Since there is no breakfast in our hostel, we always walk to the old town after getting up, where the restaurants are. There we avoid the restaurants in the large squares, where "Reinholer" pounce on every single tourist with a huge menu. Everything is on this menu, just no prices. We are looking for the small restaurants in the side streets, where mostly a handwritten menu with good prices attracts us. We can recommend the Mambo Bar, as well as the Teniente del Rei 360. The average warm meal costs 150 pesos. I would have liked to link the two places, unfortunately they have no entry in Google.
Especially with printed menus, you shouldn't be drooling from hunger and choose the dish you would like to eat most. It is worth asking the waitress what is available at all. Fish and chicken are generally available. The fish is always fresh and the chicken cannot be compared with the dry, tasteless meat we know. Chicken is very juicy and tasty in Cuba.
Pork, octopus, shrimp, and lobster are occasionally available. Fresh cooking is done in all restaurants, and no helpful powder is used - the convenience products that are so popular with us are simply not available in Cuba. The side dishes are always rice (black or white rice), fried bananas or plantains (plantains) and vegetables. We would call the vegetables a salad because they consist (depending on availability) of green lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber slices. Sometimes they have sweet potatoes too. Jens doesn't like bananas, but he likes to eat the fried ones - they no longer look like bananas, no longer taste like bananas and have a different consistency.
What we never found on the menus in Cuba are french fries. I think it is due to the lack of cooking oil and the lack of potatoes. Edible oil is very difficult to obtain. We gave away some bottles from Sissi's stock. For example, a bottle of our sunflower oil, which we bought in Martinique, made the New Year's Eve feast for one of the Marina employees possible. He tried fishing on his night shift, and we sat together on the jetty and talked about Cuba. When he told me that he had been trying to get cooking oil for New Year's Eve for days, I spontaneously offered him a bottle. After our return from Havana I was allowed to look at the pictures of the opulent meal (pork, rice, vegetables) on his phone.
In my opinion, the women in Cuba are the most beautiful women we have seen in the Caribbean. They are slim and have beautiful bodies. There are also no men who carry their fat plaster in front of them. People are not emaciated and emaciated, they are just slim. That certainly comes from a healthy diet.
Whoever you talk to, whether in Havana or Santiago, the people in Cuba are upset. The extreme lack of everything, the soaring prices and the government not doing what people want it to do. Some speak of another revolution. We exchanged email addresses with some Cubans and will follow what is happening in the country in the future.
Cuba is a large, fertile island. Agriculture could actually produce enough products to feed the people in the country. The current shortage of fresh agricultural products is in part the result of the extreme Covid shutdown last year. From March to September nothing went anywhere in the country. People were not allowed to go to work, the harvest was not brought in in the fields and has rotted away. If there was a harvest, it could not be transported to the cities because internal traffic was prohibited. Cuba was able to leave the first wave of Covid with an excellent record, but the population now has to pay a high price.
Another reason for the lack of food in the country is the fact that the government has sold a good part of the production abroad in order to wash foreign currency into the empty coffers. The common Cuban cannot buy anything from it and only sees the empty markets. This contributes to popular dissatisfaction with the government.
The Covid numbers are currently rising again in Cuba, certainly a result of Christmas and New Year's Eve. On our last day in Havana we wanted to book a taxi and drive to the countryside. Nearby are “Las Terrazas”, famous waterfalls and a swimming area among them. Our landlady tried to find a taxi driver to drive us there. Unfortunately the effort was in vain. Two drivers refused our beautiful green banknotes because the government has banned travel across provincial borders.
Cuba is a safe island. We have never been afraid of being mugged and robbed in a dark corner. Street crime does not take place. Even if everyone knew that we literally had our pockets full of dollars, that was never a problem. If we had lost a cell phone, it would of course not have ended up in the lost property office. But we never had to worry that the expensive electronics would be snatched from our hands. The half bottle of shampoo that we left in the marina shower that evening was of course gone the next morning. But we were never afraid that they would get into the boat and remove all the beautiful goods from our storage loads.