San Cristóbal paladar stimulates all of the senses, from before you step in its front door, to the cafe cubano that helps digest a scrumptious lunch. A trip there from the Capitolio takes you westward along the narrow streets of the Centro Habana neighborhood, full of corner coffee spots, kids on bikes, sellers pushing carts full of avocadoes and guavas, and women standing in doorways fanning themselves.
3 DIY drinks that will bring Havana home to you. If drinking were a fine art, then Cubans would be the Van Goghs of the craft. After Prohibition outlawed alcohol in the U.S. in 1919, Americans smartened up and fled to the heat-filled haven of Havana to imbibe—and discovering the Cuban cocktail scene as a result became the ended up being the happiest accident of America’s outlaw on giggle juice.
There’s no shortage of things to do and see in Havana, from Hotel Nacional and the Malecón to the Plaza de la Revolución, the city is a bustling time capsule filled with sites every tourist will see. But if you’re the kind of person who likes to explore the road less traveled and dive into the local scene we’ve got a few insider spots for you:
Salsa Suarez offers the perfect opportunity to escape Varadero’s hotel buffet lines and put the peninsula on the map as offering some of Cuba’s most innovative and delicately prepared cuisine. Just a block and a half away from white sand beaches, this paladar rivals any top Havana establishment in location, atmosphere, and overall quality.
At cafes and takeout windows throughout the island, coffee and conversation flow together like longtime amigos. In private homes, every host, however humble, offers the beverage. Seldom drunk in seclusion, coffee forms the cornerstone of Cuba’s social interactions. The flavor of Cuban hospitality is coffee.
Five Corners Trattoria (5 Esquinas Trattoria) serves up Italian pastas, pizzas, and Cuban drinks in an up and coming part of Old Havana. Ethnic food has always been a stretch in Cuba, limited supplies and almost zero immigration to the island have left a “rice and beans” stigma for serving the famous arroz con frijoles at every meal. However the rapidly growing tourist market in Havana means new restaurants are trying to offer a more worldly fare. Five Corners Trattoria is an example of this culinary diversity.