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Eating, drinking and nightlife


Cuba is certainly not a foodie’s dream. The relatively meagre supply of food has led to the situation where most restaurants produce very basic offerings. This is especially true at the state-run restaurants, which are little more than canteens. The government has made an effort to improve them, but progress is slow. A better option can be the ‘paladars’, the private restaurants which are restricted to 12 seats. The quality varies considerably between establishments, but generally they will be cheap and at least reasonable.


Cuba is one of the best countries in the Caribbean for alcohol production. The famous Bacardi rum originated in Cuba but is now no longer sold here – you’ll find Havana Club is the main recognisable brand. Cuba’s association with rum is legendary; it is the birthplace of the mojito, the daiquiri and the Cuba Libre (rum and Coke). Make sure you try them while you’re here.


Around the resort areas, nightlife and evening entertainment is generally limited to what the hotel puts on. Nevertheless there are places to go in Varadero if you’d like to party. If you venture into Havana you can find a bustling nightlife with jazz bars and nightclubs all across the city. The Tropicana is a good night out if you get the opportunity. It’s quite expensive but you’ll get free alcohol and an unforgettable night.

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