If you're looking for a place with live music and what looks like half the tourists in Havana trying to crowd into the open downstairs bar (and the rest dancing in the street outside) so they can try what are supposed to be the premiere mojitos in the City, look no further! Yes, it is said that Papa Hemingway did some of his drinking here -- you can see a big brass tribute to him over the bar -- but it seemed to me like many places in Havana had that distinction. More interesting was the graffiti, which covers every surface in the ground floor and up the stairway to the more spacious second-floor restaurant. Our group was seated in a small room with windows wide open to the balcony, allowing us plenty of both air and sound from the band. People seemed generally pleased with both the drinks and the meal. There is a tiny gift shop which is worth pausing for on the way out -- much better quality souvenirs were available here than elsewhere in our travels.
Favorite Dish Please check out others' description of the food. I had been very ill for the two preceding days, so I limited my consumption to a plate of white rice -- which was wonderful, but probably isn't what you're going to Havana to experience!
The famous Bodeguita del Medio or B del M as it is usually called, is still keeping its tradition and its style. The walls are covered up with signatures of well-known or just common people. The musicians are still playing the same rhythms. I remember it from the first trip to Cuba , many years ago. I tried to find my signature but it had probably been erased. Having a drink in B del M is a good idea, although it is expensive. In my first trip we had dinner with my friends and we were very satisfied with our meals but now I have heard it has deteriorated so it's up to you to decide. Their cuisine is Creole.
It was founded in 1942 and it is said that it was first signed by Ernest Hemingway.
There are more Bodeguitas del Medio, one in Trinidad , another one in Varadero and several more in other countries. All are similar, carrying the long history of thousands of hands who have signed on their walls. (unless they have been painted over...)
This is the recipe of their legendary mojito which Hemingway used to like so much!
-- 1/2 small spoonful of sugar
--- 1/2 ounce of lime juice
--- put in some leaves of spearmint, "hierba buena", and stir carefully without destroying the leaves
-- -3 ounces of soda water
---2-3 ice cubes
--- 1 ounce of ...3year old Havana Ron (of course if you have no Cuban Rum you can use any rum or votka. In Brazil they use cachaça)
Address: La B del M / La Bodeguita del Medio
In Havana : Empedrado 207
e/ Cuba y san Ignacio
tel (537) 272 2223 / ( 537) 272 2319 / (537) 272 5994
See also: B del M - Trinidad and B del M - Varadero
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.