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!
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!
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.
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.
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
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
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
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 / $1.60.
Pineapple refresco was 3 pesos / 12 cents.
Don’t miss the best ice cream in Cuba on Calle Obispo! Just 1-2 pesos / 4-8 cents each!
The best flavours to choose from are chocolate, coconut & strawberry.
The legendary state-run Coppelia ice cream parlor is located on the corner of Calles 23 & L. in Vedado – you can’t miss the big sign & huge queues outside.
It’s incredible that Cubans will wait all day for ice cream but then again, lining-up has been well-ingrained in their lives (eg. at shops, banks, etc).
Ice cream costs 1 or 2 pesos a scoop but if you haven’t got hours to spare, you can join a shorter queue for CUC$ paying customers & tourists.
There’s a peso stall with hamburgers & hotdogs on the street opposite Coppelia.
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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*** 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?
Super easy DIY travel around city centres
Visited in May-June 2016