El Cocinero Bar and Paladar

Opened back in February 2013, El Cocinero is a trendy, rooftop bar-restaurant situated beneath the towering brick chimney of a former cooking oil factory. This privately owned paladar on the Almendares River represents an upmarket nightlife scene emerging in Havana, bringing a modern face to a city still rooted in the past.

El Cocinero has a sense of style and glamour that feels a million miles away from the traditional family-run paladars famous throughout Havana. More like a hip nightspot in Berlin than a downtown bar in Havana, drop by El Cocinero if you want to see what 21st century Cuba looks like.

The venue has two separate floors. The first is a chic, indoor dining area filled with moody black and white photos and low lighting, while a chilled out soundtrack of rippling jazz beats keeps the atmosphere laidback. Upstairs, you’ll find a spacious outdoor terrace with exposed brickwork and supporting steel beams that gives off a stripped back, industrial vibe.

The terrace has become a popular spot to catch the cool night air while enjoying alfresco dining and it’s also a great place to come and make the most of those oh-so-spectacular Havanan sunsets. Evening drinks on the terrace are a major draw and there’s a good selection of wines and beers on offer, as well as an inviting choice of cocktails that get stylishly thrown together by the bar’s expert mixologists.

As for the cuisine? The style definitely feels in keeping with El Cocinero’s modern approach. While local Cuban fare is available, innovative European and international cooking finds itself at the heart of the menu. Savour rich lamb curries with warm, freshly-baked naans. Tuck into melt-in-the-mouth beef tenderloin, or go for the magret de canard (duck breast) served in a sweet Caribbean orange sauce. If you want to make the most of the local seafood, you’ll be equally impressed by the locally-caught red snapper and grilled tuna with sesame seeds.

You’ll also be won over by the first-class service. Every dish and drink gets served up with a smile from the faultlessly attentive staff. Sure, your pesos might be stretched a little further here than by the more traditional establishments, but don’t let that put you off. Spend an evening at El Cocinero and you’ll be blown away by the cutting-edge cuisine and superb drinks. Since opening, this hip Havana hangout continues to pull in the crowds, so it’s best to book ahead if you want to guarantee yourself a table.

Get Inspiration

All about where to go and what you can do
Azucar Lounge

Azucar Lounge

Overlooking one of Havana's most historic plazas, the Azucar Lounge cocktail and tapas bar certainly has an enviable location. Additionally, its food and drink options don't disappoint either—classic Cuban cocktails abound, and some say that these are the best piña coladas in all of Havana. Featuring contemporary style right on the Plaza Vieja, the Azucar Lounge is one of the top bars in Havana, Cuba.

Bar Restaurant Salon 1851

Bar Restaurant Salon 1851

With its exposed brickwork, high ceilings and centuries-old feel, visiting Bar Restaurante Salon 1851 in Trinidad is like being whisked back in time. Situated just next door to the Palenke de Los Congos Reales, it's a restaurant that possess a unique and authentic atmosphere that stays true to the spirit of Cuba's traditional roots.

Bistro Habana-Kohly

Bistro Habana-Kohly

The Bistro Habana-Kohly is appropriately located in the Kohly neighbourhood of Havana's upscale Miramar municipality, and though the food isn't strictly French, the restaurant maintains the feel of a small and cosy Parisian cafe-eatery. Popular for both its outdoor dining terrace and its intimate, air-conditioned indoor dining room, the Bistro Habana-Kohly serves up fine international cuisine with French and Cuban touches for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Without a doubt, this is a top restaurant in Havana, Cuba.

More attractions

Explore cuba your way

Tailor made cuba holidays

For those who prefer to travel at their own pace or to explore places not included in the brochure itineraries, we have years of experience at organising tailor-made holidays.

Create the perfect trip with the help of our specialists

Our expert tour consultants will be pleased to suggest ideas to complement your own and to organise the most appropiate programme to suit your interests, time and budget.

Call 0207 644 1600
to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.

If you would like a member of our team to contact you back, please click here Contact us