Studying abroad during winter session is extremely popular here at University of Delaware. While some students choose to travel around Europe, I had the opportunity to go Cuba for three weeks. Being in Cuba felt like I traveled back to the 1950's with classic cars and cigars galore.
When I wasn’t too busy learning more about the local art and culture, I was exploring and eating my way through Old Havana, Viñales and Vedado. If you get the chance to travel to Cuba, these places must be on your itinerary.
Located in Old Havana is Paladar Doña Eutimia, which happened to be the first restaurant we went to on our first day in the city. I ordered the lobster, at the suggestion of the waiter, which came with sliced watermelon and guava. The lobster was super fresh and so good that I didn’t even notice the rice and beans served on the side. This was the best introduction to Cuban food I could have asked for.
After dinner, we ended up at a bakery that was conveniently located right next to Paladar Doña Eutimia. I had the best cappuccino of my life here. Seriously, I will always remember this drink. There's no way you can go wrong with a Nutella cappuccino complete with a Nutella and chopped almonds rim. I'm going to hold cappuccinos to a high standard from now on.
For our weekend excursion to Viñales, we toured an ecological farm that was on top of a hill that had a restaurant even further up the hill. The view was amazing and it was interesting to learn more about the farming process and to see where the food we were about to eat came from. For lunch there was an amazing spread of pork, chicken, rice, beans, yucca, beets and of course, piña coladas.
Mojitos are one of the drinks of choice in Cuba, so naturally I had to order them any chance I got. On a hot and humid day, a refreshing mojito is all you need. Out of all the places we went to, the mojitos at Hotel Riviera were the best and I’m not just saying that because we used their Wi-Fi and it overlooked the Malecón.
The last two weeks of our trip we stayed with host families in the neighborhood and it was around this time that I was missing food from home, especially pizza. Thankfully, Habana Retro Cafe was able to solve that problem. Combined with an atmosphere that takes you back a few decades and perfectly mixed Ron Collins, the mushroom and margarita pizzas hit the spot when I was missing home.
Although I did miss some Main Street eats, I wish it was possible to experience the food of Cuba just one more time. With relations changing between the U.S. and Cuba, it's possible you may catch me sipping on the mojitos and eating rice, beans and yucca in the future.