As of September 2013 that the garden has now been closed and the restaurant moved inside with a bar upstairs. The menu is largely unchanged.
El Palio is like a room without a view by the sea. This is unfair; it also has a garden without a view by the sea. More to the point, it has the best French fries in Havana and some of the best ribs. This place is actually much better than it looks, for the outsized sign gives little sense of the quality cuisine, which is served up.
There are two seating areas: inside, a rectangular room which is always a little dark for me, and outside, in a lovely garden which has several attractive tables available (attractive but not quite with enough space to fit the chairs in–another story!). Food wise, a lot of effort goes into delivering big portions of quality food. This is not overly fancy but don’t imagine ham and cheese sandwiches either. Besides the best ribs in Havana, they do a mean steak and some pretty good finer appetizers such as seviche. Palio is also good for best-grilled vegetables and probably the best giant mojito in Havana in vintage glasses. Not to mention the place where Canadians are trying to introduce the best “Canadian Poutine in Havana” because of the good fries!
This is a place where above all the beer tastes good and it is a comfortable place for people who want to sit, talk, eat and drink in a comfortable location without the pretension of some of El Palio’s more illustrious and better looking compatriots.