Where to Dine in Havana

Written by Sophia Bass

Havana is blossoming into a culinary scene in 2018. With new restaurants located in Vedado and Old Havana, restaurants are featuring local Cuban recipes combined with European inspired dishes. Ever since President Obama opened the doors between Cuba and the United States in 2016, chefs have been traveling between Havana and the United States introducing modern cuisine to Cuba. After dining at various restaurants and cafes in Havana, I wanted to recommend a few of my favorite spots.

NAO Bar Paladar

This cafe is perfect if you want to cool off in the shade while sightseeing, listen to local Cuban music, and have an appetizer or cocktail. Offering Caribbean, Latin, Cuban, and vegetarian options, NAO's food is diverse in its use of ingredients. My favorite dish was the cerdo (pork) with black beans and rice. NAO is located at the end of Obispo Street just near the malecón with a fantastic view of the water.

Vista Mar 

If you're a seafood lover like myself you will have to make a reservation at Vista Mar. This place is more upscale than your average restaurant in Havana, but well worth the experience. I enjoyed fresh local lobster, shrimp, scallops, and snapper for $30. The service was excellent and the owner was generous as he shared wine with our table. The best part of Vista Mar is the breathtaking view of the ocean from the balcony. Make sure to make your reservation in advance!

Nero di Seppia 

There is always that local Italian favorite in almost every international city. One night when my partner and I were seeking food that was not Cuban, we found ourselves dining at Nero di Seppia enjoying a delicious pizza. It is a place where the flavors of Italian and Cuban meet. From pizza, pasta, pork, or seafood, you will find something on the menu that makes your mouth water.

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