El Gringo Viejo

Style of food: Cuban/Creole
Cost: Moderate
Type of place: Paladar (private)
Best for: Discovering the underground treasure trove. Nice décor, friendly service.
Worst for: Old school place which seems a little dated today compared to newer places
Calle 21 No. 454 entre E y F, Vedado
(+53)7831 - 1946
Open noon-11pm
  • El Gringo Viejo (The Old Gringo) is at its name suggests something of an old-timer being a mainstay of Vedado paladares for many years. This is one of those places that inspire loyalty from its clientele (mostly tourists), who will regularly head over to have a bite in this comfortable place.

    It is located in the basement of a typical Havana mansion, although don’t be put off since this is not a dingy basement but more of an underground treasure trove. This is one of the few Havana eateries to have a proper booth, which is much the best table in the place. Bear in mind that this used to be often full so try and make a reservation ahead of time. We have not been for a while so we have no idea how the opening of so many new places has impacted business, we could guess negatively but difficult to tell.

    Food wise, this is a classic Creole place that does a mean ropa vieja (shredded beef), as well as a variety of other dishes including smoked salmon with olives and Gouda or crabmeat in red sauce (CUC 10 to CUC 12). Quality wise, this is reasonable; it never was my favourite but is decent if not spectacular.

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