Cuba is a country that’s filled with so many things to do and see. With its stunning beaches, all the things to do in Havana and it’s incredible food, you’ll be spoilt for choice. This is why I wanted to share some of the best Cuban food to try on your next trip over. After all, in my opinion, every trip should also revolve around local foods.
Now, the hardest thing that you’ll likely struggle within Cuba is the sheer number of places to gorge at. Honestly, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
That being said, all that choice can sometimes be overwhelming. That’s why I wanted to share some of the very best Cuban food to try. Then, at least, you’ll be able to ask for a few dishes that take your fancy wherever you end up.
With that in mind, take a look below at some of the very best Cuban food you have to try. Now, be warned, some are a little spicy – so be prepared for the burn!
Take a look at the best Cuban food to try whilst visiting Cuba, below.
Best Cuban Food To Try In Cuba
1.) Ropa Vieja
If you love beef, you will enjoy a braised skirt steak simmered to perfection in a flavorful tomato sauce; served over loose white rice accompanied by fried ripe plantains. Fried plantains, by the way, are like the best and totally moreish!
Honestly, plantains are one of my favourite food ever and it’s easily part of one of the best Cuban food to try when in Cuba.
2.) Pernil Relleno De Moros Y Cristianos
This is a classic and one of the best Cuban food to try when on the island.
Consisting of black beans stewed with white rice, it’s then stuffed inside a pork shoulder marinated with a mixture of sour orange, garlic and oregano and roasted to perfection.
It’s the perfect pick-me-up after a long day exploring the old streets of Havana.
3.) Vaca Frita
This mouthwatering skirt steak Vaca Frita is laced with fresh herbs & spices and braised until tender. It’s totally yummy and smells incredible too!
Better still, It tastes uh-mazing and is pretty zingy when lashes of lemon-infused onions and peppers are thrown into the mix. It’s another guaranteed lip-smacker to gorge on.
4.) Guava Basted Ribs
Honestly, if you’re hungry then this is one of the best Cuban food to gorge on. It’s the kind of dish that totally consumes your taste buds and is so filling.
Now, the ribs should be braised to be glossy but they can sometimes look dry. Just make sure it’s doused in loads of guava BBQ sauce well before you tuck in.
Honestly, it’s the kind of dish that just leaves you stuffed and is totally amazing after a chilled out and relaxing day on the beach.
5.) Cuban Black Bean Soup
Made up from a traditional blend of black beans, oregano, and avocados, a Cuban black bean soup is too delicious to miss.
Better still, a helping of bacon makes everything tastes better. Now, it’s optional in this traditional delicacy but in my opinion, it’s pretty mandatory. 😉
Honestly, it’s so delicious and one of the best Cuban food to try when in Cuba.
Tamales are one of the few indigenous foods that remained in Cuba and it’s still done the traditional way, even after centuries of practice.
Now, typically, Tamales are made up with freshly ground corn and oodles of seasonings. This is all packed up in corn leaves, cooked and served up to enjoy. You’ll find these all over Cuba and it’s easily one of the best Cuban food and dishes that you have to try.
Fora great place for Tamales in Havana, head across to Mas Habana. You’ll love it.
Now, Boliche is a traditional Cuban dish comprising of eye round beef roast stuffed with chorizo sausages that smell as good as it tastes.
To cook, the beef is tenderly simmered in water with plenty of onions for flavour. Typically, Boliche is enjoyed with mounds of rice, Yuca and plenty of those yummy fried plantains. It really is one of the best Cuban food to try in Cuba.
8.) Deviled Crabs
Fresh blue crab meat sautéed and fried with enchilada sauce. ‘Hot alert’ devilled crabs are super spicy so mentally prepare yourself for the delicious burn. Now, technically this is one of the best Cuban food that wasn’t actually created in Cuba at all. It was actually conjured up in Tampa, Florida (by Cuban immigrants.
Thankfully, that hasn’t stopped it being brought back over to Cuba for everyone to enjoy. It’s pretty yummy… even though you won’t find it everywhere.
9.) Yuca Con Mojo
One of Cuba’s national dishes, Yuca con Mojo, is firmly cooked cassava seasoned and sautéed in bitter orange juice. It’s often considered one of the best Cuban food to try when on the island and is usually a great accompaniment to roast pork.
A perfect tostone should be fried twice in searing-hot oil. this, partnered with plenty of seasoning makes the best Cuban food to try on the island.
Now, the first fry is there to ensure the inside is all cooked. Then, the second fry gives the crispy outer crust that makes it nice and crunchy. Finally. the tostone is sprinkled with salt.
A perfect side to many dishes or comfort food on its own.
They should call this one ‘the lip licker’! Picadillo is totally tasty and easily up there as one of the best Cuban food to try when visiting. Better still, Picadillo is another one of Cuba’s traditional eats and a must try when exploring the island.
Made with ground beef, potatoes, raisins for sweetness and olives, all cooked in wine and seasonings. Yum!
12.) Rabo Encendido
Rabo Encendido is a pretty traditional Cuban dish that’s doused in a yummy marinade. After heating, the oxtail inside the Rabo Encendido is simmered to perfection for about two hours.
Typically, this is then paired up with lots of fluffy rice and plenty of fried plantains. Trust me, you’ll start to eat a lot of plantains when in Cuba.