Cafe Presidente is located on 25th and G streets, a block away from one of the most popular corners in Vedado. Founded just a year ago, it has reached a leading position in Havana's evenings and nights. The proper place for having a few drinks, a coffee, and lunch or dinner.
It is a place that helps you mend an evening or a night. A short while ago we were looking for a good place to have a coffee with some friends. It seemed almost impossible to have the longed-for coffee because some of the places we passed by were not attractive or the waiters were not in the mood to offer a good service. Then we got to Cafe Presidente, a little worried that it might be too expensive for us. From the very welcome to the farewell, we had the feeling that it had been the best choice we could have made for its attentive service, the nice atmosphere, the good and nicely presented coffee and also because it is not an expensive place considering the quality-price ratio. In short, it became one of my favourite places.
A window opened to an emblematic street
Its location is perfect, not only that it is in Vedado, but because it is on one of the most beautiful streets in Havana, the Presidents Avenue, or simply G Street. This street concentrates the magic of a city that succeeded in getting modern. Far from Old Havana and its colonial spirit, Vedado shows the elegance of the mansions from the 20's and the modern buildings of the 50's. The architecture of Vedado, showing the eclectic dressing style of its time, seems to be paralysed in time, and so we do. Would we also be vintage people?!
Its large glass windows enable you to enjoy watching people walking along the street, especially on weekends when G Street is full of young people in their colours, fashions and manners.
The decoration of the restaurant rescues the glamour of woodworking mixed with huge posters: pictures of the most important buildings on the Avenue and different views of it. A timeless and splendid atmosphere. The elegance of a place that do credit to its dignifying name.
The L shape of the Cafe Presidente makes it adaptable and dynamic for accommodating small or large groups. There is a bar inside which is perfect for a private date.
Lets deconstruct the menu
A la carte
Let's start with the food. Some of my friends would choose the pizzas mostly because of the wide variety of toppings to your liking. Others would prefer the pasta thanks to the delicious offer of fresh pasta, quite unseen in Cuba. Obviously, my friends love good pizzas and pasta. On the other hand, I prefer the hamburger or the chicken breast with lemon, probably because the hamburger is the queen of meats with bread, and the chicken breast goes with a green salad, the Presidente Salad. It is a variation of the Catalonian Amanida, a fancy choice: the freshness of the lettuce mixed with the flavour of tomato, onion, corn, boiled eggs and tuna... the very thought of it makes me salivate.
Those looking for something light will be pleased by the selection of sandwiches, including some for vegetarians.
Among the desserts, the cheese cake remains king because I love it. Nevertheless, I also recommend the brownie with ice cream or the caramel custard. Uncommonly in menus, they offer different types of ice cream: banana split and shakes, among others.
The variety of coffees is amazing. I recommend the Cafe Presidente, speciality of the house, although I, to be honest, stick to a good expresso made with the Cuban-grown Serrano ground coffee.
The house's special: the fruit juices. There I had probably the best orange juice in a long time.
Among the cocktails, rather traditional ones with not many innovations or unknown ones -something I appreciate because I don't like strange mixes, I stay with the Mojito and the Pina colada. If you can have them at the bar, the greater the joy because of the magical attraction of cocktail bars, at least to my like.
I also recommend the wine list. The place is so beautiful, with such a pleasant atmosphere and a very special view that having a cup of wine with your couple or a friend will make the best choice.
An exclusive treatment
The service is attentive, prompt and fashionable as expected. The owners have managed to be rigorous enough to turn this into a distinguishing feature. Even the car-park tenders, a very common job in Havana these days, do the trick on a corner of one of the busiest streets in the city.
Finally, I like the choice of a quiet and nice place with a good service to have a great time with no worries that the bill might spoil the night. Going to Cafe Presidente is like travelling through time; watching a unique and hypnotic Havana through its windows. A city of reconciliations and separations. A city that wants to come to life again and that, despite everything, it is managing to.