It's taken me a while to write about the food in Cuba because I wanted to be sure the picture I painted was accurate for those who've never been.
When traveling to Cuba or any place, you should always keep the economy in mind. Especially while enjoying their food.
Being a communist country, there are certain guidelines and limitations placed on the households in terms of food and earnings. From what I have gathered, the government looks at how many people are in the house and then provides a set dollar amount on a ration card so the families can buy food. This affords them the bare necessities but doesn't leave room for much else.
For restaurants and other establishments, it's a little different since they're owned by the government and the government dictates what they sell/make. Which would explain the Italian inspired restaurants I'd seen around Havana and Trinidad. Likely funded to draw in the European tourists.
Alright, now that we got that out the way, let's get to the question that all of you really want to know.
HOW'S THE FOOD!?
Like any place, the food in Cuba varied depending on where I ate. I did a lot of eating in my Casa Particulares (Air B N B) so naturally the food was a lot simpler.
Breakfast usually consisted of LOTS of coffee , fresh milk , fresh juice, fresh fruit, bread, jam, sliced ham and sliced cheese.
Very light and very simple.
FYI: There is NO hot sauce (Salsa Picante). NONE (0). I'd suggest packing your own if you can.
The coffee was an absolute necessity on this trip and it was delicious! You'll find coffee & piña colada booths on the side of the road for a quick pick me up!
Disclaimer: I've only eaten in 4 restaurants here and only speak from experience.
Tierra /Fabrica De Arte- Vedado, Havana
We ordered the Empanadas, Fish n Chips, Po Boy and Lamb Musakka. Although not traditional Cuban cuisine, the food definitely hit the spot after going without real food for 8 hrs !
I ordered the pescado con limon with ice cream for dessert. I found that none of the food was fresh or flavorful and sadly I didn't enjoy this meal at all.
THE BEST FOOD IN CUBA ! Ok well, I haven't eaten everywhere in Cuba but this place was amazing ! After days of just "okay" food, this place got me excited again for Cuban cuisine.
We ordered :
Moros (Rice n Beans)
To see more photos of my meals from Cuba, click here.
The wait was a bit longer than the other restaurants but it was clear that everything was prepared fresh. I'm pretty sure the chickens I saw clucking across the courtyard were going to be dinner.
Everything was seasoned and prepared very well. You could smell the garlic, onions, vinegar, cumin.. *drool*
The flavors permeated the meat down to the bone, the tostones were crisp, plantains were sweet and the scenery was amazing!
The only thing that could make this place better would have been air conditioning !
To get a true read on Caribbean cuisine, I highly recommend everyone try Don David when visiting Cuba.
Thanks for reading!