EAT SHOP DO: Havana, Cuba

May 28, 2015

An experience filled with culture, art, and history; our founder Jenna Jackson and her husband Charlie Jackson took a pleasant detour to Cuba during their trip in the Caribbeans. Read below for Jenna's well-traveled tips on where to eat, where to shop, and what to do in this phenomenal island.

EAT/DRINK: 304 O'Reilly, this is both the address and the name of the restaurant in Vieja, Havana. You can enjoy an entire meal for two (lobster and cocktails) that will only set you back about $25. Great, young, hip atmosphere with a friendly staff that will not be horrified by your broken Spanish. For a home-y ambiance, try Dona Eutimia, a tiny eatery just off the Plaza de la Cathedral. Classic Cuban cuisine housed in an old casa, feels like having dinner at a family home. For drinks we recommend Floridita. Yes it's a tourist trap, but JUST DO IT. It's not ideal for eating, but it's the perfect place to belly up to the bar like Hemingway! Watch bar tenders expertly churn out cocktails and sip on the best Daiquiri you'll ever have. 

SHOP: Need souvenirs and gifts to bring back home? Pisco Labs is a tiny, curated shop near the Plaza de la Cathedral in Vieja Havana that is stocked with art, jewelry, and decor. Cuba also has an incredible art scene. Visit the hidden art galleries to discover cutting edge modern art. They are located upstairs behind courtyard-surrounding restaurants. If you can find them, be sure to check out the Angel Ramirez  gallery. Don't be afraid to ask the locals, they are more than willing to help you find your way or a cool new place to explore.

DO: Get up extra early, despite the Daiquiris and late night music venue hopping, and take a sunrise stroll to the ocean. Wander the streets along the water and discover the aging signs, art, and posters celebrating Socialism and Che. Then make your way back into Vieja Havana to see the restoration of old buildings to their former colonial glory and enjoy the largest collection of 1950s American cars anywhere in the world. Finally, meander until you reach the Plaza de la Cathedral before anyone arrives.

 

There's so much more to explore, particularly outside Havana, as this country opens up to American tourists. If you're planning a trip to Cuba, tag us on instagram @augustcalifornia and use #augustpostcards!

 

Xoxo