lots at restaurants all over the world). The seafood skewers at the latter were excellent. The ambiance at both were terrific.

Lunched one day at Restaurant La Dominica sitting outside. Setting excellent, food so-so. Lunched the other day at Habana 61 where we had more traditional Cuban food (done up fancy):



We paid a lot (by Cuban standards). But felt it was well worth it.
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