Where does one even start when trying to learn more about Cuba? For Americans, the first question is always – can I even visit? While the answer to that question was definitive (and “no”) for decades, it has been less clear in recent years and still requires some hoop-jumping. Thankfully, Tony Bourdain was never afraid to put his team to work jumping through those hoops when he wanted to visit somewhere.
Anthony Bourdain visited Cuba to film season 7 (episode 9) of No Reservations and again to film season 6 (episode 2) of Parts Unknown; it might be surprising that he made two trips in a short span of time, but this was during the era where travel restrictions were eased and he took full advantage of it. Additionally, Tony spent most of his time in Havana – but did explore a bit beyond the city.
If you’re in the planning stages for a Cuba trip, lucky you! This country has a ton to offer visitors, not the least of which is incredible food; you therefore might want to eat at some of the places visited by Anthony Bourdain in Cuba during his visits.
Below you’ll find a guide to Cuba as Tony saw it; I’ve organized it geographically, and you can dive deeper into Havana through the dedicated guide that is also published on this site. Let’s explore what the “Pearl of the Antilles” has to offer curious and hungry travelers.
Want to watch the episodes where Anthony Bourdain visits Cuba?
The No Reservations episode is available on Amazon, Hulu, and Apple TV; and the Parts Unknown episode is available on Amazon and Apple TV.
In this post, I promote travel to a destination that is the traditional lands of the Taíno and Guanahatabey peoples, among others. With respect, I make a formal land acknowledgment, extending my appreciation and respect to the past and present people of these lands. To learn more about the peoples who call these lands home, I invite you to explore Native Land.
As one might expect, the main place that Tony visited in Cuba was Havana, the capital and largest city on the island. He visited on both trips, sampling a variety of the cuisines and dishes you might expect – as well as a few unexpected ones. Here’s a list of everywhere he ate during his visits, all of which are still open today:
- Cafetería a la BBQ
- El Aljibe
- El Templete
- Fábrica de Arte
- Puerto de Sagua
- Paladar “Los Amigos”
- Tien Tan
If you want more details about each one and what Tony ate, be sure to check out my complete guide to the places visited by Anthony Bourdain in Havana.
Other Places Tony Visited in Cuba
Tony starts off his second (Parts Unknown) culinary visit to Cuba in Jaimanitas, a little fishing town. He eats at Casa Santy (called “Santy Pescador” on Google), a restaurant owned by two brothers who go out and fish every morning the seafood they serve.
Proof that things are changing in Cuba, Tony doesn’t eat the famous rice and beans at this restaurant – instead, he has sushi!
Bourdain also meets with three local Cuban men who are making the adjustment to private enterprise in Cuba in their own way. They eat at the Caribeño Restaurante in Playa Siboney, a beach where locals go to kick back with family and drink the best ron in Cuba; this is a Spanish-style rum made similarly – but is definitely considered its own drink. The four gentlemen also enjoy a dish of fresh-caught dorado and lobster.
Have any other questions about the places visited by Anthony Bourdain in Cuba? Let me know in the comments below!