6 Must-Visit Spots in Havana

© Jenny Miller

By Jenny Miller Posted November 16, 2015

Cruise to Cuba in May 2016 on Carnival's Fathom Cruise Line. From street food to iconic local restaurants, here are six Havana places to put on your list. (Just make sure you print it out, since the Internet is still not widely available.)

Gin Bar
Gin Bar has a cosmopolitan, artsy vibe, a well-priced international menu (available until midnight!) and delicious cocktails garnished with fresh island fruit. Owned by a duo of young brothers, this place could hold its own in Barcelona—it's that cool. 304 O'Reilly, Havana Vieja; +53 5 264-4725

Crepe Sayu
Sold from a corner takeout window, these Japanese crepes are some of the best bites in town. Both locals and tourists line up for the pancakes, stuffed with ingredients like karage (Japanese-style fried chicken), tonkatsu pork, or ham and eggs, along with watercress, cabbage and green onions (a blessing in a place where greens are a rarity). The friendly Japanese expat owner also serves dessert versions and snacks like sweet potato fritters. Corner of Obrapia and Aguacate streets, Havana Vieja; no phone

Food & Wine: Cuba Travel

© Jenny Miller

Doña Eutimia
One of the most famous restaurants in Cuba right now is Doña Eutimia, a paladar (or non–government run restaurant) located in a charming alley near the Plaza de la Catedral in Havana Vieja. Crowds flock here for well-made, generous portions of classic Cuban fare like picadillo (ground beef stewed with tomatoes and served with black beans and rice) and ropa vieja (a shredded beef dish that's often considered Cuba's national food), served in the bustling dining room or on the cobblestone patio. Word has gotten out about this place, so reservations are a must. Callejon del Chorro 60c, Havana Vieja; +53 7 861-1332

Food & Wine: Cuba Travel

© Jenny Miller

Mama Inés
Septuagenarian chef Erasamo (who is so well-known he only goes by the one name) cooked for countless celebrities, and, most notably, Fidel Castro, when he served as the former president's chef for more than 30 years. Now he runs a paladar in Havana Vieja, where he serves traditional fare including lots of great seafood. If you want to dine like Castro, go for the ceviche, reportedly the revolutionary's favorite. Obrapia 62, Havana Vieja; +53 7 862-2669

Ivan Chefs Justo
This charming second-floor paladar is the perfect spot to eat after a visit to the nearby Revolutionary Museum. The cozy dining room and covered patio are decorated with funky tchotchkes and colorful furniture. The walls are covered with photos and framed posters, like some glamorous aunt's eclectic home. The frequently changing menu spans the best of Latin classics, from tacos to paella to traditional Cuban dishes. Aguacate 9, Havana Vieja; +53 7 863-9697

Food & Wine: Cuba Travel

© Jenny Miller

Jardin del Oriental
Jardin is a leafy, palm frond–shrouded place, where a crowd of both locals and tourists dines, drinks and smokes all day in an unhurried fashion. The relaxed, bohemian atmosphere is irresistible, plus it is one of the best bargains in Havana Vieja. Amargura 12, Havana Vieja; +53 7 860-6686

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