Havana Food Hints & Tips

by Female Abroad

We ate only in Casa Particulars so we don't have experience with the government run places but we found the food to be very good. Rabbit stewed in red wine, spiced slow cooked lamb, pumpkin soup, caramel flan - we were spoiled. The food however is too much for one person. Each meal costs about CUC 20 per person but we would split it as it was way too much food for one person. All meals come with rice, beans, fresh veggies, and your main dish. Some also give you desert, others more veggies, it just depends. Prices are 2020 when CUC was the main tourist currency in Cuba.

Photo above: 2 types of rice, traditionally prepared yuca, fried plantains, beans, fresh veggies, and lamb plus a Batido. this was for 2 people can cost about CUC 35.

Expect to spend CUC 5 for a glass of beer or fruit juice, CUC 2.50 - 5 for a mojito, and CUC 1 - 3 for water (always bottled).

Other items that you can get around town are:


  1. Buy a 1.5L (roughly 7 glasses) of a local soft drink (roughly 25 CUP) and refill this over and over again. Refills of refesco will only cost you 7 CUP. If their soda isn't your think then you can also fill it with juice or beer.
  2. Gaseosas: home made pop - 2-3 CUP per glass (about 22mL)
  3. Guarapo "Guarap": sugar cane juice - 1 CUP Jugo: fresh juice - 2-3 CUP - usually comes in tamarind, sugar ccane, guayabana, pina, grapefruit, and mango
  4. Batido: milkshake - 3 CUP - made with ice, water, milk or condensed milk, and fruit
  5. Cerveza: beer - 6 CUP per cup, 10-15 CUP per bottle of beer. Bucanero is the most popular brand
  6. Granizdo: shaved ice with flavoured syrup - 2 CUP


Cuban food used to be hit or miss but now you have the choice of delicious local dishes. Some you can grab to go and sometimes you can sit down to eat like:

  1. Pan: 2-5 CUP - bread with egg and your choice of additional item (see con list) but nothing else
    Pan Con (Pan with):
    Tortilla: egg omelet
    Jamon: ham
    Queso: cheese
    Chorizo: spicy sausage
    Guayabara: fruit jam
  2. Pizza: 5-10 CUP
    Pizza Con (with)
    Queso: cheese - cheapest option at 5 CUP
    Jamon: ham
    Hawaiiana: ham and pineapple
  3. Ice cream: 1 - 5 CUP
    soft serve: chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, or coconut. Some places will serve different flavors.
  4. Croqueta: 1 CUP for 2 - bread crumbed fried rolls usually filled with jam
  5. Popcorn: 5 CUP
  6. Hot dogs: 10 CUP
  7. Cookies: 1 - 3 CUP
  8. Empanada: 1 CUP
  9. Cacao chocolate fudge: 1 CUP
  10. Churro: 3 CUP
  11. Sticky fried plantains
  12. Frita: Cuban hamburger
  13. Elota: grilled corn on the cob rolled in cotija cheese
  14. Ropa vieja: stewed shredded beef in tomato sauce

Honorable Mentions

While you can't eat or drink these, they deserve a shout out as well.

Cuban cigars: you can buy them off the locals for about 1 peso (US$ 0.04)

Papaya: in Cuba this is almost the same to Cubans as the word "c**t" is to North Americans. It's is very vulgar and offensive. If you want something made of Papaya use the term "Fruta Bomba". People in Cuba will still refer to it at Papaya in restaurants if they are speaking with someone they assume is not a Spanish speakers