Meet some of the comidapropistas (a mashup of foodies and entrepreneurs that we just made up) leading Cuba's gastronomic revolution.
cuba restaurants and paladares
Customers at Camino Al Sol pick from a selection of fresh pastas. Photo credit: Startup Cuba

Let’s face it. You probably don’t go to Cuba for the food. At least not until now. But, a new generation of cuentapropistas are changing the food scene, opening up private restaurants and paladares in Cuba. Stylish places like Havana’s El Cocinero, founded by entrepreneur and pioneer Sasha Ramos, Ken’s unabashedly proclaimed favorite cafe on the planet; El Café in Habana Vieja, and the Vedado vegan restaurant Camino Al Sol are leading the way.

Most importantly, if you’ve seen either of the first two episodes of the Startup Cuba docuseries then you know that these entrepreneurs are doing more than just opening up new paladares (private Cuba restaurants originally in homes) in the island nation. They’re also taking the initiative to improve their lives and their country. And in this case, these cuentapropristas are also improving the breadth of food available to its citizens.

Startup Cuba’s Ken Deckinger explores Havana’s new restaurants and paladares.

Cuba’s, of course, a long way away from having the ample food supply it needs. And, these restaurants and paladares are presently only financially accessible by tourists or those who can get their hands on CUC (one meal could easily be worth double a standard month’s salary). Yet, these first steps demonstrate that it is possible to cultivate and source the ingredients necessary to provide a larger variety of food than what’s been historically available.

Related Post: Taxis in Cuba – Why Doctors Drive Them: Startup Cuba Docuseries #2

cuba restaurants and paladares
Camino Al Sol in Vedado creates Vegan dishes while teaching its employees how to eat healthier. Photo Credit: Startup Cuba

It’s also teaching Cubans how they can eat healthier. Many of the small farmed crops are now, or have been organic simply because they’ve had no other choice. By farming this land, citizens can eat more vegetables and plant based food than they have. In a country where pork is the main source of protein, these new options, or at least the idea of these new options plants seeds (pun intended?) in people’s heads for what is possible.

Related Post: How to Make Chef Louie’s Ropa Vieja

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Hola todo el mundo. Sometimes our stories are sourced from multiple people on our team. Or, we like to keep you guessing... You know... anonymous. And, for that, soy el escritora; "El Equipo." We exist to amplify the voices of writers, photographers, and content creators in the space between the United States and Cuba, and we also feature stories from Puerto Rico, Latin America, and the Latinx community in the US. Topics of interest are personality-driven and include pop culture and music, featured current events, climate and the environment, and travel and tastemakers. Oh, and of course we're always 100% independent. No governments, businesses or other influencing factors play a role in our work.

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