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Cuban Food Tips (10)

Restaurante Don Alex: Dine with a Peacock... named Rene...

Don Alex is a fairly new, privately owned restaurant in downtown Varadero. It is just off 1st Avenue. Their large menu features Italian and International dishes. Our large group (Feb/13) sampled several pizzas as well as the spaghetti with garlic tomato sauce. Everything was prepared exactly as ordered and the taste was outstanding. The camarones are a house specialty and are also excellent. The prices are every bit as good as the food - how about 1.50CUC for a cheese pizza big enough to feed two people? The total bill for our table of 10 (including drinks) was 34.70CUC. And we had an entire pizza left over, which our server gladly wrapped up for us to take with us.

I returned to Don Alex on my last visit to Varadero, in December 2013. Alex was happy to see me and we had a great visit while I was waiting for my food. This trip I started with the bruschetta (1.50CUC) and the flavour was out of this world! Everything was so fresh and you can taste the difference - fresh tomatoes and garlic on homemade toasted bread - I could have eaten 3 orders! The appetizer was followed by a cheese pizza which I couldn't even eat half of. My server wrapped up the remainders and my travelling companions at the resort were very happy for the leftovers when I returned from my shopping trip. My total bill - including 2 ice cold Cristal and a bottle of water - was around 8.50 CUC.

I was entertained during my meal by Rene - the pet peacock. There is also a cat named Felicia, who paid me a visit while I was eating as well. I can't say enough good things about this restaurant, if you haven't been there yet you need to try it. Tell Alex the girl with the star tattoo sent you!

The seating is outdoors so bring a coat if you're coming in the evening. The service here is really exceptional and the bathroom was very clean. (and no pesos required!)

Favorite Dish Bruschetta!

Camping_Girl's Profile Photo
Jun 16, 2014

La Sarten: Great Food, Outstanding Views!

The food at La Sarten is fabulous, it's well worth a trip. And the prices are ridiculously affordable (typical of Cuba). The outdoor restaurant is on the beach, all food is cooked on a wood fired outdoor grill. The portions are very large - 2 ladies can easily share one entree. And the ice cold Cristal is only 2CUC.... so find yourself a picnic table, order up some cold beverages and enjoy the views as you wait for your meal to be prepared, you won't be disappointed!

They also host a beach fiesta one night a week - 5CUC cover to get in. The party starts at 11 pm and runs until the wee hours of the morning, in typical Cuban fashion. This party tends to be populated by the 20 to 35 year olds and also a lot of local people come out for the music and dancing. It is a fun spot if you're looking for a party.

This place is a little tricky to find (see directions below) but well worth the effort!

Favorite Dish I love the grilled chicken (6.50CUC) and the shish kebab (11CUC) and the grilled shrimp (8CUC). All meals are served with rice and potatoes, sauteed vegetables, toast and garlic butter in a hot cast iron frying pan. I visit at least once a week every time I'm in Varadero, it's that good.

Camping_Girl's Profile Photo
Jun 16, 2014

FM-17: Try the Chicken Sandwich!!

Directly across the street from Sunbeach, to the east, is a small outdoor patio bar that is open day and night. It is right on the corner, and you have to go down a few steps from the sidewalk to reach the tables. This little place often has music and we enjoy going here for a cold drink (3CUC for Coronas!) or a light lunch when we get tired of our hotel buffet offerings.

Their chicken sandwich is AMAZING! I really mean that! It is a chicken breast, grilled, and served on freshly baked bread. If you're really feeling daring, order the clubhouse. It's the same sandwich, with bacon and tomato added. Either one will satisfy your hunger and will set you back less than 2CUC. So that's a fabulous home cooked chicken burger and a Corona, for less than 5 CUC. Yes folks, life can be this good. They have other menu choices as well, but I always break down and have the chicken.

These guys are open late, so it's also a perfect spot to grab a late night snack after an evening of clubbing too.

Favorite Dish I recommend the salmon..... just kidding! Obviously, my favorite thing from this restaurant is the chicken club sandwich - grilled chicken, grilled bacon, fresh bread, tomatoes.... mmmmmmm.... bacon..... yummo!

Camping_Girl's Profile Photo
Mar 04, 2012

La Gruta del Vino - Cave Bar Josone Park, Varadero: Lobster Skewer and Mojito to live for!

A unique experience. Just a little bar/restaurant in a cave. You'll recognize it by all of the empty wine bottles stuck to the outside wall. It's across the water bridge - but it doesn't open until 3:00 p.m. Because it is in the park, the setting is quiet and quite beautiful. Plenty of peacocks to be seen. Prefer to sit outside on the patio (it does smell cavey in the cave).

Favorite Dish The lobster tail and the chicken skewers are mouth watering. You can watch the care that goes into the preparation of your meal because it is cooked on the grill in front of your eyes by chef Wilfredo. And if you don't try one of Wilfredo's BEST MOJITO you will never know why it is THE BEST. Tell him that you read Peter Pan's travel tip!!

PeterPanandWendy's Profile Photo
Dec 12, 2011
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El Coracol: Best Deal In varadero!

Very cheap authentic Cuban bar/restaurant. It's frequented primarily by Cubans but you will be welcomed in this open air patio restaurant. Ice cream here was cheaper than in the stores! It's open 24 hours a day.

Favorite Dish The item at the top of the menu: chicken with rice Cuban style; $2.50!!! Cafe Americano in the morning.

RickL's Profile Photo
Feb 18, 2010

Cuban Food: Cuban cuisine

Being so fond of singing and salsa dancing no wonder that Cuban people are not too much into their food ...The Cuban cuisine is slightly dissapointing considering its rich influences - Spanish, French, African Arabic, the vegetables, fruits and spicies available and excellent fish and seafood.
Probably the embargo and the shortage of food for locals contributes to this lack of imagination...
But still you could have plenty of nice dishes based on lobster - the grilled one is a simple and delicious one - unfortunately didnt manage to get ever some slices of lemon and only once managed to get some nice garlic pasta (sort of aioli), shrimps, tuna and some nice paella (recommended to be ordered in a paladar)..
Paladares and the seafood from different trips (diving ones to Carribean Wreck & Bay of Pigs) were a nice change to our All Inclusive food from the hotel.

Favorite Dish Some Cuban traditional dishes:
- Ropa Vieja (shredded beef)
- Arroz con Pollo (chicken and yellow rice)
- Moros (black beans and rice)
- Platanos Dulces Fritos (fried sweet plantains)
- Coconut cakes (which we adored:)

Oana_bic's Profile Photo
Jan 05, 2006

Cuban Food: Great service, mojitos, rum collins, rum punch...

At the Superclubs Breezes, their buffet was great! They offered all sorts of food and somthing different everyday! The workers are second to none and they truly make you feel special and a part of their family!
We didn't go to any of the a la cartes, we were happy with the buffet and we we went off resort a few times to eat. From what others said the A la Cartes were relly great!!

Favorite Dish They had great rice pudding, cappucinos(add some baileys, YUM!), mojitos- made fresh, chicken, sausage, fried bananas, bananas in syrup, and the pasta chef-JUAN-makes amazing fresh pasta!!!!!!

luvthesun's Profile Photo
Nov 25, 2004

Ranchon Anancer(sp??): A great meeting place(not ot mention the beer)

We went into Varadero town to do some shopping(yes you can shop in Varadero). We seen this beautiful view of the ocean and beach and decided to go check it out:
it is a little outdoor bar off the main strip in Varadero. They have a live band and the most beautiful view of the ocean! The band has a trombone and trumpet, they were awesome, get them to play Che Guevara(my new favorite song), they do it beautifully! We saw the view from the main strip, then we noticed the bar, so we went over only meaning to have one drink. We were with another couple(Andre and Patricia) that we met at the resort, we sat down, and listened to the music, we noticed another couple, so we asked if they wanted to sit with us, they were from Switzerland(Flavia and Dario), then we saw another couple from our hotrel, so they joined us(Mike and Tracy), then a few other people came in and we asked if they wanted to join us. All in all there was 12 of us, we were all from somewhere different and all had a different background, and we danced to the music, ate lunch,talked, laughed, and before we left, we said "cheers" in all the different languages, and then everyone said in their language "People are the same, no matter where they come from" it was unspeakable, it will be one of our most favorite memories!
Oh! And they serve their beer in frosted mugs, the top layer of the beer actually turns to ice!!!!

Favorite Dish The frosted mug beer!! And they make a mean plate of fries!

luvthesun's Profile Photo
Nov 25, 2004

Top 5 Varadero Writers

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"Heavenly Beaches"
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"Lovely Varadero"
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"Resort Paradise in Varadero"
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"Varadero, Cuba"
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Cuban Food: Don't miss Xanadu Restaurant!!

The ambience: AMAZING!
The Food: AMAZING!
One of the most romantic experiences ever! A beautiful building! First they bring you up to the bar, a saxophone and calssical guitar player play for while you sip on Rum Collins. They play beautifully, we bought the CD(it is really good!) They take you down to the restaurant, they seat you, we started off with a nice white Spanish Wine, they bring you the wine, put it in a win chiller on a stand beside your table, then you do the cork snifing, swirling, sip, taste, and give the waiter a nod(thank god we watch the food channel), Then musicians consisting of 2 violinists, classical guitar and a singer play for you, they ask you what would you like to hear, we said somthing classical, so the violinist(who is amazing) starts to play Pachabels Canon-our wedding song-well I started to cry. But he played it perfectly!!!!!!! We bought their CD, it is a good one to! I ordered shrimp and lobster my husband veal medallions, It was an awesome meal! It wasn't cheap but for the bottle of wine, our meal, dessert it came out to $95, which is better than anything at the Keg. After that they drove us back to the hotel in a golf cart, they took the golf coarse way along the shore, it was so romantic, the moon was up, you could hear the waves on the shore, you could see the moons reflection on the water, it was warm, the ocean breeze blowing in your hair, holding hands, it was perfect.

luvthesun's Profile Photo
Nov 25, 2004

Eating Around

Resort food is sub-par in Varadero, one of the few drawbacks. However, where else can you get a steak dinner with all the fixings in a high class restaurant for $9? You can relax in an open air beach bar or buy lobster tails for $1 ea.!! (A fellow traveller actually planned ahead and brought 20 back in a cooler, beware of customs officials though!)

416Guy's Profile Photo
Mar 18, 2003

Things To Do Near Varadero

Things to Do

Parque Retiro Josone

This is a nice walk for anybody around the lake and mainly in the shade of the huge trees that are there. There's a few restaurants and bars if you need but mainly from 12h00 onwards. You can also...
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Things to Do


The most obvious thing to do in Varadero is to spend hours soaking up the sun on the sand in front of the turquoise sea. Certainly the widest and the longest beach I saw in Cuba, plenty of room for...
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Getting to Varadero


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