Experience Cuba in a classic car.

The Ultimate Cuban Seafood Tour By Car

The Ultimate Cuban Seafood Tour By Car

Did you know Cuban cuisine is a blend of four different cultures: African, Spanish, Caribbean, and Taino? Cuba is not only famous for being a hub for classic cars and its cigars, but also for its rich culinary traditions like its incredible seafood. Hiring a car to take you on a Cuban seafood tour is one of the top ways you could spend your time and money while on the island. The freshly caught, thoroughly cooked, tasty and tender lobsters, shrimps, snappers, sea bass, and octopus are without a doubt the highlight of Cuban cuisine. The expert chefs and fancy hotels just add to the experience! Below, we take a look at must-visit restaurants if you are on a Cuban seafood tour by car or Cuban road trip.

Los Naranjos

Los Naranjos is a high-end gourmet restaurant found in one of the best Havana neighborhoods. It is a nine-minute cab drive from El Malecón and an 11-minute drive from Havana, costing between CUC 7 and CUC 9. Along the way, you get to see Cuban architectural masterpieces like the Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas, Plaza de la Revolución and the leafy Vedado avenues. It was initially a 1930s villa whose second floor was transformed into a restaurant by Alexis Naranjo.

Aside from its exceptional space, high ceilings and stunning balcony, Los Naranjos offers quite the extensive list of seafood on the menu. It is especially famous for its lobster "Hemingway style," although it also features rock lobster and lobster enchiladas, pescado grille, seafood paella, carpaccio, and shrimp. When it comes to drinks, the restaurant features a full bar that serves wine, beer, and cocktails and is especially known for its pina colada with a cinnamon twist. Vegan and gluten-free options do exist as well in Cuban, Italian, Latin, Spanish, Caribbean and fusion cuisines. The prices are fair and range from 9.97 CUC to 49.89 CUC. 

Donde Lis Restaurante and Bar

Once you are done with Vedado, it is time to go back in time to the historic center of Habana Vieja, which features Donde Lis Restaurante and Bar. The journey covers 6.1km on the Linea Avenue and takes about 14 minutes from Los Naranjos. Alternatively, one can drive back to Havana and then to Donde Lis, which is a more exciting route. It is a 12-minute drive from Havana on Avenida Belgica but first you have to go through a tunnel: Tunel de LA Habana.

Donde Lis features contemporary decor and a small but cozy dining area open daily. Although it features international cuisines, such as Italian, Latin, European, and Caribbean, it is especially known for its traditional Cuban dishes and seafood. The latter is served in form of soups and entrees and features pulpo, ceviche, carpaccio, shrimp and the delightful American lobster. The house octopus paired with malanga chips and the seafood grill are the restaurant's specialty dishes, even though they cost 20 CUC. Moreover, Donde Lis is rumored to have the best mojito in all of Cuba. 

La Vaca Rosada

From Old Havana, head down to La Vaca Rosada, a stunning rooftop restaurant. It is located in Varadero, one of the most popular beach destinations in the world according to Forbes. The journey takes approximately two hours on the Via Blanca highway by taxi and will cost you between CUC 100 to CUC 150. The journey is pretty exciting with features like the Bacunayagua Bridge, Cuba’s best engineering marvel, along the way. You will also come across Matanzas, the cradle of all Cuban baseball and the best place to do souvenir shopping.

The restaurant's menu is quite a delight, featuring tasty Cuban dishes served with Italian finishes and presentations. La Vaca Rosada is famous for its thin-crusted seafood pizza and the Surf and Turf, which is a meal made of lobsters and filet mignon. In addition, the views from the restaurant are to-die-for. The ambiance is very relaxing with fairy lights and great music. The restaurant is very affordable with most meals ranging from 5.98 CUC to 13.97 CUC, and that's not even the best part! The quantity of food served is a lot more compared to other Cuban restaurants. They serve some of the biggest lobsters and fish ceviches. Even the cocktails come in glasses twice the size of ordinary cocktail glasses!

If you have more time for your seafood tour, you can also pass by Amigos Del Mar, Puerto de Sagua, Don Cangrejo, El Floridita, Papa's and El Templeton, as these are other highly ranked Cuban seafood restaurants. All of these restaurants feature outdoor seating, parking, reservation and take out - with some like Donde Lis even being accessible by wheelchair. The best thing about seafood served in these Cuban restaurants is that you will only eat freshly caught, organic fish and seafood while on the tour.