La Guarida: The Best, the Most Famous…and the Most Expensive

One of the most famous and most expensive restaurants in Havana, La Guarida does not disappoint. The food is always fantastic, and at $15-20 a plate, it better be. The famous 1993 Cuban movie Fresa y Chocolate filmed in the building back before it was converted into a restaurant (one of the characters actually calls his apartment “la guarida”–or, the hideout), and it still feels like a move set.

The restaurant is on the third floor and requires you to walk up a beautiful central staircase that has seen better days. The building was clearly at one point a beautiful mansion, but since then had been divided into separate apartments which, with the exception of the restaurant, have fallen into disrepair.

Though the entrance is certainly an experience, the food itself gives it a run for its money–with a consistent menu of fish, chicken, rabbit, pork belly, pate, tartar–and even some ropa viella, a common Cuban dish made from slow cooked beef. You can’t go wrong with any dish, it’s all great. Just make sure you call for a reservation, ideally a few weeks in advance.

We also recommend checking out the rooftop bar, which doesn’t require a reservation, but offers amazing views of Centro Havana and killer cocktails. You can get to the roof via the spiral staircase at the back of the restaurant, but only in the evenings–it’s not open during the day. There’s even a separate sitting area above the bar, accessible via a separate spiral staircase, that’s usually pretty empty and a good place to go if you’re looking for some privacy, or a quiet spot to ruminate on life while gazing out over Havana after the sun sets.

Concordia #418 between Gervasio and Escobar, Centro Havana/
Open 12pm-4pm and 6pm-midnight (bar is open 6pm-midnight)
http://www.laguarida.com/en/