With 2017 on the horizon next years travel plans are on the minds of many. So, my new years salud to you; that with a new year will come many new adventures…
Should you have Cuba on your list for 2017 here are my very best recomendaciones for where to eat, drink, and be merry..
- Soda Obispo While you are touring downtown Habana you are sure to see Soda Obispo, its presence on the corner is easily recognizable. Blue and white awnings and an endless trail of people to an from a window that serves the most addictive cold treats. While I stayed in Habana I easily stopped by at least once a day for my 40cent coconut ice cream. Creamy, with chewy coco bits, served in a coconut and just a drizzle of chocolate on top… please, please, please treat yourself and have one for me!
- Museo de la Revolucion (Museum of the Revolution) We all know that Cuba has a long and complicated political past, and for reasons that we won’t discuss here had been off limits for Americans the past 50 plus years. I myself did not fully understand the history of Cuba nor its politics of power, this is why I have put Museo de la Revolucion on this list. It is not a highly interactive or advanced museum by any means. Honestly it is mostly reading, but it is such a wealth of knowledge so that I could finally feel brought up to speed. Plus, getting to stand in former President Bautista’s Presidential Palace (before he lost to la revolucion) and stroll through his ballrooms was pretty mind blowing.
3. Los Nardos This is not only a restaurant recommendation but a money recommendation. You will get one of the nicest, most delicious and authentic dinners here for about $5 – $8 dollars a plate. If you are in Habana paying more than that for a nice dinner, turn and walk away, it’s a trap. Resteraunts like Los Nardos cater to both locals and tourists which means well priced, ridiculously delicious and great ambiance. Los Nardos shares a building with two other restaurants and is on the top floor. There will certainly be a line around dinner time so get there early and make sure that you get into the correct line, it is the one to the right.
- Playa Este After a few busy days of running around Habana a relaxing beautiful Caribbean beach day is well due. Downtown near Parque Central the buses run all day long, hoping on one for a few dollars will have you to the beach in 30mins. They say that there are even more beautiful beaches in Cuba but those are hours away. Something to be said for a still very beautiful warm watered beach just around the corner.
- Hotel Saratoga While Hotel Saratoga is light years out of my price range for a stay ( I even heard that Beyonce and Jay Z stayed there) they have the most beautiful mezzanine bar open for drinks. It is not the most lively of bars but it will instantly transport you into a 1950’s Cuban dream. A perfect place to sit and enjoy a cigar if you need a break from the hustle outside or a pre-dinner Mojito perhaps.. Oh, and don’t let me forget to mention, take the elevator up to the rooftop pool for sunset. Gorgeous.
- Almacen de Artesanias (Artisan Market) You will surely have to bring home some type of souvenirs for everyone back home, plus probably want a few goodies for yourself. Rather than racking your brain up and down while in Old Habana go straight to the source. There is an artisan market on the Malecón that sells EVERYTHING, you will have options galore. From paintings, to woodwork, to clothing, to trinkets, anything and everything is here and all prices negotiable. Side Note: There is a cool brewery next door that you should check out; Cerveceria Antiguo Almacen de la Madera y El Tabaco. (I know it’s a really long name)
Have the best of travels in 2017 and I will continue to bring you the best of mine… hasta pronto…