“Welcome to La Guarida!” was the first thing we heard (and read on the menu) after we had climbed 2 flights of grand marble stairs. We knew well in advance that we’d like to dine at this splendid paladar and, thus, had made reservations (yes, plural!) at La Guarida months before our arrival.
The privately owned restaurant is located in an area that is rather deprived and a stark contrast to La Habana Vieja, the touristy city centre of Havana. We’d never have expected that such a superb restaurant is located in this part of the town.
La Guarida was opened in 1996 in a beautiful but crumbling former palace. It is said that many families live in this building nowadays, which can be seen in the picture below. On the ground floor we were greeted by the cheesiest Christmas decoration and a telenovela.
La Guarida is also home to probably the most iconic and most photographed staircase in all of Cuba. Can you spot the old, cracking stucco walls?
The first floor, however, is used to dry tablecloths and napkins. Quite a sight to see! The tablecloths waving in the wind on the washing line create an airy, calm and homely atmosphere. Go there around lunch time to see for yourself.
The charm of a table set with colourful but mismatched plates, cutlery and glasses cannot be denied.
This dish was probably my favourite dish from their menu. We shared La Guarida’s Spinach Crêpes Filled with Chicken and Served on Wild Mushroom Sauce and Minced Beet as a starter.
Another tasty dish was their Suckling Pig in Orange and Honey Sauce.
We also shared Fried Plantain Chips as a side dish.
Of course, we also had to order Ropa Vieja and Moros y Cristianos, two all-time Cuban classics.
We ended our fantastic meal by sharing La Guarida’s Tres Leches Cake. What a treat! And yes, their Cortadito is excellent as well.
La Guarida, 418 Concordia
La Habana, Cuba
By the way, here’s my guide to “What to do in Havana”.