Restaurante Casa Villalba
Cuba’s picturesque town of Trinidad is one of the country’s most traditional colonial cities, a veritable trip back in time to a period far off in the island’s past. As such, it should come as no surprise that some of Cuba’s most traditional, old-fashioned paladares can be found here, and the Restaurante Casa Villalba is chief among them!
Across the street from Trinidad’s Museo Historico Municipal, just a few steps from the Plaza Mayor, sits the Restaurante Casa Villalba. Above almost any other description, the paladar is unassuming -from its nondescript, sky-blue façade to its cosy, homely dining room, everything about the place flies under the radar. This, of course, is charming in its own way- the straightforward and down-to-earth spot is welcomingly comfortable and unpretentious.
The main dining room is set in the centre of this 18th-century home, and it seems that not much has changed over its more than two full centuries of existence! The archways and dark brown roof beams are classic Trinidad, and the lovely tiled floor adds an extra colonial touch. The basic wooden tables, chairs, and furniture further contribute to the space’s simple style.
For a slightly less traditional experience, diners can also take the stairs up to the restaurant’s rooftop terrace. Though the sun can be unbearably strong during the lunchtime hours, this is an especially popular spot in the evening. Catching a sunset from up here is an incredible experience, and this is also the area where live music acts generally perform. When a traditional Cuban band is playing, the sun is setting, and there’s a light breeze in the air, enjoying a meal here is simply sublime.
The Food & Drink
Much like the atmosphere, the cuisine at Restaurante Casa Villalba is traditionally Cuban. The seafood here is particularly popular, the lobster and shrimp dishes being the main draws. Surprisingly; large Cuban-style sandwiches are popular around lunchtime.
The restaurant also has a bar menu, which is relatively short but covers all the most important points. Classic Cuban cocktails are, to no one’s surprise, the top favourites here. The house mojito is especially highly regarded.
For consistently good-quality, traditional Cuban cuisine and a relaxed atmosphere, Restaurante Casa Villalba is doubtlessly a top option in the colonial heart of Trinidad. Swing by for a laid-back lunch, or come at night to enjoy a meal set to the sounds of live music—you won’t regret it!
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