The best food we have ever enjoyed has been prepared by our Cuban friends. Pig roasts at the farm with yucca (root vegetable similar to potato), goat, lobster tails prepared on a homemade BBQ on the beach, a lobster tail lunch served in the tiny backyard of a Cuban home, grilled pargo (red snapper) served on the rental boat while cruising the Rio Canimar (followed by a great swim off the boat into this fabulous mix of fresh and salt water river), pizza from a homemade oven in a Cuban backyard (delivery guy uses a bicycle with a wooden shelved box on the back).
Ask the locals for great places to eat - go where they go.
Favorite Dish: Can't beat a Cuban lobster. Love the rice & beans too!
Cardenas is a small town across the bay from the peninsula of Varadero. Approximately 17 kms on a divided highway. This stops as you enter the town and become one of many one way streets. Getting lost is almost a given unless you have been before. Good idea to have a basic spanish to ask directions.
Lots of working staff of resorts live in Cardenas or other local towns and Cities like Matanzas, Jovellanos or Cardenas. Driving to Caradenas you will pass the Energas facility where power for the local grid is produced. Hold your breath as the sulphur small can be strong at times. This will drift over to Varadero the odd time and many think it is sewage.
Cardenas is not for the light at heart as it is a run down town with many homes looking very delapitated but don't let this fool you as most cuban fix up the inside long before the outside is attended to. Driving amongst horse carts, bicycles, motorcycles, buses and heavy transport on narrow streets can be a heart attack waiting to happen ... Keep your cool, drive slow and be ever watchfull. Bikes do not stop at intersectionsand will be in front of you in a second.
There are numerous Casa particulars to stay at if a traveller and interested in this lifestyle. The owners are helpful and genuine business people that go out of their way to please thier guests. I have been to four different ones in Cardeans. Two with kitchettes.