Fathom Favorites : Cuba Restaurants

1. Cuba Libro

The city's first English-language bookstore stocks secondhand books of poetry, philosophy, and novels vetted by the owner, an American journalist living in Vedado. Hammocks, swinging chairs, and wrought-iron benches are clustered on a shady patio. Rock gently with an iced coffee or starfruit juice and complimentary tortica (cookie).

Calle 24, at 19th

2. Le Chansonnier

Part of the new wave of privately owned restaurants, this paladar in a 19th-century mansion has candelabras, Cuban art on the walls, well-mixed mojitos, and Héctor Higuera's thoughtfully prepared meals with hard-to-find-in-Havana ingredients.

Calle J, no. 257, at Línea

3. Museo del Chocolate

The name is misleading, but the cafe's faded green walls and the waitress's sleepy demeanor do have a museum-like quality. Order a tall glass of cold chocolate milk for a peso and take the opportunity to photograph yourself with a chocolate cigar. Also made on the premises: cocoa airplanes, cocoa classic cars, and, curiously, cocoa coffins. 

Amargura, at Mercaderes
Havana, 10100

4. Cafe Lamparilla

A tranquil outdoor cafe flanked by greenery on a relatively quiet side street. Order cerveza or sangria for the table and it's delivered in a glass beverage dispenser with a spout. Mix and match pintxos and tapas while a musical trio croons guantanamera

Lamparilla 54, at Mercaderes
Havana, 10100

5. O'Reilly 304

The best cocktails in the city can be found at this little duplex bar and restaurant on a hip side street in Old Havana.

O'Reilly 304, between Havana and Aguiar
Havana, 10100

6. Doña Eutimia

Dodge the persistent young men waving restaurant menus on the street corner and make a beeline for the atypically cozy paladar tucked away at the road's end, the place to go for slushy mojitos and down-home ropa vieja, a local stew made here with lamb. The service is sweet and the place is mas popular — so be sure to make a reservation.

Callejón del Chorro 60-C, Plaza de La Catedral
Havana, 30600