Cuba's tourism industry, a fast-growing economic sector, benefits from the diversity of gastronomic options to complement traditional offers linked to nature, history and culture.
In Cuba, gastronomic offers range from modern establishments that serve fast food to restaurants founded several decades ago.
The priority of those establishment lies in guaranteeing the quality of food to offer safe dishes with a high quality.
In order to achieve that goal, the sector has a network of technical standardization committees that guarantee food hygiene nationwide.
The development of Cuban society over the past five centuries is also present in many dishes that represent those elements incorporated into the country's traditions.
Cuban dishes have been enriched by European variants from the Spanish, French or Italian cuisine.
Furthermore, Asia and the Middle East are also present with elements from Chinese, Japanese, Arab and Indian cuisine, just to mention some variants that can be found in Cuban restaurants and cafeterias.
Official statistics show that there are some 11,000 gastronomic establishments, which are complemented by small private restaurants known as "paladares".
Of them, nearly 8,900 are run by state companies (including 2,700 that operate in the tourism sector), 1,200 leased by autonomous workers and 215 cooperatives.
The strategy aims to spread private administration while maintaining the state property over the fundamental means of production, including buildings.
Among the most emblematic restaurants in Cuba is the world-famous La Bodeguita del Medio, while the Restaurant 1830 is located at one end of Havana's Malecón (seaside drive), in a 19th-century building.
Beautiful railings, stained-glass windows and balconies of precious timber that are reminiscent of the neoclassic style welcome customers who want to discover the most exquisite dishes from Cuban and international cuisine.
Those who like seafood can go to La Terraza, in Cojímar, which is complemented by a fascinating environment of fishermen and the charm of past decades.
Founded in 1925 in the coastal town of Cojímar, La Terraza initially operated under the name of Las Arecas as a store owned by Don Manuel García Rodríguez, and was located at the time on the oldest street of the town, known as Calzada Real de la Reina Isabel II.
In Havana's Historic Heart, the restaurant Mesón de la Flota resembles the traditional taverns from the Spanish-colonial period, with a wide range of wines and a selection of exquisite Spanish tapas, in addition to the possibility of choosing among different cold and hot starters and main dishes.