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Weekly report on Cuba's tourism industry
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Cuba: Classics of Gastronomy

The Cuban tourist sector, full of traditional options of sun and beach, nature, adventures and culture, offers alternatives in terms of gastronomy at well-renowned establishments.

Havana, with a history of five centuries, has restaurants like El Templete, which takes its name from the proximity to the monument that was built in 1828 to evoke the foundation of the village of San Cristobal de La Habana.

The establishment enjoys a privileged location, very close to the Castillo de la Real Fuerza Museum and the Arms Square, the city's foundational area.

In that environment is also El Patio, an emblematic restaurant that serves traditional Cuban dishes at the Cathedral Square, in the heart of the Historic Center of Old Havana.

Housed in an 18th-century building, the restaurant surprises visitors with its monumental façade, large porch, upper floor balconies and multicolored stained glass windows.

In western Havana stands out La Ferminia, an elegant and well-known restaurant with an exclusive service in private rooms, Bar and Barbecue in a house from the 1950s that has an ox as its emblem at the entrance.

El Templete (Small Temple)
Colonial Bar. Restaurant 1830
Entrance to the Restaurant 1830

The 1830 Restaurant is also located in a building from the 19th century, when a restaurant called Arana was inaugurated in that site and became famous throughout the city thanks to the house's specialties: La Chorrera rice with chicken and the Biscay-style cod.

The construction boom of the early 20th century led to its conversion into the Hotel La Mar, made of masonry and tiles, where an altar served as the finish point of the processions of Virgen del Carmen that departed from the Carmelo Church.

Beautiful railings, stained glass windows and balconies of precious timber that are reminiscent of the neoclassical style welcome visitors who bet on the establishment to discover the most exquisite dishes of Cuban and international cuisine.

The outdoor areas are near a small cliff of stones and marine snails that are connected to a Japanese island called Koisima, which is ideal for private events and celebrations, and is decorated with marine motifs.

For its part, The Club 500 was originally the elite Vedado Tennis Club, owned by the high Havana aristocracy from 1902 to 1958. A stage for baseball, football and football games, it is also recognized internationally as a yacht club, the only institution that could compete at the time with famous Habana Yacht Club.

Among the most recognized restaurants in Havana is the world-famous La Bodeguita del Medio, which consolidated its role as the local food house that championed the new era of tourism in the country.

The B del M - as it is also known - is located a few steps from the Cathedral Square (207 Empedrado St.) and is visited by tourists looking for its best known offer: Mojito, a drink made of Cuban light rum, mint, lemon, ice and sugar.

La Bodeguita's fame is not only in her food, but also in a unique custom that leads diners to write their names and phrases or post their photos on the restaurant's walls, as an indelible sign of their passage through Cuba.

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