Food & Drink

Where to Drink in Havana: Our Essential List of the Best Bars

El Floridita Bar in Havana

Photo: Alamy

Visit the best bars in Havana for classic Cuban drinks with a modern twist!

When visiting the historic capital of Cuba, a classic bar in the center of town should be at the top of your itinerary. You'll have the opportunity to experience the many flavors that distinguish Cuban drinks in the Caribbean. The refreshing seasonal fruits, natural flavors without additives or fructose - as in the case of the Mojito, an internationally acclaimed fan favorite drink.


So, want to submerge yourself in an unforgettable experience, but don't know where to start? We've put together a list of the best bars in Havana for a unique tour of the city.

1. Bar Melodrama

It's 5pm on a Thursday, and it's your last day on the island without a place to create that final memorable send-off. If you're thinking ... live music, a friendly atmosphere, stylish decor, and a variety of Cuban drinks? you're thinking about El Melodrama! Where you can immerse yourself in Cuban culture on open mic night.


All you need is one of their famous "Cancháncharas," a honey infused Cuban cocktail of excellence with a mixture of rum and lemon. Followed by an order of special tapas like the Yuca Frita (fried cassava), a delicious natural side dish for any meal.


The Melodrama staff will be waiting for you everyday from 5pm to 1am, located at Obrapía 511, between Bernaza and Villegas St - with an estimated price of US $2 to US $5 per drink or plate.


2. Mojito Mojito

As its name suggests, this is the perfect location to engulf your senses with new variations of the famed drink. For an exotic touch, we recommend the Mojito de Fruta, a pleasant and invigorating concoction. Furthermore, you have the best runner-ups with the Cubata and Cuba Libre drinks - not forgetting of course, international classics like the Bloody Mary and Tequila Sunrise.


Mojito Mojito also serves as a bar-restaurant, for a healthy balance of cocktails and delectable Cuban foods like Criole fried pork, Ropa Vieja, or your pick of international options. You can expect to spend around US $2 to US $28, and it'll be worth every cent. Their doors are open from 11am to 11:45pm, waiting for you in Old Havana on Calle Muralla #166, on the corner of Cuba and San Ignacio.

El Floridita Bar in Havana

Photo: Alamy

3. El Floridita

An easy 'must' on your list - the Floridita is one of the most iconic bars in Cuba, and one of the reasons why is because of their tasty Daiquiris - making this Earnest Hemingway's bar of choice, where you'll be greeted by a life size version of the writer himself.


These days, you can try out the same cooling drink the way Papa (Hemingway) liked it - white rum, maraschino liqueur, lime, grapefruit juice, and no sugar. El Floiridita is in essence a time machine that transports you back to a golden era in Cuba with its Regency style decorations. If you wish to finish off your vacation with nostalgia and elegance, this is just the bar for you.


You can find them up and running at 11am, and closes at midnight - located right in front of the famous Obispo boulevard, on the corner of Monserrate!

4. Yarini Habana

The Yarini's ample terrace, from which you'll take in the greater part of Havana, makes this venue an ideal chill-out spot from the often hectic crowds. This bar-restaurant is a haven for live musicians and book presentations.  Its tropical cocktails like El Mangón (mango drink), allow for an authentic taste of the Caribbean.  And if you happen to stop by, you'll have a chance to sip on the notorious drink El Rey (the king) - inspired by Alberto Yarini “The King of San Isidro”- known as Cuba’s most legendary pimp and racketeer.


Are you a lobster or pork tenderloin fan? Or maybe you have an appetite for something more diverse? You've chosen the right place.  The selection at Yarini plays with flavors and textures to create a harmonious culinary experience. They open at 4pm from Monday to Thursdays, and from 12pm on the weekends at San Isidro #214 between Picota and Compostela.

5. Bar-Café Madrigal

We now move along to another one of the most frequented city areas by visitors and locals alike, El Vedado Habanero. Situated at Calle 17 #809, between 2nd and 4th street, you'll find a welcoming environment illuminated by the dimly dressed lamps on each table. From its balcony, the contemporary Havana-style architecture can be appreciated while having any variety of drinks and tapas for all tastes - like the signature Caribbean Piña Colada and the ever-present tostones to snack on.


By day, the Bar-Cafe Madrigal is better known for its extraordinary coffee brew. With modest prices at US $2 to US $7, you can spend a fascinating evening in the Caribbean isle. They'll be waiting Tuesday through Sunday, from 6pm to 2am.

Written by Teresita Padrón.


Published Ocotber 2022.

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