Best restaurants in Havana – vegetarian approved!

Best restaurants in Havana! Don't miss to go to these must-go places - vegetarian restaurants included

Let’s face it: Cuba is not famous for its food and it is far away from a culinary trip – and this is totally reasonable. Vegetarians might even face serious problems. The good news is that there is always black beans and rive. The bad news is, there are hardly other vegetarian dishes. That is why I take you on my culinary journey through Cuba’s capital and show you the best restaurants in Havana.

Just be aware when going to Cuba: Your trip won’t be a culinary dream. Which is ok. The cocktails will make up for it – I promise 😉 You will never like a Piña Colada anymore except in Cuba after tasting this original coconut creamy dream of a cocktail with a pinch of cinnamon.

Anyways coming back to the food: First of all, I’d like to show you which vegetarian dishes there are:
Rice and black beans
Steamed veggies
Fried malanga.
And that was it already.

The good news is that Cubans seem to like Italian, thus you’ll find Italian restaurants once in a while as well as pasta dishes on many menus of the best restaurants in Havana.

Luckily Havana’s restaurant scene starts bursting and few places with delicious food and also seafood or vegetarian options exist and I’m gonna show you the best ones. Nevertheless, these are mostly not real Cuban places, meaning they are totally dedicated to tourists and influenced by Mexican and Italian cuisine. But believe me, in Havana you don’t want to eat at the real authentic Cuban places because this means eating low-quality food in dark, dirty corners of shabby houses. Don’t get me wrong. Normally I prefer authentic places and I know that in Sri Lanka or Thailand the shittiest looking places offer the best and most authentic food. This is not the case in Cuba – you will be closer to stomach problems than to a culinary experience due to lack of hygiene and fridges in many of these basic local places. Feel free to try of course (and let me know about it).

In the following I want to show you the best restaurants in Havana Vieja, the old quarter of town (btw don’t mix up Havana Centro and Havana Vieja – these are two different districts, meaning that Havanna centre is not the same as Havana Vieja).

Best restaurants in Havana? O’Reilly 304!

Best vegetarian restaurants in Havana

On place one of the best restaurants of Havana is my favourite one, O’Reilly 304, as well as its little sister „El Enfrente“, which means „the one on the other side“. The last mentioned belongs to the same owner and was opened after O’Reilly 304 became popular and the owners realized that there are not enough seats for all the people.

Why I love this place: Because the cocktails are good, fresh, big, strong and cheap. Don’t miss to try the mango mojito with fresh mango purée! And because there are many seafood and vegetarian options on the menu. The cuisine is a mix of Cuban, Mexican, Spanish and Italian. Plus there are daily changing offers. The food was very very delicious and high above Cuban standard. There are not many seats on this little two-story restaurant. So whenever it is full, make yourself comfortable at the bar and observe the barkeeper mixing exotic cocktails, or just go to the restaurant on the other side of the street El Enfrente.

Best vegetarian restaurants in Havana

Best vegetarian restaurants in Havana

 

How to get there:
address: O’Reilly street 304, La Habana
(parallel street to busy Obispo street)

 

El Del Frente.

Best vegetarian restaurants in Havana

This place is a little bigger than O’Reilly 304 and located on the first floor of the building on the other side of the street. The menu is almost the same as at its bigger sister that is why it is definitely also on the list of the best restaurants in Havana. The great thing is that this restaurant also has a rooftop terrace on the second floor which is perfect for having a drink after dinner and enjoying a chilly place under the sky.

 

Best vegetarian restaurants in Havana

Best vegetarian restaurants in Havana

How to get there:
address: on the other side of the street of O’Reilly 304, La Habana
(parallel street to busy Obispo)

 

If you need a rest from the heat during a busy sightseeing day I recommend to go to Plaza Vieja (Old Square) which hosts some of the best restaurants in Havana. There are three beautiful restaurants to choose from. Two cafés or restaurants on the first floor with shady balconies with a light breeze – plus a wonderful view on Plaza Vieja. These places are great to observe the happenings on the square: the beautifully dressed fortune-tellers trying to read the future for tourists and Cubans, waiters trying to drag people in their restaurants or the school classes practising sports lessons on the square.

Don Eduardo Alegre

Best vegetarian restaurants in Havana

My favourite place at the Old Square is this little stylish café or lounge bar on the upper floor of a Colonial building of Plaza Vieja. The shady little balcony is great for lunchtime. You might even feel like in a Parisian terrace due to the brass balcony railing and the small round tables squeezed on little space.

Best vegetarian restaurants in Havana

Inside the big comfortable lounge sofas, all with a view on Plaza Vieja, are not a bad option either to rest. The menu is rather international than Cuban (thank god!) and various from decent breakfast options, to crepes, fruit shakes, light lunch dishes and some vegetarian dishes.

Best vegetarian restaurants in Havana

And the best of this place: You have a great view on whole Plaza de Vieja and can observe the happenings – and therefore definitely one of the best restaurants in Havana.

Best vegetarian restaurants in Havana

How to get there:
Address: Muralla, La Habana
in the southern blue building of Plaza Vieja (Old Square)

 

El Azucar

Best vegetarian restaurants in Havana

A similar option is this restaurant also located on the upper floor of Plaza Vieja. The view seems to be slightly less spectacular than in Don Eduardo Alegre but the place itself is really stylish and the Menu international as well. If you don’t get a seat on the 4 tables on the balcony of Don Eduardo, El Azucar might be a great alternative.

How to get there:
address: Mercaderes 315 Teniente Rey & Vieja., Muralla, La Habana, Cuba
on the western side of Plaza Vieja (Old Square) in the yellow building, over Café Escorial

 

Café Bohemio

Best vegetarian restaurants in Havana

Another very chilly place at Plaza Vieja is Café Bohemio. This restaurant which serves Cuban, as well as international food, has some tables directly on the square which makes you close to the live music there often is as well as to the hustle bustle of the square. But I’d rather recommend choosing the more quite tables in the shady and also pretty backyardGreat to cool down on hot summer days.

Best vegetarian restaurants in Havana

 

Best vegetarian restaurants in Havana

How to get there:
Address: San Ignacio, La Habana, Cuba
on the eastern side of the Old Square in a white and blue building

 

La Vitrola

Best vegetarian restaurants in Havana

La Vitrola is another international option at Plaza Vieja. The interior resembles an American Diner, bright colours, red furniture, full of American posters and vinyl discs on the walls, staff with red bow ties and Cuban live music every evening. The service is very good and the staff friendly and always up for a chat. They offer Cuban as well as international food for a good value for money. After having dinner there don’t miss to try Havana’s own brewed beer at La Factoria just next door.

Best vegetarian restaurants in Havana

Best vegetarian restaurants in Havana

How to get there:
address: Crossing San Ignacio and Muralla, La Havanna
At the southwestern corner of the Old Square (Plaza Vieja)

 

Lamparilla Tapas & Cervezas

Best vegetarian restaurants in Havana

Another fancy, American-style restaurant is La Lamparilla Tapas & Cervezas in the street of the same name. As the name describes already you can get Spanish Tapas and beer there, as well as many other international options and outstanding cocktails. Especially the service and the staff is worth to mention in this tiny, a bit overstuffed restaurant – for my taste.

Best vegetarian restaurants in Havana

How to get there:
address: Lamparilla 306, La Habana

 

If you are looking for a romantic place to eat in the evening, Plaza San Francisco de Asís with two upper class restaurants might be a suitable option.

Best vegetarian restaurants in Havana

Restaurant and Café del Oriente

Best vegetarian restaurants in Havana

This restaurant is located at Plaza San Francisco de Asís, a very pretty square at night time and definitely should be on the list of the best restaurants in Havana. The church and the buildings around the square are lighted and create a very romantic atmosphere. There are two restaurants worth to mention on this square with tables outside. Café del Oriente and Café el Mercurio (see next paragraph). Café del Oriente is a bit posh and serves French and Caribbean cuisine such as lobster, goose-liver pâté and steaks. Nevertheless, the prices are ok and the atmosphere at the tables outside on the square very beautiful and calm.

Best vegetarian restaurants in Havana

How to get there:
Address: 112 Oficios, La Habana

 

Café el Mercurio

Best vegetarian restaurants in Havana

A very similar place just opposite of Café del Oriente is Café del Mercurio. It is a bit less posh, with very friendly waiters and a great place to enjoy a lobster for little money. The menu varies from Cuban dishes to seafood and international meals – all for a good value for money.

How to get there:
Plaza de San Francisco, La Habana

I hope you liked my list of the best restaurants in Havana? Also check out my must-do list for Cuba!

Havanna is a great place to wander around. Take one afternoon without busy sightseeing plans and just stroll through the streets – it’s worth it.

Never stop exploring!
#Maria

5 thoughts on “Best restaurants in Havana – vegetarian approved!

  1. Sweet blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thanks

    1. Thanks so much! No ideo to be honest! I’m not doing any yahoo optimization or book any ads there. So I guess it was just luck 😉

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