Cafe Madrigal

Owner Rafael Rosales spent a year renovating a near century-old property to become the venue for his exciting new venture in Vedado- Cafe Madrigal. This stylish bar-restaurant still retains some of the property's original features, but Rafael has put his own unique stamp on this trendy Havana hangout. Representing Cuba's nightlife at its most chic, Cafe Madrigal is a popular spot for socialising over fabulous cocktails and tempting plates of tapas.

Slightly set back from the main hub of Havana’s bars and restaurants; Café Madrigal isn’t the kind of place you stumble upon. It’s actually situated on the 2nd floor of a two-storey property in the quiet neighbourhood of Vedado – so it’s worth knowing where you’re heading before setting out.

That said, once you arrive you’ll be sure glad you made the effort. This fashionable, moodily-lit venue attracts a hip, bohemian crowd of local artists, poets and aspiring writers. Rafael Rosales, the owner, spent 20 years as a Cuban filmmaker and his passion for the industry is obviously. An assortment of classic movie posters and memorabilia furnish the interior while quirky design touches abound – from plants growing out of a decorative sink to funky artwork hanging from the walls.

After the initial sensory overload, you’ll be looking for somewhere to sit and unwind. Options include the spacious main dining room with its relaxed terrace area and a secluded lounge at the rear of the bar full of cosy couches and chairs – a seriously inviting chill out spot.

As for the food; Café Madrigal offers a very respectable menu that’s intended more for light bites than a full evening meal. The offerings are mostly simple, straight-up Cuban snacking food but there’s enough variety to keep appetites well and truly satisfied.

Tasty choices worth a mention include the Empanaditas del Madrigal (Madrigal pie), cheese-stuffed tostones (fried plantains), falafel, pesto bruschetta and the ravioli filled with cheese accompanied with a sweet plum sauce. If you’re looking for an alternative to the local delicacies you can always opt for a straightforward chicken and salad baguette.

The drinks menu is impressive and features a tempting choice of cocktails, including excellent mojitos, creamy piña coladas and the deliciously refreshing cold daiquirí.

Café Madrigal also acts as a space for regular art exhibitions and some evenings you can also catch live music. Doors open at 6pm and the bar gets packed with a regular late-night crowd. Come 11 - 12:00pm the place can be heaving. So if you’re intent on grabbing yourself a seat, it’s worth showing up in the early evening.

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