O'Reilly Cafe

The Cafe O'Reilly is one of Old Havana's most iconic places to enjoy a coffee—it's been around now for well over a century! It's one of the few spots in Old Havana that tends to attract an equal mix of tourists and locals, perhaps due to the very fair prices here. The inside was recently refurbished, but the most coveted spots are still on the second-floor wrought iron balcony overlooking the street below. For people-watching over coffee or a light meal, this is a top restaurant in Old Havana.

The Café O'Reilly is located just a block off of Old Havana’s bustling Calle Obispo, but it also feels like a world away. If you’re looking for a spot to relax in the heart of Old Havana, this is it—though if you’d like to continue observing the action from up above, the café’s second-floor balcony is always an option!

The Atmosphere

The Café O'Reilly has quite a history, and you can feel it the second you enter the café. The place has been around since 1893, and it’s long been considered a fixture at the corner of Calle O’Reilly and Calle San Ignacio streets in the centre of Old Havana.

Though it was recently refurbished, the renovation focused on restoring the Café O'Reilly’s historic characteristics rather than changing them. The café’s façade would look just as at home in London as it does in the heart of Havana, and upon entering the first thing you’ll notice is the handsome wrought iron staircase leading up to the second-floor dining area. The ambiance manages to straddle the difficult line between historic and contemporary, and the clientele is also an interesting mix between locals and the tourists that tend to fill up other similar Old Havana eateries.

Though the downstairs is pleasant enough, many visitors to the Café O'Reilly come specifically in search of a sought-after spot on the second-floor balcony overlooking the street. Though separated from the hustle and bustle of the city itself, this is a fine spot to observe all that goes on in the streets of Old Havana while enjoying a coffee, a beer, or a cocktail and simply relaxing for an hour or so before continuing your journey.

The Food and Drink

Though arguably more famous for its history and its ambiance than for its food and drink offerings, the Café O'Reilly is still a top spot to eat and drink in Old Havana!

Of course, the coffee available at the O'Reilly Cafe is the main beverage draw. The beans are all Cuban, and they’re roasted and ground in-house to guarantee the absolute best in freshness. If you decide you’re a fan, you can purchase some ground or unground beans from the café to take home with you.

As far as food goes, light breakfasts, salads, and small sandwiches are among the choices here. Though this isn’t where you’ll want to go if you’re truly hungry, the budget-friendly options are great to accompany your coffee.

Finally, the Café O'Reilly also features a fine bar and a full array of beers and cocktails. Grabbing a drink and sitting down on the upstairs balcony could not come more highly recommended. For a morning coffee, an afternoon drink, or just a quick break from the busy streets of Old Havana, there’s hardly a better option than Café O'Reilly. As far as cafes in Old Havana go, this is certainly a top choice.


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