Santiago de Cuba Food Guide: 10 Must-Eat Restaurants & Street Food Stalls in Santiago de Cuba

August 16, 2017 Karren Gelb

Entertainment can be experienced in a variety of ways in Santiago de Cuba.  Your ears may find comfort in the Casa de Las Tradiciones, a venue of the Trivoli neighborhood where Cuba's finest musicians gather for improvisation;  your mouth, in Paladar Salon Tropical, where mainstays of the national cuisine arrive in generous portions; your eyes, in the Jardin de Los Helechos, home to a floral explosion of 90 types of orchids and 350 types of ferns.The gentile Tivolí district, some of Santiago de Cuba's most exciting ensembles, singers and soloists take turns improvising. Friday nights are reserved for straight-up, classic trova, à la Ñico Saquito and the like.
Things to do in Santiago de Cuba

1. Salon Tropical

Fernandez Marcane # 310 b/ 10 y 8 | Luis Fernandez Marcane E/ Calle 10 y Calle 8. Santa Barbara, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol Caribbean, Latin, Cuban Lunch, Dinner, Late Night +53 22 641161
Excellent
53%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
3%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 98 reviews

Salon Tropical

Reviewed By SandmannX - Frankfurt

Salon Tropical is located a little outside the center of Santiago de Cuba, about 10 minutes walk from the zoological garden. From the Terrace, you have a great view of the city, which makes the place ideal for a nightly dinner
They clearly specialize in seafood. We had Lobster and Shrimps and both looked and tasted amazing. The cook prepared a variety of other seafood dishes close to our table on an outside grill and one looked better than the other. I also had one of the best Mojitos of my Cuba stay mixed by the Salon Tropical bartender.
If you're thinking of skipping desert, I suggest you do. They have flan and Mousse au Chocolat, both of which come out of the freezer and barely resemble the real thing. Also the service is extremely slow. We got the main dish only after about 1.5 hours. None of these points would sway me not to recommend this restaurant though as what you get for the very moderate price is excellent.
While Salon Tropical is not the smallest restaurant, there is not too much space either, so if you are planning to visit during prime dinner time, making a reservation is probably a good idea, especially if you want a table on the Terrace.

2. El Barracon

Avenida Victoriano Garzon, zwischen Paseo de Marti und Calle 1ra | Reparto Sueño, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol, Wheelchair Accessible Caribbean, Latin, Spanish, Cuban Lunch, Dinner +53 22 643242
Excellent
35%
Good
45%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
6%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 74 reviews

El Barracon

Reviewed By gobofraggle - Brighton, United Kingdom

Stopped off here for lunch as part of our organised tour & found the food very good. The Cuban soup was lovely & the pork for the main course was juicy & tender & served with congris & vegetables. Espressos rounded off the meal nicely :)

3. Hotel Casa Granda Restaurant

Heredia No. 201 entre San Pedro y San Felix, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar Bar, Cuban Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night, Drinks +53 22 653021
Excellent
18%
Good
50%
Satisfactory
23%
Poor
5%
Terrible
4%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 222 reviews

Hotel Casa Granda Restaurant

Reviewed By Gary150769

We stopped off here when we toured around Santiago De Cuba. We were pleasantly surprised how lush it was. From the lobby to the rooftop bar, ( which has a fantastic view of the city), this hotel is gorgeous and we would recommend this

4. Compay Gallo

San German No. 503 | esq. Carniceria, Santiago de Cuba 90100, Cuba Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol Cuban, Caribbean, Latin Dinner, Lunch, Late Night 658395
Excellent
53%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 131 reviews

Compay Gallo

Reviewed By Andres_and_Angela - Stockholm, Sweden

It is rare to find these types of restaurants in Cuba where the food tastes good and there's a variety of it. We were really positively impressed with our dinner although the place somehow lacked atmosphere to it. It wasn't also that easy to find.

5. El Holandes

Heredia 251 esq. Hartmann | San Félix, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba Seating, Serves Alcohol, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Waitstaff Cuban, Caribbean, Latin Lunch, Dinner +53 22 624878
Excellent
22%
Good
50%
Satisfactory
25%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 86 reviews

El Holandes

Reviewed By DublinEdM - Dublin

This restaurant (which also apparently offers accommodation) is literally a 50 metre walk from the Casa Granda Hotel, and opposite the Casa de la Trova music venue. We were the only diners there, which was disappointing, but it didn't take from the quality of the food presentation. I hope they do well, as their food deserves them to succeed. We had beer with our meal (we learned that beer happened to be more attractive because it's nice and cold whereas wine seems almost out of place) which was very inexpensive. Our table was facing directly out onto the street which was fine at first but then was unattractive because we were like a target for people passing by, begging from us. But I'd still recommend it!

6. El Palenquito

Avenida de Rio #28 | Calle 6 y Carretera del Caney, Santiago de Cuba 20400, Cuba Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol Latin, Barbecue, Cuban, Caribbean, Vegetarian Friendly Lunch, Dinner, Drinks, Late Night HK$39 - HK$94 +53 5 2896952
Excellent
62%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 136 reviews

El Palenquito

comida criolla e internacional elaborada fundamentalmente al Carbón ambiente campestre buen servicio y buena Cocteleria

Reviewed By vdv - Los Angeles, California

First dinner of our 9-day Cuba tour. Great casual vibe, typical menu choices: bread, salad starter, grilled proteins with rice and beans, flan for dessert. Refreshing drinks and good, small bar service. Set in a residential neighborhood. Service was friendly. Outdoor Seating was nice, though apply some insect repellant on your legs and arms.

7. Restaurante Primos Twice

Calvario 262 | between Habana & Trinidad, Santiago de Cuba 90100, Cuba Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Wine and Beer, Reservations, Street Parking, Valet Parking, Television, Takeout, Highchairs Available Healthy, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options Drinks HK$16 - HK$110 +53 5 2582817
Excellent
74%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 98 reviews

Restaurante Primos Twice

Nestled in the heart of old Santiago de Cuba minutes away from Parque Cespedes Primos Twice serves local and international cuisine attended by a warm and friendly staff. Constructed within a century old Spanish style home the atmosphere is relaxing and suited for a romantic setting. You will enjoy the ambiance as much as you will enjoy our cuisine.

Reviewed By Adam S - Colchester, England, United Kingdom

I visited this restaurant twice during my visit to Santiago. On both occasions I had the pizza which was the bargain price of 1.50. The pizza was absolutely delicious. Drinks are also reasonably priced. My beer of choice is the Bucanero. All in all you can't go wrong with pizza and a beer for less than 3

8. Restaurante Aurora

General Portuondo # E/ General Moncada y Calvario, Santiago de Cuba, Santiago de Cuba 90100, Cuba Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol Caribbean, Latin, Cuban Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night +53 22 657386
Excellent
68%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 134 reviews

Restaurante Aurora

Reviewed By mdelamo - Miami, Florida

Had a wonderful experience at Aurora's. I stayed in their rooms and the service is excellent. I had breakfast, lunch and dinner and all meals were incredible. They make you feel at home, special and as if you were the only customer.
I have been there three times and all of the times have been an amazing experience. I will definitely go back.

9. Rumba Cafe

san Felix 455 A, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Waitstaff Italian, Cafe, Cuban, Caribbean Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch +53 5 8022153
Excellent
64%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
4%
Terrible
4%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 99 reviews

Rumba Cafe

Ahora Rumba Café presenta la new entry como disco bar desde 4 p.m. hasta el cierre a las 10.30 p.m. con una nueva formula comercial de un cover de 10 cuc por entrada una bebida entre cocktails variados y tapas free,en ambiente climatizado para hacer su tarde aun mas privada....los esperamos..aqui e Rumba Privé.

Reviewed By TravelOwl66 - Hillsborough, United Kingdom

We visited this place because of the positive reviews. And first impressions wer fairly good. Nicely done, very hip, small cosy little place. Drinks were nice and cold and then we even got a free pasta tapas while we waited for dinner.
But then it all went horribly wrong. Now, we had been in Cuba a week by now, so our expectations were measured. But my pork was raw and cold in the middle and my mpartners chicken dish was almost all bones. The waitress did come and ask how our food was and we did tell her, but she just said, 'oh, I will let the chef know'. Nothing more, no offer to properly cook my meat.
We had come out intending to find a nice little local, place for a long lazy evening. I'm afraid that we did not hang around very long after this.

10. Restaurant San Francisco

San Francisco, Entre Calvario y Carniceria, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol Caribbean, Latin, Seafood, Cuban Lunch, Dinner +53 5 2849976
Excellent
56%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
0%
Terrible
4%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 70 reviews

Restaurant San Francisco

Reviewed By Moon M - Toronto, Canada

This was recommended to us. It was very reasonable and the food was great. The rooftop Terrace was lovely. Also, the washrooms were clean, the plumbing worked AND THERE WAS TOILET PAPER. Many similar restaurants in Santiago have very terrible washrooms where nothing works.

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