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If you go to Cuba

The US government limits visits to Cuba except with permission from the Treasury Department. In general, you can go if you are a journalist on assignment, a professional doing academic research or attending a conference, or if you are on US government business. Specific licenses are granted on a case-by-case basis to people who have immediate family in Cuba, freelance journalists, college students participating in research or a study abroad program, and nonprofit cultural and humanitarian programs. For details, see

Where to eat in Havana

El Guajirito

658 North Zulueta

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This large restaurant features a good chef and an open kitchen. Great paella.

Cafe Taberna

Calle Mercaderes at Teniente Rey

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The Buena Vista Social Club often plays at this nightclub, and big plates of food and minty mojitos are delivered to your table.

Restaurante La Barca

Avenida del Puerto near Obispo


Attractive restaurant with some water views and outdoor seating.

El Floridita

557 Obispo


A fun place with great daiquiris served with plantain chips and live music.

Ernest Hemingway’s bronze personage leans against the far end of the bar.

La Bodeguita del Medio

207 Empedrado


A crowded place, with notes scribbled all over the walls, Hemingway mojitos, and live music.

Sloppy Joe’s Bar

Corner of Calle Animas and Zulueta

This newly restored bar is legendary for the stars it drew before the revolution, and for its 60-foot-long mahogany bar, where Alec Guinness was recruited as a British spy in the 1959 film “Our Man in Havana.”

Bella English can be reached at
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