The home of the National Union of Writers & Artists (UNEAC) is a grand old Vedado mansion, where a large veranda serves as a stage and its patio provides table seating. This is a popular hang out for Cuba’s artistic and intellectual crowd.
It’s best known for La Peña del Ambia, a gathering on Wednesday afternoons, which features all types of music and dance traditions from around Cuba; on alternate Wednesdays, trova and son are played. The place is jam-packed by 5pm, so arrive early if you want a table.
Saturday night (entry from 9pm) is devoted to bolero, featuring the country’s top soloists, such as Manolo del Valle and Roberto Sánchez.
It also has a bar and restaurant with a menu dedicated to Cuban writers and artists, such as “Tropical Fruit Stained-Glass Window” (Amelia Peláez), fish fillet “Vigía” (Ernest Hemingway), witch chicken “Peña del Ambia”, and cocktails “The Rape of the Mulatto Women” (Carlos Enríquez), “The Jungle” (Wifredo Lam), and “The Kingdom of this World” (Alejo Carpentier).