La Bodeguita Del Medio

As you stand sipping cocktails at the bar in La Bodeguita Del Medio, you might begin to imagine which of its celebrity visitors might have stood in your spot. During its 70 year history, the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Nat King Cole, Bridgette Bardot and Salvador Allende have dropped by for a drink. Now a firm fixture on the tourist trail, this popular establishment still possesses plenty of old Havana charm.

The history of La Bodeguita del Medio is literally etched into the walls and connected to classic Cuban mojitos. Leandro Garcia, a journalist and regular customer decided to sign his name here one day – a tradition that led to the good and the great scrawling their name here, too.

Since then anyone who visits is welcome to do the same, although a regular repaint job means all but the names of the famous survive this frequent makeover.

La Bodeguita del Medio also boasts some pretty distinctive decor with various fascinating trinkets and novelty items pinned to the walls. There are also countless photographs around the bar of the famous faces that have dropped by for a drink – making a bit of celeb spotting all part of the experience.

The beginnings of La Bodeguita del Medio are a little more humble than its now famous standing might suggest. Opened back in 1942, it was originally acquired by Angel Martinez and started out life as a simple grocery store. Back then, the focus was more on selling produce than mixing cocktails. But things soon changed and with the emerging popularity of the newly invented mojito, La Bodeguita del Medio found its niche.

The popularity of La Bodeguita del Medio has continued to grow ever since and it’s now regarded as pretty much the most famous bar-restaurant in all of Havana and internationally.

Anyone visiting here will no doubt be sorely tempted to sample the selection of cocktails on offer while listening to live music played by local groups. There’s a decent choice to pick from including expertly-mixed mojitos, caipririnhas and daiquiris – Hemmingway’s personal tipple of choice. In addition, there’s a pretty comprehensive Cuban cigar menu.

La Bodeguita del Medio’s is also a great spot to grab a bite for dinner. You’ll find a good selection of local dishes including slow roasted pork shank, black beans and fried plantains along with a tempting choice of tapas favourites.

Naturally, La Bodeguita del Medio’s has become a serious tourist attraction, so if you’re planning on heading here for dinner it’s definitely worth booking ahead. And while this cosy bar invariably gets pretty packed out with eager sightseers, a visit here is very much an essential Havana experience.

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