Fricase cerdo in Havana

Where to Eat Havana Cuban Food for $3 a Day

In Cuba, Food & Drink by Sheena2 Comments

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.

Peso menu in Havana

A typical peso menu of Havana cuban food

Where to Find Cheap Havana Cuban Food

  • 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.

El Bulevar in Havana

El Bulevar is the place to find all Havana food on a budget

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.

We recommend Lonely Planet’s Cuba guide book to help you plan your trip

Havana cuban food Fajitas

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
Havana cuban food Hamburgers

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 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
Havana cuban food

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
Havana cuban food Spaghetti

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 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.

Havana cuban food Vedado

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 food 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!

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

Havana Accommodation

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…

 

Check hostel prices now

 

Travel Insurance

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.

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Street food in Cuba

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 street food in Havana?

5 Shovels-2

Super easy DIY travel around city centres

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means that we receive a small commission if you click on a link & purchase something that we’ve recommended, at no extra cost to you.

Visited in May-June 2016

 

Comments

  1. It’s really fascinating that most Cubans love cheap ice cream that they’re willing wait the whole day falling in line for it. This is just the sort of Cuban treat that the twins’ would enjoy doing while they bask in Cuba’s Old World Hispanic charm. Not only would they be able to enjoy the cobbled outdoors, but they’d also be able to taste the best Cuban delicacies in the best government-run restaurants that afford even tourists a great meal at less than $3 for authentic Cuban cuisine.

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