Food Spots that you have to Try in Havana

Wandering the streets of Vedado, it seems that there is a food joint almost around every corner. A student who had been to Cuba a couple of years earlier said that back then there was nothing and that all the eating was done at the Casa’s that you stayed at. However, this is no longer the case.

New food joints have been popping up like mushrooms  in Havana in the past two years. This is my Top list of places that you have to try:

1.  EL Biki

This place is a restaurant, bar, cafe and bakery all in one. I am usually skeptic of 2 for 1  offers, however this place is Legit. It looks kinda fancy but the prices are okay and they have great seafood. This is also the first place where i found multigrain bread and wholewheat buns, they also have great coffee, amazing cake creations and pastries.

Great place for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, coffee+ tea and drinks

Address: 

Calle San Lazaro | San Lazaro y Infanta, Havanna, Kuba
Friends Tip: Try out their lobster
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2. La Pachanga

This is a place that has great snacks and fast food.  Delicious cheesy filled Quesadilla and from what i have heard the burgers are bangin too. Great place to cure that hangover 🙂 Also this the is the place where i saw a döner grill, no they do not have döner but they make tacos with the slow grilled meat. The gucamole is the BOMB.

Address:

Calle 28 | btween Calle 21 & Avenida 23, Havanna 10400

3.  Cafe El Escorial: Coffee Junkie haven

How about a coffee mojito? yes that exists. This place has all kinds of coffee creations. Their coffee is also very strong and they have small snacks, however this is more of a place where you go to drink coffee and not so much go for the food. It is located directly at the plaza havana vieja.

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4. Museo de chocolate

Chocolate lovers this is a place that has been dedicated to you. Its a little like willy wonka’s factory only its not somewhere in cold Britain. There is a endless choice of handmade chocolate and chocolate drinks hot and cold. This is really chocolate heaven. The hot chocolate is very thick and creamy and is not sickening sweet,  is is served in small  cute porcelain teacups. The whole Chocolate house has a nice design to it and gives one the feeling of a long lost magical time.

Address: Mercaderes Street and Amargura | Old Havana, Havanna, Kuba

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5.El Monguito

Best Sweet potato fries in town! This is is a very small reaturant right opposite the Habana Libre Hotel so it is a great spot to grab some lunch at. It is so small that it sadly overseen often but this place is really worth going to they offer simple and delicious cuban food and serve their rice and beans with avocado and the best sweet potato fries that i have ever eaten. Great place for vegetarians as well as the rice and beans are made without meat. Portions are big and prices are small. Its a real good place to grab a bite to eat.

Address:

Calle L e/Calle23 y 25 | Vedado, Havanna, Kuba

 

6. Best Juice Joint in town

The Juice place in town is close to melia cohiba calle 1 and calle 6. If you take the bike tour you might have the luck to make a stop here for a vitamin kick. This place also offers veggie juices and such as orange beetroot or carrot ginger. They also make green juices with superfoods such as moringa. They also do not add any sugar into their juices which is a major plus point. Ask for what fruits are in season when making a choice 🙂 Also prices are in CUP and they fill your empty water bottles -even the 1,5 liter ones  with juices for you upon request this usually does not cost much either and is so worth it.

Address:

Close to Hotel Melia cohiba between calle 1 and calle 6

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7. Creperie Oasis Nelva

I went to this place on one of my last days in Cuba, and am i glad that i did they serve delicious crepes here. The cafe is also located above a flower shop and is designed in a very artsy way giving one the impression as if they were lost in a green jungle with chairs made out of tires with hanging sisal ropes and colorful diamond shaped art hangs on the walls. The people who run the place are also very nice and this place is overall a very nice place to have a delicious crepe and a large homemade limonada. They also have salads made with organic vegetables. This place is a real Gem and is worth checking out!

Address:

la calle Muralla esquina Habana, La Habana Vieja, Cuba

 

 

P.S

There is one more place worth checking out, sadly i do not have the exact address of the place.

Cafe Toscana

I sadly do not have the exact address of this place but all i know is that it is located behind the coppelia and that it serves good and simple pasta. The place is run by an Italian who is quiet the character. They also have spicy vegetarian pasta with aubergine, which was delicious!

If you guys have any other recommendations please leave a comment and let us know 🙂

Tips for vegans and vegetarians

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Cuba is not really that popular for its culinary creations. However, this is changing a lot. As it is with all things in life you have to go far, wide and deep to find the things that you want. I am someone who eats mostly vegan and living in Berlin has given me the opportunity to nourish myself this way with no problems whatsoever. However, in Cuba that was not always the case and i had to adapt and switch up my nutrition while i was there.

Cuban people found it a bit hard to understand what i meant by vegan “No meat, not even chicken?” is a question that i got asked often when i ordered rice and beans with no pollo “sin carne”.

I talked to a Cuban student and he had told me that he would love to nourish himself in a vegetarian way. However, he said that in Cuba there is not much food choice so it would make it very difficult for him to get all the proteins and vitamins that he would need to stay healthy. So vegetarianism or veganism is not necessarily shunned upon, it is  just very hard to do given the limited availability of variety of food.

I think it is doable to be vegan in Cuba if you have your own kitchen and are ready to spend some time cooking. So maybe this would be something to consider when you are looking for housing. Luckily, during my time in Cuba it was Avocado season so i got to eat tons of those. Also, guava was in season and baby bananas.

Ask the locals what fruit and vegetables are currently in season. Also go to the local market and buy fresh and cheap produce. All agricultural products at the local markets should be paid in CUP as these are national products, at the front of the market there is usually a big blackboard that shows the prices of the day, make sure to check that out before you start shopping.

I would also advice to take some Vitamins with you and to maybe take some peanut butter and some rye bread with you, most casa’s have fridges where you can store it all. Also maybe some nuts and seeds would be good to take with you.

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Day 09

Classes commenced as usual.

In the ICEM class “Actualidades de Alemania” our fellow ISSEM Coordinator Vanessa Schmidt held a talk, about the current refugee situation in Germany. The debate was quite heated, as the alumni had several questions and opinons about the matter.

In the evening the ISSEM hosted a german culture night at the bar fresca y chocolate. Here a german movie was screened, and board games could also played. Live music performances could also be enjoyed. This was a mixed ISSEM and ICEM event.


Students playing chess

Alumni listening to the live music performance!

Day 1 – Daily Update

​At 9am today, students, professors and alumni all gathered in the beautiful Aula Magna in the main building of the University of Havana, to officially open the ISSEM 2016. 

It was a very exciting morning as Cuban and German students and professors walked up the historic stairs of the University of Havana, to officially start off the 2 weeks of the 14th summer school. There was a great amount of chatter and most students had already sweated through their formal attire even before the opening ceremony had commenced. 

The event was opened by Prof. Michael Burda from Humboldt University who gave a opening speech, followed by a official welcoming by the dean of the faculty of economics of the University  of Havana Prof. Dr Silvia Odriozola. “The summer school is not just about studying, there is a great amount of social activities as well that should be utilised as they give German and Cuban students an opportunity to share cultures and socialise and make lasting friendships” said Prof.Dr. Odriozola. 

Her speech was then followed by a very moving accustic guitar performance. Then the traditional participants’ photograph that was taken on the steps of the university and the summer school officially kicked off. Classes were held in the economic faculty. 

19:30– With the day coming to a close, students and professors all met at the entrance of the main building, and then headed on to the Malcon to toast, and drink to the beginning of the summer school.

Sunday- daily update DAY 00

​The summer school has not yet officially started, however, the first alumni and students were already early and ready to register for the courses. The ISSEM organisation  team was already prepared to welcome this year’s participants. 

New and old faces came together, kisses were flying in the air and smiles were exchanged. Stories from the past were reheated, and current affairs were discussed as well. The alumni in particular were very open to share and tell us what they had been up to. It felt like all these people were eager to be a part of something that they had been a part of before- in another time and place.