Havana Journals

Eating in Cuba

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A March 2007 trip to Havana by MichaelJM

Oasis Panorama Photo, Havana, Cuba More Photos
Quote: Our first trip to Cuba and some safe places to eat and sleep

Oasis Panorama

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Hotel | "Oasis Panarama"

Oasis Panorama Photo, Havana, Cuba
Quote:
We arrived at our hotel, the Oasis Panarama, in the wee small hours (well actually it was only ten past midnight, but we’d been flying for almost 11 hours) and we were surprised to see an ultra-modern, multi-storied hotel, set outside of Havana in the business centre. Our check-in was fast and efficient and, within five minutes, we were entering our bedroom on the third floor. This was a clean, large, utilitarian room and we were soon sleeping on the firm but comfortable beds waking, the next day, to a magnificent view of the sea and, in the distance, the skyscape of Old Havana town.The room was well kitted out with a fridge, coffee-making facilities, a TV, and a couple of comfortable chairs, and w...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 25, 2007

Oasis Panorama
calle 70 y Avenue, Miramar, Havana
Havana, Cuba
+53 7 204 0100

El Floridita

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Restaurant

El Floridita Photo, Havana, Cuba
Quote:
Having been a big Hemingway fan as a teenager, it was good to take lunch in one of the bars that he regularly frequented and which has subsequently become a famous pilgrimage point for visitors to Havana. It’s only a short walk from Ambos Mundos (see separate entry) and it didn’t take much to imagine the huge frame of the great writer staggering the distance from bar to hotel room.In the corner was a life-sized statute of Hemingway propping up the bar with a bronze book lying open in front of him. Ostensibly, this was his favourite corner. Just inside the bar entrance, a three-piece band with a very accomplished singer was performing for the customers who weren’t opposed to dancing in the bar...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 25, 2007

El Floridita
Monserrate esq. Obispo
Havana, Cuba

Mina

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Restaurant | "Mina Restaurant"

Mina Photo, Havana, Cuba
Quote:
At the end of a long, sightseeing day, we took the safe option and returned to the Plaza de Armas to seek out a restaurant. The Mina restaurant overlooks the square and we settled down to study the meal when the waiter told us that there was a small courtyard to the rear where a typical Cuban band was set to play. The setting was good, so we ordered a bottle of ice cold water and a couple of beers and started to study the menu.A peacock and his mate wandered around the courtyard and it took amazing willpower for me to tolerate this intrusion. I really don’t like to be that close to birds! Although, I did get a bit twitchy when another cock arrived and started chasing the other around the yar...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 25, 2007

Mina
Obispo 109 esquina Oficios
La Habana, Cuba 10100
+53 7 620216

Cafe Taberna

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Restaurant

Cafe Taberna Photo, Havana, Cuba
Quote:
We’d spotted this place earlier on as we wandered the streets and initially thought Buena Vista Social Club were playing, although it turned out they were there on the following night. However, we were assured that there would be music all night and with a meal deal for around £10 including a cocktail, main course, sweet, and coffee it seemed like a deal that we couldn’t refuse. We hadn’t been at the table long before the group, a nine-piece band, started to play. To begin with, they were playing in the street, just near our window, but then they danced their way into the main restaurant giving renditions of good solid Cuban "happy music". The room lent itself to this kind of entertainment as the musi...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 26, 2007

Cafe Taberna
Plaza Vieja
Havana, Cuba

Ambos Mundos

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Attraction

Ambos Mundos Photo, Havana, Cuba
Quote:
This hotel was made famous by Ernest Hemingway who regularly stayed here and wrote the opening chapters of "For whom the Bell Tolls" in room 551. We took the lift—an ancient affair holding four people and the attendant—to the top floor and the infamous roof garden café. We were there just after mid-day to enjoy a refreshing glass of water and a coffee. As if to celebrate our arrival, the resident band started to play cheerful Cuban music and I joined many a tourist opening my shutter across the rooftop views of Old Havana Town. I settled down with my notebook and a view of the sea and, as I was penning a journal, dreamt that perhaps the great Ernest had sat exactly in this position. Certainly the spir...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 26, 2007

Ambos Mundos

Havana, Cuba