In the Cuban capital of Havana, roadside stands sell fast, delicious, and exceptionally cheap Caribbean staples, ideal for a quick snack. I recently spent four months there, so I tried almost all the offerings and found the best ones. Prices are in moneda nacional, a currency doled out by the government, which Cubans can use to buy basics (like fruits and vegetables or hygiene products) and street snacks like these. The other currency, the convertible peso, is how you pay everywhere else.
1. Pork Burgers (Hamburguesa de Cerdo)
What it is: A ground pork patty, griddled to medium-rare and laid on lettuce, tomato and pan suave, a soft roll.
Price: 30 moneda nacional.
That means: $1.20.
Eat it like a local: Topped with a pineapple ring or cream cheese and strawberry marmalade. Wash it down with watermelon juice.
2. Coconut Pie (“Pie” de Coco)
What it is: Ultra-sweet shredded coconut baked into pie crust.
Price: 3 moneda nacional.
That means: $0.15.
Eat it like a local: From the bicycling-vendor after a shot of 50-50 coffee (50% coffee, 50% sugar).
3. Guava Milkshake (Batidos de Guayaba)
What it is: Peeled fresh guava blended with milk and sugar.
Price: 3 moneda nacional
What that means: $0.15
Eat it like a local: Finish it in less than two minutes, or before it gets hot and melty.
4. Goat Platter (Fricasse de Carnero)
What it is: Tender chunks of stewed goat served on arroz morro, white rice and black beans, and alongside yucca and a simple salad
Price: 40 moneda nacional.
What that means: $1.50.
Eat it like a local: With pickle slices. Take it to go in a cardboard box.
5. Individual Hawaiian Pizzas (Pizza Hawaiana)
What it is: Thick disks of dough glossed with tomato paste and topped with shredded cheese (a blend that tastes like a mix of mozzarella and sharp cheddar), ham and fresh pineapple, baked in an oven on the street.
Price: 18 moneda nacional.
What that means: $0.80.
Eat it like a local: Folded in a piece of paper (un papelito). It looks like a pizza, but you eat it like a taco.
These items are all widely available at many street carts, the majority of which are unnamed. But brick-and-mortar “cafeterias” also offer many of these items — Cafeteria Doña Laura is a local favorite and where I had the lamb platter. The burger was from another called Cafeteria 5a y A.
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Too bad you are an ignorant idiot.
Learn your facts before talking shit.
Yes, they do not make a lot of money like people living in the USA or Canada. They dont need to. Many basics are given to them at super discounted prices. The Libereta ration card allows them this.
Things that this does not cover, that is is part of the regular diet is pretty cheap.
If they want to buy imported items then this is super expensive.
Also they have a better life expectancy and infant mortality then your precious America. Also it is one of my most literate countries in the world. Due to free education. Surpassing the United States in literacy. Most students leaving university speak various languages Including French, English, Russian, Italian and German.
Half of americans can’t even speak English properly.
So before you go around throwing around inaccurate facts. Go online and read some real facts.
Life Expectancy: 78.49 years
Infact Morality: 6 deaths/1,000 live births
Source: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html Cuba:
Life Expectancy: 77.88 years
Infact Morality: 4.83 deaths/1,000 live births
I lived in Cuba, and it’s true that 30MN is not cheap for many Cubans. Their salaries are very low and the libreta is not enough to cover all needs (I know because I have run errands for a friend using his libreta). The soap and toothpaste rations, for instance, are highly insufficient (one bar of soap every other month and toothpaste even less frequently), and these are products that are only available in CUC. I agree that Cuba has the right idea on a lot of things (literacy, free education and healthcare, no one starves), but it is far from an ideal society. It’s TRUE that the average cuban can’t always afford to eat on the street.
Due to the trade embargo and the “Special Period”, Cubans have had to find ways of making money. Unfortunately they have become masters at scamming people. You probably just got ripped off.
When I was in Habana learning Spanish for 6 months, I Would eat out every night at some of the best Paladars (Private Restaurants) for $10-$15(Convertible Pesos/Tourist Money 1CUC=$1USD) This included Lobster, and at least 2 beers.
As with anywhere in the world, Touristy places are rip-offs and bad quality.
Nothing better then grabbing a carton of 93Cent Rum and hanging out on the Malecon with friends listening to music till the wee hours.
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You have to be very very careful with street food in Habana.
The hygiene standards are no where near the same as here in North America.
Spent 6 months in the Vedado area of Habana. While some of the street food is great, most of them are brutal and can give you explosive diarrhea.
The best place i found and it was my saving grace was La Pachanga, It is a private fast food restaurant with great “high-quality” food, I say “High Quality” because it is probably the best you can get in Cuba, but nowhere near the same quality that you can buy in the US or Canada.
Another favourite were Churros, really cheap but amazing good.
Also Heldaria Copellia had pretty good ice cream. The only issue is that if you are a tourist, they will send you to the tourist section and you pay 10x what the locals pay.
The local line up for ice cream can be 2 hours long, but its totally worth it for the atmosphere and cheap ice cream. You just got to blend in, and only can pay in Moneda Nacional.
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