La Guarida Paladar
Situated up high on the top floor of an aging tenement building that used to be a palace before, you might be forgiven for passing La Guarida without realising it was there. But this sophisticated Paladar (Cuban restaurant) is one you really shouldn’t miss.
La Guarida was used as a location for the 1994 movie Fresa y Chocolate (Strawberry And Chocolate). Having won the Goya awards as Best Foreign Movie and having been the only Cuban film as a candidate for Oscar's, the movie proved to be the most commercially successful in Cuba’s history, which worked out pretty well for the owner of the property - Enrique Nuñez del Valle.
The film’s global exposure brought tourists flocking to this charming Cuban property-turned film set. Enrique Nuñez del Valle saw an opportunity for himself and in 2006 he turned his apartment into a restaurant. It turned out to be a wise move. Ever since, La Guarida has grown in popularity and established an enviable reputation in Havana as a destination for high-end dining.
The building itself is full of character. Walking up the grand staircase as you pass the apartments of local residents is an experience in itself. Once you reach the top floor and step inside the restaurant, you’ll find yourself in a striking room adorned with glittering chandeliers and antique furniture.
Matching exemplary service with an innovative menu full of flair, La Guarida sets itself apart as an imaginative gastronomic experience. There are a number of speciality dishes that come highly recommended including the chicken with honey and lemon sauce, carpaccio of fish and octopus and for dessert – the deconstructed key lime pie. With such an array of tempting dishes to choose from, you’ll quickly realise why La Guarida is so highly regarded.
There’s also a bar on the rooftop that offers a selection of cocktails and beers - the ideal spot to treat yourself to an aperitif or a post-meal nightcap. But it’s worth coming up here just for the truly impressive views, which allow you to gaze out across both old and central Havana.
If you plan on enjoying a meal here make sure you book ahead. As you might expect, the wonderful food, attentive service and fascinating history of La Guarida makes it one of the most sought after tables in Havana.
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