You can eat cheaply in Havana, but there is where, in some cases, the most touristy places are the most expensive.
As a general rule it is not expensive to eat in Havana, but given Cuban wages perhaps tourists will come up with a misconception of what prices may be and take a surprise.
In restaurants and palates you can find prices ranging from 5 to 20 CUC approximately. Normally the most popular ones like Floridita, La Bodeguita del Medio, Doña Eutimia, Merchants … are usually the most expensive, but cheap eating is not always synonymous with bad eating. 1 CUC = 25 $ (Cuban pesos).
Below the Floridita you can find the Silver Pineapple, where you can find their tables at very economic prices in which a drink and an ice cream are included in the price.
In Obispo Street with Villegas you have Soda Obispo, in the you can find ice cream at very low prices, in national currency.
In Cuba there is much love for ice cream, in fact, there is usually a lot of cola in these places, just go to Coppelia, it does not matter the time. There is another far lower where there are always people buying, many take 2 to eat them at the same time.
At Obispo 408, in front of an outdoor craft market, you have La Caribeña. Here you can also find cheap prices. French tortilla with ham for 40 Cuban pesos, € 1.5; Or their half-liter fruit shakes for 1 CUC, just under a euro, do not forget to try the mamey, or their pizzas, like ham for 60 Cuban pesos, about € 2.4 and quite large.
A place that every time I have occasion is the chocolate museum, Mercaderes street corner with Amargura. A glass of cold chocolate for 1 CUC or hot for 0.55 CUC.
Another site that is not often missing in my visits to Havana is the Centro Asturiano.
But you can also eat much cheaper, Cuban, in their “little windows” that are paid with national currency or CUP, yes, the quality, the variety and sometimes the cleaning shines by its absence.
These are easily recognizable because they are either windows facing the street or a door in which they put a bar in front and have the prices put on a blackboard on the facade. In them you can find Cuban pizzas or boxes in which you can throw congrí rice with meat, spaghetti (they usually boil them too), rice with chicken, rice with pork … each little window usually specializes in a few products.
Apart from the food in the little windows you can find juices, soft drinks, coffee, ice cream. I want to think that the water they use to make them is boiled water, in fact, it’s how they consume it. In any case in the suitcase you can not miss some medicine in case the stomach is let loose.
- Portion of pizza (Cuban style, usually carry cheese and some ham): 5-10 pesos (0.2-0.4 €)
- Dish of spaghetti with tomato and cheese: 5 pesos (0.2 €)
- Rice with meat: 10 – 15 pesos (0,5 €)
- Tortilla Sandwich: 3 pesos (0.12 €)
When I change euros to CUC, I usually change a small part in CUP, about 10 euros = 250 CUP to pay in sites that only work with national currency.
I always stay in independent apartments, and taking advantage of the fact that I have a fridge, I usually buy fruit on the street at very low prices, in the carts that you will see in many areas of Havana. They are usually on the streets parallel to Obispo.
An avocado comes out for 10 CUP, about 40 euro cents and can weigh 1 kl easily, are quite bigger than the ones I find in Spain. The silver paper is not missing in my suitcase in order to keep it better. You also have banana handles, they are smaller than the ones here, they come out for 1 cup each banana, with which, a handful of bananas is coming out for less than 1 euro.
In a little window you can have a coffee for 1 CUP, about 4 euro cents.
You also have the option of supermarkets, chopis as they are told, but they are quite expensive, 1 liter of milk or juice comes out for 2.40 CUC, cans of beer to 1 CUC, soft drinks for 0.80 CUC … Rather more expensive than in Spain.
The water bottles are usually expensive, the cheapest place I found in Havana was at the bus station in Viazul, the 1.5 liter bottle by 0.9 CUC.