There seems to be unanimity among worldwide food critics, who show their agreement to defining the palate La Guarida as the best restaurant in Havana. For the general public is not a place unknown, since there were filmed several scenes of the beautiful film ‘Strawberry and Chocolate’.
Those who know the beautiful Old Havana are well aware that in this crucial historic capital of Cuba anything is possible. One example is just here, in the installations of the restaurant that appeared in the award winning film by Tomas Gutierrez Alea.
La Guarida occupies the rooms of the third floor of a famous building, a mansion from the early twentieth century that the blockade and Cuba’s economic difficulties have left its ‘body’ plenty scarred. The other plants are inhabited by families who tend their rags in twine hooked between the columns of the block.
It is picturesque to climb the stairs and break through sheets hung out to dry to knock at a door with a glued little sign that shows that you just have arrive to Paladar La Guarida. Paladares are nothing more than houses of food that at initially bordered legality in a country where having an own business is a paradox. The name is a ‘gift’ of a soap opera from the end of last century, in which the protagonist ran a chain of restaurants with that name.
But La Guarida is not just any palate or paladar. Stepping into this restaurant is an entrance to an exquisitely decoration of kitch art, made with pieces of the history of Cuba and from the legendary visitors of the local. But the best is in the food. Recipes of traditional Cuban cuisine, with a strong Creole influence and touches of New Kitchen, capable of reinventing every bite. A must for those who decide to visit the Caribbean island.