Havana cuban food on a budget 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 spent 5 days in Havana without setting foot in a tourist restaurant! There’s lots of 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 seemed the same.
Where to Find Cheap Havana Cuban Food
1. El Bulevar (Calle San Rafael)
This pedestrianized part of Calle San Rafael (near Hotel Inglaterra) & the streets around it in Centro Havana is peso street food central.
Here you can get a glass of refresco for the standard price of 1 peso / $0.04!
* 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 street food classics cost more in the capital 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 of these dishes came with rice & beans and salad.
2. 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
3. Plaza Vieja
Just off Plaza de Armas on Calle Brasil, you can find more cheap cuban food – 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
4. 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
5. Vedado market
There’s a fruit & vegetable market around Calles 17 & K in Vedado with cheap food & even a restaurant.
We ate at this restaurant – fish & pork dishes with rice & beans, salad & fried plantains for 40 pesos / $1.60.
Pineapple refresco was 3 pesos / 12 cents.
6. Calle Obispo
Don’t miss the best ice cream in Cuba on Calle Obispo! Just 1-2 pesos / 4-8 cents each!
The best flavours to choose from are chocolate, coconut & strawberry.
The legendary state-run Coppelia ice cream parlor is located on the corner of Calles 23 & L. in Vedado – you can’t miss the big sign & huge queues outside.
It’s incredible that Cubans will wait all day for ice cream but then again, lining-up has been well-ingrained in their lives (eg. at shops, banks, etc).
Ice cream costs 1 or 2 pesos a scoop but if you haven’t got hours to spare, you can join a shorter queue for CUC$ paying customers & tourists.
There’s a peso food stall with hamburgers & hotdogs on the street opposite Coppelia.
8. 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!
As you can see, it’s possible to eat for $3 a day in Havana. Prices are cheaper everywhere else in Cuba – you can find the same kind of street food and cheap restaurants but for much cheaper. Click on our next post to find out more…
Street Food in Cuba: Eat for $1 a Day
Street food in Cuba is arguably the cheapest in the world – find out how you can easily eat 3 meals a day for less than $1!Read more
Planning Your Trip
There are hundreds of casa particulars everywhere in Havana and you’ll always be able to find a room – just look for the blue anchor sign. Prices are negotiable and we were able to find ensuite rooms for around $20-25.
We booked our accommodation as we traveled but it’s a good idea to have at least your first night or 2 booked in advance. Havana has a huge range of places to stay from casas and hostels to guesthouses and hotels. Prices for dorms start at $5…
Although Cuba is a very safe country to travel in, we always recommend purchasing travel insurance before any trip. We’ve been using World Nomads in our travels through 80+ countries over the past 12 years. It’s the best-value provider we’ve found in terms of price and coverage and we haven’t had any issues when we’ve had to make (fortunately) minor claims.
For more details check out our World Nomads review here.
*** The Final Word – You can easily eat 3 meals, snacks & drinks in Havana for less than $3 a day! ***
What was your favourite street food in Havana?
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Visited in May-June 2016