Where President Obama should eat in Cuba

Posted: 21-Mar-16 14:36

A few days before his history-making trip to Cuba, an American writer with ties to the country invokes a humorous take on nearly a dozen places she says President Obama should consider eating at during his time in the island. While the places vary, the writer says all serve at least semi-authentic Cuban creations and not americanised cuisine.

Where President Obama should eat in Cuba

While President Obama is leading a delegation to Cuba to reportedly boost business between the two nations, there is one American writer who came up with a list of places she says the President should visit. All, she says, are good places to taste-test traditional Cuban food.

In a blog written for Huffington Post, writer Kate Oberdorfer goes through an extensive list of places she considers authentically Cuban. Oberdorfer claims it’s important for the President to not be served American-style food in Cuba. If it happens, though, she suggests he heads to a handful of locations to experience true Cuban flavour.

First on her list is the coffee served at Cafe El Escorial in Plaza Vieja. While she claims the coffee isn’t completely authentic, she does say it is a great place to experience Cuba for the first time. She also recommends purchasing coffee early in the morning from a vendor located across the street from the University of Havana’s back entrance. Once on campus, she suggests "pastelitos", sold by women on the second floor.

Next on her list is La Horchateria, located in Old Havana. Here she recommends trying "pastelitos de guayaba" (guava pastries) with cheese. Other treats that Oberdorfer proposes the President try include the cold “guarapo sold on Simon Bolivar street; next door to El Capitolio, and ice cream at Coppelia. Even though the wait in Coppelia is usually an hour she says it’s worth it. The writer says this is what it’s like to be Cuban (long queues for everything), so much so that she puts this location on her list twice.

When it comes to lunch, the writer advises purchasing “cajitas”, cardboard boxes full of beans, rice and meat, from a street vendor parked close to the University of Havana. She says the fun part is eating it without utensils. Another suggestion for lunch is the original Paladar Calle 10, located in Miramar.

Other recommendations include shopping at a street market for “turron de mani (in English peanut nougat) to bring back home and having a mojito from La Catedral, then taking a walk along the Malecon. She uses this location to take a small jab at the President about the need for normalising diplomatic relations between the two countries.

For dinner, Oberdorfer recommends ordering watermelon gazpacho at La Guarida or Central Havana’s La California, with its creole Cuban dinners and dancing. She even jokes the President likely won’t get in trouble here for having fun while violating the current tourism embargo.

President Obama’s two-day trip to Cuba is the first for a sitting U.S. President in more than 80 years.


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