Meliá Cohíba Hotel – Habana Café

Style of place: Live music venue
Cover: CUC 15
Style of music: Salsa/Timba
Best for: Classy place with good service and excellent groups playing. Great quality hambergers, comfortable, up-market without being too sterile.
Worst for: Not very authentic Cuban and quite expensive. This is not a cheap place and caters to tourists.
Hotel Meliá Cohíba, Avenida Paseo, esquina 3ra, Vedado
(+53)7833 - 3636
8pm-2.30am daily; Performances: 9pm (main band at 11.30pm) Thur-Sun
  • This is where Vincent Vega would get his ten-dollar shake in Havana and although you cannot actually sit inside the Chevy, Pontiac and Buick, which grace the interior; they do add 1950’s chic to the place. As you might expect from a spot attached to the Meliá Cohíba, this is a top end place with great service, mainly frequented by tourists. When the big Cuban bands, such as Van Van and Charanga Habanera play here, it is the place to be and queues form early. There are two cabaret shows playing. The best is Rakatan, which plays several times a week and has a more contemporary spin to the Tropicana style.

    Habana Café is part of Meliá Cohiba’s marble palace but located next door. This is a wannabe hard rock-style place, which serves some of Havana’s best hamburgers and is a great place to get a bite pre-cabaret. Havana of the forties and the fifties is represented here, from the musical stars that made history to the old vintage cars that marked this era! Even an old airplane property of Cubana Airlines can be found. This is definitely the place to get that 10-dollar shake.

    This place is not really pretending to be real, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Real in its commitment to excess fakeness is at least something. This is not somewhere I ever think of going to for a standalone dinner but it does make a great place to eat prior to the excellent cabaret or other shows which are put on here. It is worth making a date for your diary when some of Cuba’s best musicians play here and having dinner prior to the show, which ensures you a good table and often lets you use the cover charge towards dinner.

    This is well suited for private parties and groups. The food is decent although not excellent and towards the expensive side.

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