Ernest Hemingway, his favourite place "Bar Floridita"
Don't think for a minute that because it's such a famous tourist attraction it has lost any of its spirit or its quality. What we have here is one of the great legends, a temple Rather than a bar on a par with San Francisco’s Pied Piper, New York’s 21Club,
the Ritz bars of Paris and London, the Shelburne in Dublin or Raffles in Singapore.
And this despite the fact that it is over fifty year ago that Esquire magazine named it as one of the seven best bars in the world along with the others listed . where before it was patronized by Spencer Tracy, Gary Cooper, Ava Garner, Marlene Ditrich, the Dukes of Windsor or jean Paul Sartre, now it is Kevin Costner and Jack Nicholson. Elegance and style have been preserved in the decor and furnishings.
Behind the magnificent bar, the waiters mix cocktails with mastery especially the daiquiris that , according to Hemingway, "don't taste of alcohol". If you have the strength, try more than on . You´ve got the chewing gum daiquiri, the Rebel, the banana daiquiri, the Mulata or Papa,s.
Ernest himself can be seen in a life size bronze by Santiago sculptor Jose Villa, tucked into his favourite corner, casually dressed and wearing sandals with a book by his side and a glass that is frequently changed for him .In his posthumous work' Islands in the Stream' he wrote "this drink could not be improved, or even come close, in any other part of the world." We won’t argue with that. Address: Calle Obispo # 557esq. Monserrate, Old Havana Tel: 867 1299, price range: $25 - $35 Open every day 11am -12pm
Bar and Restaurant "La Bodeguita del Medio"
La Bodeguita still manages to keep its charm intact. Perhaps because we accept that it has become an emblem of Cuba throughout the world but still we come back to it happily time and again, it hasn’t suffered the same rejection that becomes the lot of most tourist traps. Hemingway. Institutionalized the rite of drinking mojitos here where they taste much better against the background music of the trio singing: “…You’ve got to give the dark one tenderness, hold the Chinese girl tight and give a little kiss to the blonde…” or was it the other way round? La Bodeguita is a blast. Mojito drink, papa's favorite at La Bodeguita.
Address: Calle Empedrado #207, Old Habana, tel 867 1375 Open every day 12noon - 12pm
Restaurant and open air Bar "El Patio"
El Patio: We are in what used to be the home of the legendary marquis of Aguas Claras alongside the catedral, a classic example of Cuban Baroque and one of the loveliest in the Ameritas. Lest agree that sitting and drinking lemonade or a Ron Collins while glimpsing the splendid fasade between the columns and arches is enough to transport us to a different place. We are in the realm of dreams and memeries. Address: Calle San Ignacio # 54, Old Havana. tel 867 1034,Open every day 12noon-12pm
La Divina Pastora Restaurant - info
The best Havana's romantic getaway, offers romantic location El Mirador Bar next door, offers splendid views from its outdoor tables over Havana, and is a good spot for dinner. Address: Parque Historico Morro y Cabana, Carretera de La Cabana, El Morro.
Bar "Mirador de la Bahia"
The plastic furnishing here, ugly as it is, is not enough to keep us away. the situation, perched on a rooftop in plaza de Armas, is ideal. The views over the tiled roof s of old Havana and the castles of La Fuerza , the Morro and la Cabana are mesmerizing.
We'll be back… Address: Calle Obispo # 61. Old Havana, tel.861 3652 Open every day 12noon-12pm
Restaurant and open air Bar "Taberna la Muralla"
It is not generally known that Cuba is so famous for its rums, also produces very good canned and bottled beers: Crystal, Bucanero, Polar, Mayabe and Tinima, amongst others. However, up until June 2003, Havana didn’t have a good beer hall.
The Austrian firm Salm and the Cuban Habaguanex have now come together to create one in an 18th century mansion on the corner of one of the most beautiful square of the old city .The beers on tap are few but there is enough choice. It is unusual to find draft beer in this country but here there are both light and dark, Pilsner or Munich made on the premises that is both a brewery and a museum of beer memorabilia. To eat, there is sausage, chicken or snacks. Nothing comes more highly recommended to anyone walking these hot streets than to sit at the bar or in the wide-doored saloon or the inside courtyard to drink a few cool jars. Address: Calle Muralla y San Ignacio, Old Havana, tel 866 4453, Open every day 11am -11:45pm