Creative classics deliver big time at Ajiaco Café

Ajiaco Café

Tucked along a quiet street in Cojimar (a 25-minute taxi ride from old Havana) behind wooden doors is one of Havana’s most exciting restaurants. Creature comforts like fans over every table, cable-ready flat screen televisions, wooden tables, and elaborate tablecloths are a staging for the exceptional food to come. The chef has a mind for giving traditional Cuban staples a modern edge. Croquetas filled with salty jamon and soulful clay bowls of melt-in-your-mouth black beans over arroz are classics done right. But then comes garlic soup as creamy as a veloute and fried plantains stuffed with shredded beef (tostones rellenos) and served with a vibrant pesto sauce. A duo of flan (one made with pumpkin) garnished with cubes of French toast and swirls of a coconut-mint sauce is a requisite grand finale. Calle 92, #267 entre 5ta y 3ra E, Cojimar 10400, +53 7 7650514