Eating in Cuba is very economical if you go off the tourist circuit.
One way to eat cheaply is to eat in the street cafes, which are more frequented by Cubans.
Try to choose places where prices are in CUP, it’s hard to find them in Old Havana, but if you go out of the area there is a great offer.
If you want to taste traditional Cuban cuisine, there’s nothing better than staying in a Cuban home!
So where to eat in Cuba ?
- Ventanitas are perfect for breakfast and snacks (and some fast food)
- National restaurants are best to eat well and cheaply (although be prepared to wait since the service is slow),
- Paladares are perfect to stick a little whim once in a while.
The “ventanitas” Are no more and no less than private persons who serve their dishes through the window (hence the name).
This is the best option if you want to eat cheaply although, of course, the food is usually simple and basic.
You’ll find everything from hamburgers to rice dishes with chicken or pizza.
Average budget per person : 1 euro per plate
2. National Restaurants
The national restaurants are those run by the government, more expensive than the small windows, but still have very competitive prices.
Average budget per person: 2-4 $
Be prepared to the shortage
The bad thing is that they almost never have everything on the menu, so it’s best to ask directly what they have on the day
That shortage of ingredients is something that, when you travel around Cuba, you find in more than one restaurant/cafeteria and it’s something that the vast majority of the population has to deal with on a daily basis.
The “Paladares” are what we could define as privately managed restaurants, whose price rises quite a bit with respect to the previous options (although the quality of the food and the quantity on offer also rise).
The truth is that this is where you eat best, although of course… quality is paid for, for 7-10 euros you eat perfectly.
How much does food cost in Cuba
Here is a list to get you an idea :
- Pizza : 0,2 Cuc
- Main dish: 3-12 cuc.
- Main dish with seafood: 8 -20 cuc.
- Pasta: 3-7 cuc.
- Drinks: 1-3 cuc.
- Cocktails: 1,5-3 cuc.
- Street soda cans and mineral water cost 1-1.5 cuc.