There's a bar at the front that holds around a dozen people from which it is packed. The restaurant through the back is bigger. Unless though you are a real Hemmingway zealot, this is an unremarkable place. The other Hemmingway place is the Floridita a few mins walk away and while nothing mega to get excited about, is the better of the 2 to have a drink in as the bar isn't so small.
The "B del M," as it's also known, oozes history and suffers from overcrowding. Still, it's still a must for any first-time trip to Havana. The collage of famous photos and signatures that crowd the walls here are legend. You'll definitely want a reservation (in high season), although even with a reservation, you'll probably end up waiting for a table -- this place is just that popular. Tradition would have you start things off with a mojito, although the mojitos here are notoriously weak and unjustifiably expensive. The food -- simple and well-prepared Cuban dishes -- is pretty good. This place is crowded and rowdy, so don't come expecting anything less. There's live music in the squashed bar.
American writer Ernest Hemingway (1899 - 1961) would have his usual Mojito and chat with the locals at his favourite haunt LA BODEGUITA DEL MEDIO. It's a quaint little bar/restaurant located near the Plaza de la Catedral. Our guide made a point of bringing us there as it's apparently a must-see. The little walkway there was overcrowded with tourists and the bar was simply packed with people. Looking inside, you could see hundreds of writings on the wall, as folks are allowed and encouraged to write your name, that is if you can find the space to do so. The restaurant served traditional Cuban dishes and the atmosphere was definitely Bohemian. Mojitos were advertised at 6 Pesos ($7.00 US) which is steep for Cuba.
Do not get fooled by this little typical tourist-trap restaurant. Or maybe it is just the ratio cost-benefit too low. We paid about 40 dollars for pork with beans and rice and a beer for both of us which I thought too expensive. You definitely want to go to the small bars with live music around Havana where you can delight yourself with local food and the great music they play there. That type of restaurants might not be as fancy but the food and the ambience is what you expect of Havana
It has been pretty convincingly proved that the Hemmingway endorsement of the place is a forgery. Hemmingway is known to have gone there just once, when some investors forced him to go.
The Mojitos are overrated, the food isn't very good. A tourist trap if you ask me.
To be honest i did not want to come here.I thought that a quick picture could be enough as it's popular because Hemingway used to drink mojito here but I could get cheaper mojito everywhere else in Havana.
I had to change my mind after a night of stomach pains dued to a mojito probably made with oil instead of rom in an unonimous bar on Vedado.
I did not want to leave Cuba before tasting a decent mojito and I did not want to risk again, so I came regardless of the taxi driver that tried to persuade me that 4 cuc for a mojito was a "robo total".
Favorite Dish: The mojito was good and the bar was good but still the driver was right, its price is a robo total!
Opened in 1942 the restaurant & bar attracts many visitors due to the fact that Ernest Hemingway used to drink here. I had a drink in the small bar area, the walls are covered in pictures & writing from the rich & famous who have visited it. The bar area was quite crowded with tourists & a band playing, a local Cuban beer cost 3 CUC. There are other small rooms there to have a meal, I didn't bother due to the prices & the fact they were pretty crowded too.
Well, if you expect extravegant food in Cuba, you have come to the wrong country. I did not find Cuban cuisine anything to write home about, but when you're hungry, you eat! There are numerous spanish-style restaurants, which I found a lot better.
Anyway, La Bodeguita del Medio has a major significance in Old Havana because it is visited by many famous people. Ernest Hemingway loved it there, and also as recent as Maradona (the Argentinian footballer), who had visited there also.
One very unique aspect about the restaurant was that you could write on any wall inside. The walls are covered with writing, etc. I even got into the swing of things and wrote a little something too. I drew a Kangaroo albeit not a very good one! LOL. Anyway, we had a lot of fun in there, and I do strongly suggest you take a visit and have a meal.
Favorite Dish: We had a mixture of rice/beans, pork, fries, bread and a really simple salad. It all tasted good.
Ok, everybody knows this place and maybe it has more tips than other places on this web site. Just let me advice U that the place is really touristic, don´t spect to find same atmosfere as 20 or more years ago. Prices are very high. Mojito, the Hemingway drink is not so god here and it´s expensive, 5 cuc. On other places you´ll find it for 2 and twice as good. But neverthless, take some time and visit the place, it has the walls full of signs of the people that have been there, including Fidel, Salvador Allende and many famous writers and artists from the ´50´s, 60´s and 70´s.
Favorite Dish: Mojito mojito and mojito...you can eat theri food. It's tipical cuban food, black beans, rice and steak. I prefer only to take a few drinks and keep walking.
While in Havana, be sure to visit the Bodeguita del Medio, a tiny restaurant on a side street near the Cathedral. It is famous not only for its menu of out-of-this-world traditional Cuban dishes but also for its delectable Mojitos and its unique decor. Ever since its opening in 1942, its clientele has included countless world celebrities in the arts and VIPs in the spheres of science and politics. The atmosphere is bohemian, and guests are welcome to write or carve their names anywhere they can find space to do so. Its atmosphere retakes the atmosphere of the traditional inn, adorned here with the "Tres" (typical Cuban guitar), maracas, güiros and bongos. Enjoy the frijoles negros dormidos and the roast pork.
Favorite Dish: Ropa Vieja, arroz blanco y frijoles negros.
We went to la Bodeguita as it was a "must see" in about all the travel books I read and I like Hemingway. So there we were...and honeslty, unless you're a die-hard fan of Hemingway on a pilgrimage the place is really not worth it. The bar is rather small, the decor is original but the mojito had nothing exceptional and the barman was extremely unfriendly and rude.
As a classic place made famous by Hemingway (who else?) and a number of other celebrities, La B del M seems to be a must for every Havana visitor. Well, I wasn't that impressed, though probably mostly because it was my first day in the city and I still had some expectations about Cuban cuisine. The atmosphere is actually quite nice, all that "graffiti" on the walls is fun to read, but altogether I don't think it lives up to the hype.
Favorite Dish: I had Cuban food (rice, beans, meat) and it was about the same as anywhere else
LA BODEGUITA DE ENMEDIO
This mythical restaurant located in 'Havana Vieja' is said to be home of the mojito, and has been serving its classic, home-style dishes for more than 50 years to customers as the ubicuous Hemingway.
Try Ropa Vieja (meat with rice), Fried banana, Moros y Cristianos (rice & beans).
Calle Empedrado, between 'Cuba' and 'San Ignacio'. Ph.: 62-4498, 62-5156. Open daily 11:30-01:00.
La Bodeguita del Medio
No visit to Havana is complete without at least one visit to
Ernest Hemingway's favorite watering hole, at 207 Calle Empedrado, tel. 62-6121, half a block west of the cathedral. This neighborhood hangout was originally the coachhouse of the mansion next door (that of the Countess de la Reunion). Later it was a bodega, a mom-and-pop grocery store that served drinks and food over the counter. The owner, Martínez, hit upon a brilliant idea: he gave writers credit. The writers, of course, wrote about their newfound hangout, thereby attracting literati and cognoscenti from around the world.
You enter through a saloon-style swinging door. The bar is immediately on your right, with the restaurant behind (note the beautiful tilework along the passageway wall). The bar is usually crowded with tourists, who ebb and flow. Troubadors move among the thirsty turistas. Between tides, you can still savor the proletarian fusion of dialectics and rum. (The house drink is the mojito, the rum mint julep—US$3—that Hemingway brought out of obscurity and turned into the national drink.)
The rustic wooden bar is carved with names. Miscellaneous bric-a-brac adorns the walls: posters, paintings, and faded black-and-white photos of Papa Hemingway, Carmen Miranda, and other famous visitors. The walls look as if a swarm of adolescents has been given amphetamines and let loose with crayons. The most famous graffiti, of course, is credited to Papa: 'Mi Mojito En La Bodeguita, Mi Daiquiri En El Floridita,' he supposedly scrawled on the sky-blue walls. Errol Flynn thought it 'A Great Place To Get Drunk.'
I've tried to enter the bar but it was too crowded with histerical tourists. I've checked the prices and I quit.
too small, too crowded, too expensive