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“amazing”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of El Cocinero

El Cocinero
Ranked #31 of 774 Restaurants in Havana
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Caribbean, Latin, Cuban
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, View, Bar Scene, Groups, Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Drinks, After-hours, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Madrid
Level Contributor
66 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“amazing”
Reviewed 23 August 2014

We went there as a recommendation of our Cuban friends as the place is not so easy to find. It was excellent...the roof-top terrace with excellent cocktails and nice/ casual food in this beautifully restored old Factory...could have been a super-cool hangout in NYC or Berlin or whereever. Then downstairs the restaurant...also an unforgettable experience...excellent food.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
Thank Madrid_2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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574 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Zagreb, Croatia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Lounge bar & rooftop view”
Reviewed 18 August 2014

I have to say El Cocinero was a great surprise for us (both in Havana and on Cuba). Eating experience there is sthing completely different from other places we've visited.

We aren't sure if El Cocinero is a 'regular' Paladar or is it sthng else, but we loved it. It is located in the Vedado area of Havana. That is the arty Havana area. We went there as the place was recommended by our Casa Particular owner (Villa Lou). The place is an old factory just across the tunnel from the Miramar area of Havana. The idea of having a restaurant in such a strange place is really cool.

Restaurant has 2 parts. The main restaurant is located on the 2nd floor and has both a well-appointed inside area and a lovely outdoor sitting area. If U get a chance ask for sitting outside. The food here is very good, completely different from other places on Cuba. Here U can find lamb, sea food, chicken (for Paladars - especially outside Havana - it is more common to offer only 1 meet option). Service is great! Mainly young people run this place and it is great to see them trying! The 2nd part of this place is on the rooftop. And this is where everything becomes even more interesting. Up there is an open area bar that also serves really good food (sthng like tapas). The ambiance is amazing - view on the city, light breeze, background music,...

This is definately 'it' place in Havana at the moment as most of the 'upper-class' Cubans are spending their nights there. Getting there with friends and relaxing with some good food and a few drinks is an amazing night out. Benefit is definately seeing young 'posh Cubans' drinking their CUC 5-10 cocktails there (that' sthing U do not see often while traveling on Cuba so U'll find it interesting).

Pls note that the place is so 'hot' right now and reservations are a must (www.elcocinerohabana.com). Place opens late in the afternoon (they do not serve lunch).

Plus: definately sthng different in Cuba. Being there U do not think U are on comunist Cuba. Also, That's one of the places on Cuba where everyone speaks good English. That's a nice difference.
If U are there end of April/May try not to miss F.A.C. (Fabrica de Arte Cubano) - art event happening in the building next door. Everyone who is someone in Havana is there during that time. And the art is amazing!

Minus: although the prices are reasonable (of course, only for tourists and high end Cubans), U aren't expecting to pay 2 course meal (main + dessert) with vine for 2 around CUC80 on Cuba. That's not normal for a country where doctor's monthly salary is CUC30.
Also, as pretty much everywhere else in Cuba they do not accept credit cards.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank 2014_Ivana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Beautiful rooftop, pretty good food, okay drinks”
Reviewed 11 August 2014

The location is unbeatable. In the heart of Miramar, next door to some of Havana's hippest bars, and it has a killer roof top. The foot was decent: any time you can find real cheese in Havana, you've already won.The drinks, however, were only alright. Once you've spent time in Havana it's easy to get spoiled by stellar cheap drinks. So when you have to pay a whopping $8 for a sangria, and it's only pretty good, you're disappointed. However, it's a fun spot to check out if you want to get a glimpse into the emerging "upper class" in Havana

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank bailando14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mexico City, Mexico
Level Contributor
80 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Terrific!!!!”
Reviewed 6 August 2014

For sure one of the best experiences in Habana, the food is amazing and the atmosphere is to die for!!

Making reservations in the terrace would pay the visit. Service is excellent and the staff is really committed to please to all guests. This restaurant has two different halls and menus, ask for the top floor (terrace).

Fully satisfied!! Don't miss it

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Chaserr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Havana
Level Contributor
88 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“Great food and great experience”
Reviewed 6 August 2014

This is an interesting paladar located in the vedado area of Havana. The paladar, actually it is a single paladar with almost two restaurants and a bar, is built in an old factory just across the tunnel from the Miramar zone. You can actually still see the smoke stack from several different parts of the city, with El Cocinero emblazoned on the side of it.

The main restaurant is located on the second floor and has both a well-appointed inside area and a medium sized outdoor sitting area. The decor is very well done and the whole place has been pulled together beautifully. The food here is very good, with lots of different options to choose from. We've been several times and have yet to get anything that wasn't very well done. Service is great and the prices are reasonable for what you are getting.

Honestly for us, the magic of this paladar really comes to life when you go to the top floor. Up there is an open area bar that also serves really good tapas. The ambiance up there is amazing and taking a group of friends to sit up there and relax with some good food and a few drinks makes for an amazing night. You can also climb up and check out inside the rest of the smoke stack where they have an interesting art display.

Our suggestion is to go for a great dinner at the main restaurant then head upstairs for some after dinner drinks! This is an area that could fit it all over the world, yet just seems to be so very Cuban at the same time.

Reservations are a must.. We've lucked out a couple times and were able to get in for a bit, but make reservations to ensure you enjoy the evening!

My only minor complaint, they don't seem to do lunch.. This is a place I could see spending an entire afternoon just relaxing and munching on some food with friends!

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Trippy667
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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