The restaurateurs of Havana

Back to Article
Back to Article

The restaurateurs of Havana

Photo by Camille Sparkman/Contributor

Photo by Camille Sparkman/Contributor

Photo by Camille Sparkman/Contributor

Camille Sparkman,
Contributor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Somewhere around 80% of Cuba’s industries are owned and operated by the Cuban government, including restaurants. It has been this way since the 1960s when Cuba became a socialist government. Under the socialist regime, the Cuban government made a leveled economic playing field for its citizens, essentially squelching any capitalistic aspirations. However, in 2011, the government relaxed regulations allowing more private citizens the opportunity to own and operate their own businesses. Private restaurants, also known as paladares, have increased in double digits, providing locals and tourists alternative eating options to state-run restaurants. According to Isabel Ferrás, owner of Razones, “the food in private restaurants are more flavorful and the service is better. State-ran restaurants are not as nice.” Despite being cut-off from international trade with the United States, Cuba is still able to create some very popular eateries that serve some amazing dishes.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
  • Handmade kitchen tools hanging in the kitchen at El Idilio.

    Photo by Camille Sparkman/Contributor

  • An El Idilio creating flames while he cooks a dish.

    Photo by Camille Sparkman/Contributor

  • An El Idilio chef prepping to cook lobster.

    Photo by Camille Sparkman/Contributor

  • A shrimp dish served with two types of salsa and avocado.

    Photo by Camille Sparkman/Contributor

  • Chefs and a waiter prepping plates to deliver to customers eating at El Idilio.

    Photo by Camille Sparkman/Contributor

  • The lobster spaghetti at Mediterraneo.

    Photo by Camille Sparkman/Contributor

  • A chef poses for a photo as he is chopping garlic at El Idilio.

    Photo by Camille Sparkman/Contributor

  • The grilled tacos at El del Frente, located in Old Havana.

    Photo by Camille Sparkman/Contributor

  • Chef Raul in the kitchen at Razones showcasing his grilled chicken.

    Photo by Camille Sparkman/Contributor

  • A chef and waitress at a state-run restaurant, Torrelavega, in Old Havana.

    Photo by Camille Sparkman/Contributor

Navigate Left
Navigate Right