Most everyone would agree that Havana features an incredibly long list of historic sites and neighbourhoods and also that the modern city is once again flourishing as a budding world-class dining destination. However, one occasional complaint about the Cuban capital is that it can be hard to find these truly best-of-the-best culinary offerings in the heart of the city’s most impressively historic or architecturally significant areas.
But if anyone tries to claim to you that this is a problem in Havana, you needn’t look any further for a counterexample than the Azucar Lounge. Sitting right on Old Havana’s historic Plaza Vieja, you’d be hard pressed to find a better cocktail and tapas bar elsewhere in the city—and perhaps even around the world!
Despite its historic location, the feeling inside the Azúcar Lounge is distinctly, almost defiantly contemporary. Sleek lines, black and white furnishings, an elegant, back-lit bar… These are the things that you can expect while enjoying the Azucar Lounge on the inside. However, if you didn’t want to totally abandon that classic Old Havana ambiance, then don’t fret—the Azúcar Lounge has its secret weapon waiting just for you.
Step out onto the bar’s first-storey balcony and enjoy one of the city’s most enviable dining room views—the world-famous Plaza Vieja in all of its glory. Take a seat, soak up some sun, and appreciate one of Havana’s most historic locales without sacrificing the modern quality and style of the Azucar Lounge.
The Food and Drink
Whereas many Old Havana dining spots can seem a bit run-of-the-mill to discerning tourists, the Azucar Lounge consistently surprises with innovative, flavourful food and beverage options.
The food menu here consists primarily of small tapas plates, often good for sharing among the members of your party. You might enjoy the salmon rolls stuffed with raisons and cream cheese, or perhaps the house-made ceviche is more your style. Because the plates are small, feel free to order more than one if you can’t decide!
As far as the cocktails go, you can expect Cuban classics like the mojito and the daiquiri or you can try a piña colada—often said to be among the best in Cuba. There are also plenty of international cocktail options and a relatively impressive whisky list, especially by Cuban standards.
For a masterful combo of great food and drink, pleasant ambiance, and striking location, you really can’t go wrong with the Azucar Lounge. Grab a balcony table, order a cocktail, and enjoy the sights and sounds of Old Havana buzzing about below you.
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