Los Nardos

Style of food: International
Cost: Moderate
Type of place: Association
Best for: Big portions of good quality food at reasonable price in a bustling & efficient place.
Worst for: Waiting outside on the pavement for a table can be a bit grim.
Prado no 563 (Paseo de Martí) entre Teniente Rey y Dragones, Old Havana
(+53)7863 - 2985
Open 12m – 12am every day
  • The Sociedad Juventud Asturiana is a Spanish cultural society from the province of Asturias, which has a special legal status in Havana. Essentially, the society functions as a cooperative which means that the staff and management of each location have more independence and incentives to develop a number of wonderful buildings in Havana. Over the past few years a number of restaurants have opened in each of these buildings, which have become some of the best places in Havana to eat.

    Los Nardos is one of three restaurants within the premises of the Sociedad Juventud Asturiana. The other two restaurants are El Trofeo (basically a low quality pizza place) and El Asturianito, which is neither (inferior) room in the premises. We would suggest that neither of the alternatives are really worth a mention and therefore have focused our review solely on Los Nardos.

    Located directly opposite the Capitolio, the entrance to Los Nardos (which is on the first floor) is easy to miss. This area is also not especially glamorous on a good day and downright run-down and depressed on a bad one. Being Cuba, looks can exaggerate and don’t be put off by a doorman who has clearly picked up attitude from watching too many episodes of Miami Vice. Try and come at a quiet moment (early evening, weeknights, when it rains) and you will avoid a long wait outside.

    Inside, the atmosphere is warm, busy, but unusually for Cuba, well managed. Every table may be busy but they cope, your waiter is prompt, the table made up and ready, drinks on time. This is a variety for Cuba and should be appreciated. The decoration is heavy with mahogany and leather dominating. There is football memorabilia and a wonderful enormous wine rack, which covers one length of the restaurant. The kitchen is at one end behind glass, which lets you see a well-run (but perhaps not too slick) culinary operation.

    The food is quite simply the best value in the city. Where else can you get Lobster Thermidor for under CUC 10? Garlic prawns with sautéed vegetables and authentic Spanish paella come well recommended. In general, portions are huge and the prices, which start at around CUC 4 for chicken, pork and fish dishes, are unbelievably cheap. These qualities mean that the clientele is very mixed with a split of maybe half local Cubans and half foreigners. This makes a pleasant change for the more elaborate paladares, which cater almost exclusively to tourists or expatriates living in Havana.

    Los Nardos gets an absolute thumbs up from us although the wait outside is a real pain.

  • Opera

    Opera  LH 5+

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


    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 …

    Doña Eutimia

    Doña Eutimia  LH 5+

    It would take a hard heart indeed to be immune to the charms of Leticia, the owner of Doña Eutemia. Small, old, personal, she wants an intimate place where you come to relax. So much so, that she stat …

    La Carboncita

    La Carboncita  LH 5

    His is Walter Ginevri’s (the Italian pizza guy) new place in Havana, except that actually this Paladar is owned by Eneida, a pleasant, businesslike woman, who has lived for some time in the accompanyi …

    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 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 …

    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 …

    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 …

    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 …

    1 of 14 pages »