What are typical Cuban dishes

Eating in Cuba: You have to try these specialties of Cuban cuisine

As multifaceted as the Caribbean island state is, it is just as diverse Eating in Cuba. In my article I will take you into the Cuban kitchens and show you which dishes you should definitely try on the Caribbean island and of course where you can best order them. In addition, you will receive samples of the traditional drinks and of course there will be a delicious Cuban dessert at the end.

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Cuban cuisine

Cuban cuisine combines Spanish, African, Creole and Caribbean influences and although that sounds very varied at first, most dishes have one thing in common: Beans and rice - Arros con frijoles - are the staple food and are served as an accompaniment to almost all dishes. Other side dishes are fried Plantainsthat you get as a starter before you eat and various root vegetables such as sweet potatoes.

The main part of the dishes are definitely Meat dishes in all variations, whereby vegetarians and vegans have to prepare for problems ordering dishes without animal products. Completely meat-free dishes are very rare, even in the supposedly simple rice as a side dish, small pieces of meat are sometimes hidden for a special taste. However, if you like to eat meat such as chicken, pork or beef as well as fish, you are in the right place in Cuba. Boiled, fried or deep-fried: Without animal proteins, almost nothing works in Cuba.

Contrary to many assumptions, there is almost no spicy food on the menu in Cuba and spices are also rarely used. Some even describe the Cuban specialties as bland. Cubans love their diet and therefore eat hot dishes twice a day. Now I'll show you which of them you should definitely try:

Typical dishes

As in every country and region, there is also in Cuba traditional specialtiesthat you find on the menus or that are cooked and loved by families at home. Flan is served after a hearty meal as the main meal, and not only on special occasions. Flan is one Caramel dishwhich originally comes from Spain and is a bit reminiscent of pudding. It mainly consists of a mass of eggs and condensed milk and, of course, sugar, which is hardened in a water bath and, despite its simple preparation, tastes simply delicious. However, you should try these special Cuban specialties with lots of fish, chicken, beef, pork or plantains before dessert:

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Ropa Vieja

One of the National dishes in Cuba is the delicious Ropa Vieja, which translates as "old clothes". For that will beef cooked until it falls apart on its own. During the cooking process, peppers, onions and sometimes tomatoes, capers and olives are added.

Yuca con mojo

Yuca or cassava as an important crop is served as a side dish to many dishes in Cuba, similar to the potato in our country. As Mojo is the name of the sauce that gives the dish that certain something. The combination of Yuca and the Onion, garlic and lime sauce is just delicious.

Lechón Asado

You can look forward to Lechón Asado on special occasions. This is meat from Roast pork or suckling pig, traditionally served with mojo, the special Cuban sauce. You can also buy it - but then a little less festive and in bread rolls - at many street food stalls in the cities.

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Morros y Cristianos

As mentioned at the beginning, they are very common in Cuba rice and beans the way to the plate. The name varies from region to region and is then prepared with different beans. The dish Morros y Cristianos consists of blackBeans, whereas Arros Congri from reddenBeans consists.

Pescado à la Santa Barbara

In eastern Cuba you should definitely try Pescado á la Santa Barbara - that's one there traditional fish dish with coconut milk sauce. Coconut milk, or Lechita in Cuban, is used for many other dishes in the east of the country. You should also definitely try the delicious variant with shrimp!


You will also find this Cuban delicacy on the menu of many and above all private restaurants. Incidentally, lobsters are not lobsters in Cuba, they are Lobster and are mostly grilled, with Chili sauce or with Paprika sauce served. In addition, many delicious stews with tender meat of the crustaceans are conjured up in the island state.

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The green Plantains, which are also called chatinos depending on the region, must not be missing in any Cuban restaurant. The twice-fried plantains are served as either garnish or snack served and are super tasty!


If you are still looking for authentic Cuban food, this should be the place to go Shrimp in tomato sauce Try, which are on almost every menu and in some regions are also served in coconut milk as a variant.


Another snack on the Cuban dining tables are these croquetteswhich - like ours - consist of potatoes and are served fried. Depending on your preference, they are in Cuba with ham, chicken, fish or cheese filled.

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Many of you probably know this excellent pastry from Spain. The friedStrips of doughwhich are served sprinkled with sugar are also known in Cuba as "Calientes". Just keep an eye out for churreria stalls in the street!


Also this exotic one root vegetable with a high starch content finds its way into many Cuban saucepans. The root used to be one of the Staple food of the locals and is still used today in stews, desserts and bread.

Typical drinks

What would a delicious Cuban meal be without the right drink? Probably only half as tasty and that's why I'm putting them here for you typical Cuban drinks which you can drink during meals, for example, but of course also simply to refresh yourself with plantains as a snack or as a stimulant. By the way, coffee in Cuba is very strong and is traditionally refined with a lot of sugar. Make sure not to drink tap water and buy drinking water or fruit juices in the small shops and stores! Here are the Cuban drink specialties:

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Cuba Libre

Of course we have to start with the legendary Cuba Libre, which was once invented by American soldiers in Cuba and which still stands today for the liberation of Cuba from Spanish colonial rule. The perfect mix of Cola, rum and lime can be found on every street corner in Cuba!


Another Cuban drink is of course the mojito, which has also made it onto our local cocktail menus. The national drink is traditionally made from Sugar, lime, liquor made from sugar cane and mint made, meanwhile the sugar cane schnapps is often replaced by rum.

Pina Colada

What would the Caribbean be without an excellent Pina Colada cocktail right on the beach? The tasty potion from Rum, lime juice, pineapple juice and coconut cream is so popular in Cuba that you can order it in any bar and enjoy it with the real Caribbean flair.

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In Cuba there is a lot of sugar cane that makes a delicious soft drink Sugar cane juice called guarapo is processed. Served ice cold with lots of ice, it tastes best!


The alcohol-free Malt beer is sweeter than the malt beers we know from Germany. The Cubans love the sugary, however, and you too should try it at least once.


Another traditional drink is chorote, one thick drinking chocolate made from pressed cocoa beans, banana flour and coconut milk, optionally refined with sugar, vanilla or cinnamon.

Restaurants in Cuba

You now know what you absolutely want to try during your trip to Cuba, but you still have no idea where you will be served the many different delicacies? Most of the restaurants in Cuba are still in the hands of the state, plus there are the so-called Paladereswho have favourited private restaurants. I recommend you to dine in these Paladeres, where the quality of the food is usually much better and where the locals also like to indulge their culinary delights. The only problem with this could be that your private restaurants not recognized as such at first glance. If in doubt, ask the locals where you can best eat. By the way, tips are welcomed in restaurants.

For example, as usual in Cuba, you will stay overnight in one of the Casa Particulares, on request, in addition to the daily breakfast, you can also get other meals based on authentic Cuban dishes Home cooking. You will recognize many specialties that I have already presented to you above. You can also feast your way through the Cuban kitchens at various street stalls, for example in Havana's old town. You not only save a lot of money, but you can also easily get into conversation with the locals.

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