You can find vegan food wherever you vacation. Here’s your guide to getting delicious vegan eats in Cuba.
Home Away From Home
One of the best places for good vegan food is at the casas particulares (private guesthouses) where you stay. Let your hosts know that you don’t eat meat or dairy products, and they’ll likely be able to prepare you a plant-based feast. For breakfast, fuel yourself with café cubano (coffee), fruit, and toast with jam.
For lunch and dinner, you can opt for bean dishes made without meat, as well as rice, veggies, and tostones (fried green plantains).
An increasing number of restaurants serve vegan food, and Italian ones are leading the pack. If you’re pumped about exploring the restaurant scene, here are a few choice spots to get you started:
An organic vegetarian restaurant north of the Moka Hotel in Las Terrazas, El Romero has a wide variety of dishes made with fresh vegetables and herbs grown in gardens on site.
A Cuban-Californian fusion restaurant, California Café—on Calle 19 between Calles N and O in Havana—combines Cuban favorites like crispy plantain chips with American staples like chickpea-based veggie burgers.
Camino al Sol
This eclectic vegetarian spot on Calle 3 between Calle 2 and Avenida Paseo in Havana features pastas made from scratch, along with fresh juices and cakes.
Bring Your Dictionary
It’s vital that you know the Spanish words for your favorite animal-free fare, as well as the animal-derived ingredients that you’re trying to avoid.
Below are a few helpful words and phrases.
Foods to order
- aguacate (avocado)
- arroz (rice)
- ensalada (salad)
- frijoles (beans)
- fruta (fruit)
- maduros (fried sweet plantains)
- pan (bread)
- papas (potatoes)
- tostones (fried green plantains)
Foods not to order
- carne (meat)
- cerdo (pork)
- chicharrones (fried pork skins)
- chorizo (sausage)
- huevos (eggs)
- jamón (ham)
- leche (milk)
- pescado (fish)
- camarones (shrimp)
- pollo (chicken)
- queso (cheese)
iPhone users can also download the Veganagogo app to translate phrases on the go.
Check Online Beforehand
Print out this article and do some research online before your trip. It’s not easy to get online in Cuba. TripAdvisor’s website offers a helpful social platform for travelers, packed with posts to assist you with planning the perfect trip. For animal-friendly advice, be sure to follow PETA!
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