La Bodeguita del Medio

CA4
Style of place: Traditional bar
Style of music: Son/traditional
Ambience
Popularity
Entertainment
Service
Best for: Hemmingway aficionados hot on the mojito trail of the Papa vibe
Worst for: A definite tourist trap. Don’t expect to see a ‘real’ Cuban here…
Empedrado No. 207, entre San Ignacio y Cuba, Old Havana
(+53)7866 - 8857
Open 10.30am-midnight daily

  • Back 1942, this well-known restaurant was a small grocery store. Its owner, Ángel Martínez, began to sell food as the number of customers increased. One day, journalist Leandro Garcia, a regular costumer, decided to put his name on one of the walls and soon many other distinguished personalities followed suit, including Pablo Neruda, Agustín Lara, Brigitte Bardot, Ignacio ‘Bola de Nieve’ Villa, Ernest Hemingway and Salvador Allende. This is a must for most visitors.

    This was one of Hemingway’s favorite bars and his place of choice to sip a mojito ($4). It is worth a look if you are on a Hemingway trail or simply want to see a bit of history. While it is typically packed to the gills with camera toting tourists they do serve a good mojito and can have a good atmosphere (albeit very touristy!).
    This place has history, which is evidenced by the graffiti and memorabilia, which gives it the edge over the Floridita in my book. Plus it is saloon door style and ceiling fans rather than freezing air conditioning. The live bands aren’t bad too.

    
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