Cuba’s government-owned and operated restaurants are a mixed bag, are often very expensive with limited menus. Do your research to find quality places to eat and we recommend dining at paladares as much as possible. Paladares have been around Cuba for decades, and the early business model was on par with a speakeasy – often operating out of the owner’s living room and advertised only “in the streets.”
These days, paladares are (in some cases) hard to distinguish from restaurants you might find in the states. The food in a local paladar is far superior to state-sanctioned options most of the time, and again, offers a traveler the chance to put some money back into the local economy.