Businessman from Yucatan opens Mexican restaurant in Havana

Posted: 09-Jun-15 09:19

An entrepreneur from the Mexican state of Yucatan has seen a gap in the market in Havana, Cuba and has decided to fill it. He has created one of the first Mexican restaurants in Cuba, offering authentic Mexican food as well as live entertainment. Could this be the beginning of a Mexican food trend in Cuba?

Businessman from Yucatan opens Mexican restaurant in Havana

Yucatean businessman Andres Buenfil has been visiting Cuba regularly since 1988. On his frequent visits to this island nation he has noticed that there is something missing - a good quality Mexican restaurant. This is why he has decided to open up a restaurant of his own, serving high quality Mexican cuisine.

The restaurant will not be located in the most touristic districts of Playa, Old Havana or Vedado – it will be found in the outskirts of the city in the neighbourhood of Santos Suarez. Buenfil invited plenty of locals to the opening of the restaurants, called “El Chile Habanero”.

The restaurant is located within a historic two-storey house, with brightly coloured walls and furniture and Mexican themed décor. The tables have been busy ever since, as locals are intrigued by the novelty of a Mexican restaurant in Cuba.

Buenfil aims to introduce Cuban diners to the cuisine of his country, including fajitas, prawn ceviches and delicious freshly prepared salsas. The restaurant also offers a creative cocktail bar that serves up pineapple and mango daiquiris, margaritas and other concoctions – as well as a selection of beer and wine.

Within the restaurant there is a large dining hall with plenty of tables as well as a smaller dining area. On the walls there are photos of Mexican stars from films and other famous Mexican actors, as well as stained glass windows with Mexican-themed motifs. On the second floor of the restaurant there are booths which can be reserved for private groups.

On weekend nights there is a live Mariachi band to entertain the diners, which is an exciting novelty that has generated a lot of interest. In order to accommodate the number of seniors living in the area, El Chile Habanero also offers a special menu with lower cost options for the elderly.

Now that Cubans have developed a taste for the fresh and delicious flavours of Mexican cuisine, perhaps this will be the first of many Mexican restaurants in Havana?


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