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OnCuba Recommends
La Bien Paga

Summer is here, and in Havana, everyone’s got the urge to eat out, have fun with the family, and discover new places. Also during this time of year, more foreign visitors are in town, eager to explore the country’s dining options. OnCuba would like to suggest five places that you shouldn’t miss this summer. While they are all different, they share one thing in common: they are all very popular.

Casa Abel

Photo: Rolando Pujols
Photo: Rolando Pujols

Just a few feet from Havana’s Malecón, the Restaurant-Cigar Bar Casa Abel welcomes a select public, disposed to enjoying the exquisite pleasure of combining sophisticated dishes with excellent cigars. Owned by Abel Expósito, who received the honorary title of Habano Man (1999), the restaurant boasts a menu featuring many creations related to the world of cigars. The chef’s specialty is Pollo Casa Abel—chicken marinated for 24 hours in aromatic herbs and Havana Club Añejo rum, and then steam broiled with beer. This is a place where a taste for excellent cuisine and a gourmet passion for the best cigars in the world come together.

La Bien Pagá

Photo: Alain L. Gutiérrez Almeida
Photo: Alain L. Gutiérrez Almeida

Without question, the best sandwiches in Havana are to be had at La Bien Pagá, a popular sandwich shop that first opened a few feet from the centrally-located Obispo street. Today it has two locations; the newest one is on Calle 23, between 24 and 26 streets in Vedado. With a range of prices, ingredients, formats and even styles, these succulent sandwiches are a real favorite. The menu is diverse and pleasing to even the most demanding customer, because it’s fast and delicious food. The establishment’s décor, very cheery and colorful, reaffirms a culinary experience where you feel like you’ve never had such a great deal.

KingBar

Photo: Alain L. Gutiérrez Almeida
Photo: Alain L. Gutiérrez Almeida

At KingBar, the only king is the client. This establishment was designed to make an impact, captivate, and above all, to have fun.  The cuisine is stylized Cuban, fused with international dishes, especially grilled and charbroiled. The restaurant’s guiding concept is that customers create their own dishes based on its different offers. It also features diverse musical programming and artwork-laden décor. Bohemian, urbane and cosmopolitan—that’s the KingBar, a fiesta of flavors. But the King is more than a bar; it is esthetic enjoyment, an amalgam of textures and aromas. It’s become a social phenomenon. Everybody’s talking about it— it’s become famous in a very short time, and for good reason…

Ideas Bar-Restaurant

Ideas Bar-Restaurant
Ideas Bar-Restaurant

Enjoying art as you eat and sharing that pleasure: a notion that led to the creation of a restaurant called Ideas. The walls of this stylishly decorated eclectic old mansion in the Vedado neighborhood hold various works of art that conspire in favor of the diner enjoying a unique gastronomical experience. The menu features exotic confections, presented according to the high standards of contemporary international cuisine: ceviche, or lamb in mushroom and fruit sauce, as well as a range of Peruvian dishes. From the terrace, one can enjoy a beautiful view. Stylized international and haute cuisine is the specialty here, where good ideas are always born.

Melen Club

Melen Club. Photo: Rolando Pujols
Melen Club. Photo: Rolando Pujols

The Melen Club, with its evocative décor and meticulous service, is an ideal place for any occasion: romantic dinners, executive lunches, weddings, birthdays, theme parties, events and celebrations. Specializing in cuisine that fuses Mediterranean and Japanese, its intimate, very cozy setting is perfect for trying out its diverse menu of cocktails and its many dishes, featuring more than 10 types of sauces.

PRESIDENT
HUGO CANCIO
EDITORIAL DIRECTOR
TAHIMI ARBOLEYA
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
ARIEL MACHADO
DESIGN & LAYOUT
PATRICIO HERRERA VEGA
PHOTOGRAPHY DIRECTOR
OTMARO RODRÍGUEZ
COPYEDITING
CHARO GUERRA
TRANSLATION
ERIN GOODMAN
WEB EDITOR CUBA
MONICA RIVERO
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