And last but not least my favorite vegetarian restaurant in Cuba…so far! And the only place where I could find Seitan, even if it, as I know now, so easy and cheap to make!
There’s a lot to tell about this Eco-Restaurant!! First of all, if you are lucky like we were, you find a place at one of the 2 tables on the balkony and have a beautiful view! Then, what I appreciated really much, you can choose everything from starter over main dish till dessert in small, medium or large! Like this I could order nearly the whole menu 😉 also the drinks can be ordered like this. But there are no normal or unhealthy drinks! Fruit juices with healthy fruits I never heard of! Another big plus point is that they use neither milk nor eggs and only 2 or 3 dishes of the menu are wit cheese, and this partly optional!
You get one starter as a present from the kitchen (Cebiche of Lotus), together with the advice to “take one another by the hands, and, with closed eyes, make an invocation to give thanks to nature for food, love, health, harmony, solidarity and peace,” before you start to eat. I can’t imagine a better start for a lunch!!
All I ordered was absolutely delicious and I spend around 15 Euro for a lot if different tasty dishes!
It’s located in the nature reserve community Las Terrazas, a wonderful place in Cuba, which I would suggest not to miss! Entry to the whole complex is between 1,50 and 3 Euro, depends if you wanna swim there in a river or not.
Anyway, this restaurant is a must seen!!!
Barrio Chino, Havanas China Town, offers the cubanic version of chinese food. I thought of many vegan options to eat there, but as it seemed i landed up in the worst of all chinese restaurants there… at least I think so! After telling thousand times that I eat no meat, I got as a starter springrolls with… meat inside!! The waitress was not really sorry for that but at least assured me that the rest what was to come really is vegan. Actually it was, but also it was… let’s say…ok but definatly not one of my tastiest dishes I had! But when the spring rolls were later even listed in the bill, fun was over 😉 At the end we didn’t pay for it of course, but my big advice: ask hundred times if really all is vegan/vegetarian even if you look like the most nerving tourist ever! Because one thing is sure, biting in something filled with meat for a vegan is really not funny!! I don’t know how the other restaurants of Havanas China Town are, but after I left the one I had dinner in, I realised that all looked much more nicer! It’s a try worth and it’s also cheap, but be careful what you order 😉
This is one of the two real vegetarian restaurants, I could find in Cuba. It’s not really in the center of Havanna, actually more in the near of the airport and the taxi from the centre of Havana to there costs around 20 Euro. But it’s absolutely worth it! It’s inside a big botanic garden where you can relax and breath fresh air, for a change of the smoggy city life in Havana! Entry of the botanic garden is like 3 Euro and the bufett around 10 but with drinking included and you can eat as much as you want!
I was there on my last day as a stop on the way to the airport. If you do like this be sure you have enough time becuase when you arrive at the botanic garden you have to take a bus, which brings you there, but which also stops to show you plants 🙂 For it was my last day I was happy to find fried green bananas! A nice variety of special salads and even eatable blossoms made it a light and healthy lunch! There are also many vegetable dishes, rise with beans and tofu! Actually the first and only time i found tofu in Cuba. There were only one dish, pasta with cheese, which was not vegan, and they even for would have cooked me pasta with tomato sauce just for me insead of it. But it was already perfect like this for me!!
You are sorrounded of bambu trees and I think if you are not under time pressure, like I was, it’s nice to stay after lunch the rest of the day in the botanic garden!
The restaurant is open only for lunch from 12 till 17 pm an it’s drectly in Jardín Botanico Nacional, Havana Zona di Parque Lenin
After a lot of tasty but also big and heavy cuban dinner times it’s time to start some sports also! But where to go and what to do?
Firts: A little Yoga session you can make nearly everywhere, no matter how small or big your room is! You just have to do it, best directly in the mornung, without thinking too much!
Second: dance!! There are everywhere a lot of classes to participate for Salsa, Rumba and and and! The nicest one I had in Trinidad at a casa particular with the well knowen teacher Mireya Medina Rodriguez. You find her in Antonio Maceo 472, Trinidad. One class (60 minutes) costs just 5 Euro! But don’t forget to train later by yourself in one of all the vibrating places there to dance!!
Third: if you are somewhere at the sea, don’t be shy, make sport directly at the beach! Jogging at the beach when the sun goes up is just amazing! But also Yoga and other exercises are nice to make with a fresh wind from the sea!
Forth: If you have good shoes for jogging also the Malecon in Havana is a nice route! And also a long one. You can make all the way directly next to the open wide sea!
Fifth: walk walk walk! you don’t only save money for taxis or coco-taxies, but do also something for your shape. And over this you even will explore more of your environment!
In Cuba there is, as far as I saw, not a thing like an hostel. So for my students budget but also for my idea of travelling, there is the option to go in one of the numerous Casas Particulares. You go to live there with a real cuban family, which is a really nice experience and of course you get your own room and mostly a privat bathroom.
In some of this Casas particulares you can’t say often enough what you don’t eat and what means vegan, because most know only about a vegetarian diet. But say all till the littlest detail, because maybe you don’t will get a srambled egg for breakfast but a cake made with egg instead. If you manage to make out all the points of your nutrition, you will get nearly everywhere a mouthwatering breakfast with loads of fresh tropic fruits, smoothies, fresh made juices and self made mango/papaya….-marmalade and bread!! And also to have a dinner “at home” is a nice thing! I fall completely in love with all this different kinds of potato … Especially Yucca and Melanga (which for me at first sight looked like kind of meat but is absolutely delicious! see pic two, right corner) You also get loads of salad and ask for platanos fritos (fried green banana), which I had more or less every day!
If you don’t speak spanish make sure that you know at least all the words for the things you don’t wanna eat! In my case: carne, pesce, huevos, leche, queso and miel (meat, fish, eggs, milk, cheese and honey)
After one month without internet, I am finally back and have good advices for vegan travellers through Cuba! It was not as easy as I thought, the fresh and big mangos and avocados I had in mind, where not really easy to find on the streets and the supermarkets were full of rum, but neither fruits and vegetables nor even water. So at the end all was more difficult but still possible!
I made out 2 vegetarian restaurants which were really nice, found out the best ways to stay fit in a country, where the portions in the evening are big and heavy!! And all what you have to know to stay good and healthy and …. vegan 🙂
see the following posts!….
But first one thing which is worth mentioning it! I actually had the first time a real vegan menu in the flight!! But not only this, it looked so much more tasty, that my boyfriend, who got something like cheesy Maccaroni, wanted also the vegan menu! But what impressed me the most, was the margarine (see picture), because that nearly all types of margarine are not vegan is advanced vegan knowledge 😉 oh, and not to forget: as dessert one of my favorites… Apple crumple!!! So, a good start and hopefully in future, more airleines understand that cheese and butter are not vegan! 🙂