Budget food in Havana is harder to find & more expensive than anywhere else in Cuba – we’ll show you where to find some of the cheapest eats in the city!

We here at DIY Travel HQ spent 5 days in Havana without setting foot in a tourist restaurant!

There’s lots of peso street food but we also ate at a couple of government & private restaurants.

These were at least 3 times cheaper than tourist restaurants but the quality & quantity of food seemed the same

Keep reading for all the places where we found budget food in Havana!

Peso menu in Havana

A typical peso menu in Havana!

Where to Find Budget Food in Havana

  • El Bulevar (Calle San Rafael)

This pedestrianized part of Calle San Rafael (near Hotel Inglaterra) & the streets around it in Centro Havana is peso food central.

Here you can get a glass of refresco for the standard price of 1 peso / $0.04!

*Budget Food in Havana Top Tip: buy a 1.5L bottle of local soft drink for 25 pesos / $1.00 & refill this bottle time & time again,with refresco for 7 pesos / $0.28! You can also refill it with juice or beer for the equivalent of 7 glasses!

Check out our guide to Cuba’s dual currency system for an overview of the difference between CUC & CUP.

El Bulevar in Havana

El Bulevar is the place to find all budget food in Havana

Other peso street food classics cost more in Havana than in other places in Cuba:

  • Pizza con queso (with cheese) – 10 pesos / 40 cents
  • Spaghetti con queso – 10 pesos / 40 cents
  • Sandwich – 10 pesos / 40 cents
  • Jugo (juice) – 2-5 pesos / 8-20 cents

There are a couple of government & private restaurants on & around El Bulevar.

Our favourite had dishes like:

  • Filete de pescado (30 pesos / $1.20)
  • Fricase credo (30 pesos / $1.20)
  • Fajitas de pollo (35 pesos $1.40)

All came with rice & beans and salad.

Fajitas in Havana

Fajitas de pollo for 35 pesos

  • Paseo de Marti (Paseo del Prado)

There are several peso food stalls on Paseo de Marti, between San Jose & Brasil (Teniente Rey) streets, opposite El Capitolio & next to the classic American cars parked near the Jose Marti statue

Here, you can find the following snacks:

  • Popcorn – 5 pesos / 20 cents
  • Ice cream – 1 peso / 4 cents
  • Hamburger – 8 peso / 32 cents
  • Croqueta – 1 peso / 4 cents
Peso Hamburgers in Havana

Hamburgers on the grill for 8 pesos each – that’s 32 cents!

  • Plaza Vieja

Just off Plaza de Armas on Calle Brasil, you can find more budget food in Havana – here, there’s a small shop that sells decent peso food:

  • Sandwich – 10 pesos / 40 cents
  • Big glass of juice – 5 pesos / 20 cents
  • Coffee – 1 peso / 4 cents
Toasted sandwich in Old Havana

Toasted sandwich for 10 pesos

  • Plaza de Armas

There’s a peso restaurant on the south side of Plaza de Armas with:

  • Spaghetti – 12 pesos / 48 cents
  • Refresco – 2 pesos / 8 cents
Spaghetti in Plaza de Armas

Spaghetti con queso is usually 5 pesos but the cheapest you’ll get in Havana is 10-12 pesos

  • Vedado market

There’s a fruit & vegetable market around Calles 17 & K in Vedado with cheap peso food & even a restaurant.

We ate at this restaurant – fish & pork dishes with rice & beans, salad & fried plantains for 40 pesos / $1.60.

Pineapple refresco was 3 pesos / 12 cents.

Vedado market restaurant in Havana

This huge & delicious dish was just 40 pesos – a relative bargain for budget food in Havana!

  • Calle Obispo

Don’t miss the best ice cream in Cuba on Calle Obispo! Just 1-2 pesos / 4-8 cents each!

The best flavours to choose from are chocolate, coconut & strawberry.

Ice cream in Old Havana

Ice cream is so cheap, why not have two?!

  • Coppelia

The legendary state-run Coppelia ice cream parlor is located on the corner of Calles 23 & L. in Vedado – you can’t miss the big sign & huge queues outside.

It’s incredible that Cubans will wait all day for ice cream but then again, lining-up has been well-ingrained in their lives (eg. at shops, banks, etc).

Ice cream costs 1 or 2 pesos a scoop but if you haven’t got hours to spare, you can join a shorter queue for CUC$ paying customers & tourists.

There’s a peso stall with hamburgers & hotdogs on the street opposite Coppelia.

Coppelia Ice Cream Havana

Cubans are dedicated to lining up for the best ice cream in town!

  • Calle Desamparados

South of the market on Calle Desamparados (Centro Cultural Antiguos almacenes de Deposito San Jose) is a beer dispensary selling glasses of beer in a bar for 6 pesos / 24 cents.

It ran out of beer while we were there – we hope you have better luck!

Now that you have an idea of where to find budget food in Havana, check out our Cuba budget travel guide for more information on travelling to the island nation!

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Budget food in Havana is harder to find & more expensive than anywhere else in Cuba but you can still find bargain peso food - pizza & spaghetti for 40 cents, hamburgers for 25 cents and ice-cream for 4 cents! You can also eat at government & private restaurants for less than $2! Let us show you where to find the cheapest food in Havana!

 

*** The Final Word – You can easily eat 3 meals, snacks & drinks in Havana for less than $3 a day! ***

What was your favourite meal or budget food in Havana?

5 Shovels-2

Super easy DIY travel around city centres

Visited in May-June 2016