Cuba’s most famous film, the 1994 Oscar-nominated Strawberry and Chocolate, was filmed in the magic and weathered three-story mansion that now houses La Guarida. Owner Enrique Nuñez del Valle and his wife Odi created there what is widely acclaimed as the best restaurant in Havana. Two decades on, it has become synonymous with fine dining in Cuba. As veteran Cuban customers say, “There’s La Guarida, then there is the rest.” Its mouth-watering and superb “new Cuban” and Latino dishes are always on point, under the capable guidance of head chefs Manuel Cio and Pedro Rodriguez. Their snapper and octopus carpaccio in pepper sauce is divine. The longfin tuna glazed with coconut in sugarcane and seafood sauce is simply perfection. Other dishes not to miss are a grouper fillet cooked with orange sauce, suckling pig in a savory honey and orange sauce (try it with Champagne), lamb, rabbit lasagna, gazpacho, and spinach crepes. There is also an impressive – and reasonably priced – wine list. You will want to go back to this paladar again and again to experience every dish on the menu. Prices are high by Havana’s standards, but in terms of overall quality and atmosphere La Guarida is pure value!
Address: Concordia #418 entre Gervasio y Escobar, Centro Habana, La Habana, Cuba
Opening hours: Noon till 3pm; 7pm till midnight
Tel: +53 7 8669047