El Buganvil

Style of food: Cuban/Creole
Cost: Cheap
Type of place: Paladar (private)
Best for: Traditional Cuban food including a great smoked pork loin.
Worst for: Lost some of the authenticity with the renovation
Calle 190 No. 1501 entre 15 & 17, Siboney, Playa
(+53)7271 - 4791
Open 12am to 12pm: Mon- Sat

  • El Buganvil is a solid, reliable place owned by the indomitable Margarita with the help from her family. This has been open since 1996 (apart from a brief two-year period from 2008-2010). What are valued here above all else are consistency and the personalized touch which many places claim but few really attain. El Buganvil has a client list of regulars who include tourists and expatriates who come back again and again to this pleasant, relaxed and familiar place. The cerdo asado (roast pork) is done to the same home recipe that it was 15 years after it opened as it was on that first day back in 1996. People’s preferences are remembered: a little more salt here, less onion there and so on. You are made to feel at home.

    The food is uncomplicated in general; the Lomo ahumado (smoked pork loin) is excellent as is the Cordero al vino (lamb cooked with wine) and Pescado a la plancha (grilled fish). If there are six carnivores at the table you have to try the roast pig (Cerdo asado), which is good value at CUC 10 each. Desserts depend on the time of year but can usually be relied upon to include Flan de leche, made in house (custard), and a range of natural ice creams, such as pineapple, mamey (marmalade tree) and cocoa.

    The place underwent something of a renovation in late 2011 with the small thatched roof being expanded to cover a much larger area. Personally, I am not sure that I do not prefer the older version, which was smaller and cuter; perhaps I am simply being conservative. Clients do not seem to mind since their clientele remains consistent. This is a good place for a work party or informal gathering.

    I don’t really think that this is a destination restaurant in Havana nowadays especially with the competition being much stronger than in the past, but if you are staying nearby or visiting Siboney, it is well worth checking out.

  • Nazdarovie

    Nazdarovie  LH 5+

    I never really knew the Cuba from the days of Soviet support. My first memories of the island belong to a time that is very close to the Great Change, when we were already starting to see that what ha …

    La California

    La California  LH 5+

    La California Restaurant For quality food, impeccable service & intimate ambience Superb Cuban-Creole/International menu Dine in a beautifully restored 19th-century colonial building just one bloc …


    Opera  LH 5+

    – Best for Homely & Intimate enviroment Quality food in a beautiful setting. – Fresh pasta, vegetarian dishes  and quail.

    El Cocinero

    El Cocinero  LH 5+

    El Cocinero opened in February 2013 and has instantly become a smash hit. Located underneath the imposing brick chimney of the same name (which used to be a vegetable oil factory), this bar/restaurant …

    La Fontana

    La Fontana  LH 5

    La Fontana is quite simply one of the very best places to eat in Havana. Great food, a good atmosphere, efficient and unobtrusive service for a reasonable price make this a real Havana institution, th …

    La Casa

    La Casa  LH 5

    La Casa is more than just a restaurant; it is the crucible of the Robaina family, from the 91-year-old great grandmother to the latest great grandson and everyone in between. Located on the ground flo …

    Ivan Chef Justo

    Ivan Chef Justo  LH 5

    There is only one problem with Ivan Chef Justo and that is describing to people how to get there. Actually it is not that complicated, opposite the Museum of the Revolution on the Old Havana side. Con …

    El Atelier

    El Atelier  LH 5

    Atelier keeps getting better, recent renovations have improved the place while the food remains excellent. Atelier is run by Niuris Higueras who has a passion for creating food. She is the driving for …

    Habana Mia 7

    Habana Mia 7  LH 5

    HM7 is not the nickname of a famous athlete or some secret code name. It is, though, a symbol of tranquility and relaxation—a newly discovered, little known formula for a perfect evening. HM7 is one o …

    La Guarida

    La Guarida  LH 5+

    Enrique and Odeisys Nuñez first opened what has become Cuba’s most celebrated paladar on July 14, 1996. During 2009, it closed its doors out of what may be determined as an abundance of caution before …

    1 of 14 pages »