Cuba Food and Drink

While Cuba isn't a culinary hotspot, visitors are rewarded with hearty food free from additives represented by puzzling E-numbers due to the trade embargo. Regular Cubans rely heavily on rice, beans, chicken and pork. Fish and seafood are available at top-end restaurants.

It's worth noting that unlike the neighbouring Jamaicans and Bahamians, Cubans often shun spicy flavours. The national dish is the ajiaco criollo - a stew of vegetables and different kinds of meat - and it comes in many versions. Other typical dishes of the Cuban cuisine are congri (rice with red beans) and moros, also called moros y cristianos (rice with black beans). Picadillo a la habanera (ground beef with tomato sauce) is also a typical Cuban dish.

Specialities

Ajiaco criollo: This Creole stew is the national dish of Cuba and has many versions. Typically it contains vegetables with different types of meat.

Congrís: Black beans and rice, known locally as Moros y Cristianos (Moors and Christians).

Frita: Local version of the American hamburger made with ground beef and chorizo, served in small Cuban bread buns topped with onion and julienne potato fries.

Pulpeta: Meat loaf made with ground beef and ham stuffed with hard-boiled eggs.

Pan con timba: Bread with guayaba paste and cream cheese.

Ropavieja: Slow cooked beef simmered in tomato criollo sauce until it can be shredded.

Boliche: A beef roast stuffed with chorizo sausage and hard-boiled eggs.

Mojo: A sauce for roast pork (and other meats) made with oil, garlic, onion, oregano and bitter orange of lime juice.

Picadillo: A hash with minced beef, peppers, onions, garlic, cumin, tomato sauce, stock and olives, also with raisins, potatoes and capers.

Mojito: Potent national cocktail made from rum, soda water, crushed mint, lime juice and chopped ice.

Daiquiri: Blended cocktail of rum, ice, sugar, lime juice and a dash of maraschino.

Guarapo: Sugar cane juice.

Cafe Cubano: Espresso-style coffee.

Tipping

A 10% gratuity is normal.

Drinking age

16.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.