As the land of rum, Cuba is a paradise for cocktail lovers. Hemingway, who liked to sip daiquiris in the cafes in the capital, was right. Here is our pick of the best cocktail bars in La Havana. From rooftop terraces with stunning views to the peaceful gardens of the chic neighbourhoods, here is a review of our favourite places to have a drink in the Cuban capital.
Evening Views in La Guarida
La Guarida is a restaurant in Havana. Its rooftop terrace and breathtaking views of the Centro Habana district are famous throughout the capital. The iconic bar and restaurant is a popular destination for many celebrities visiting the city. Sean Penn, Natalie Portman and Mick Jagger were all spotted here during their stay in Cuba and Madonna celebrated her birthday here in 2016. One of the first paladars (local restaurants) in Havana, it is still a popular place for locals and visitors. When it's time for aperitifs, hurry to the relaxing rooftop to taste the excellent house cocktails.
Address : Calle Concordia, 418.
In search of gin at Cafe O'Reilly
Welcome to Havana's Gin Temple! Let yourself be tempted by the colourful and warm decor of this bar, which has made gin cocktails its speciality. You can also enjoy delicious tapas right in the heart of Old Havana. If it's too early for a gin and tonic when you visit, the establishment's coffee is just as famous as its mouthwatering cocktails. Note that the O'Reilly recently opened an extension with a roof terrace, called De El Frente (literally 'the one opposite '), which is very logically located just... opposite.
Address : Calle O'Reilly, 304
Chic and tropical atmosphere in Espacios
A trendy and casual atmosphere for this establishment located in a former colonial home in Miramar, Havana's residential district famous for its embassies. Sip a mojito or sample the many whiskies on the menu in a contemporary setting. Alternatively, sit back and relax on the inviting patio while smoking an authentic Cuban cigar surrounded by tropical plants. Later in the evening, people flock to Espacios to dance the night away. The sound volume and atmosphere are then raised a notch to the delight of partygoers.
Address : Calle 10, 513.
Jazz at Siá Kará Café
This is one of Havana's hottest bars and since its opening, Siá Kará has barely ever been empty. Everything has been designed to make you feel at home in this piano bar : from the pianist who plays in the background to the excellent daiquiris, the atmosphere created by the French owner is simply lovely.
Address : Calle Industria, 502.
Industrial decor at El Cocinero
A former peanut oil factory in the Vedado district, this bar and restaurant has won the hearts of Havana residents since it opened in 2013. The industrial-looking establishment, which is easy to spot with its imposing brick chimney, spans across several floors. However, its stunning rooftop terrace is arguably the star of the show. Cool Cubans and stylish expats gather here to eat but also to enjoy the endless cocktails. Adjacent to El Cocinero, the Fábrica de Arte Cubano cultural centre organises a wide range of exciting events.
Address : Calle 26, esquina 11.