Written by Kieran

Best Restaurants In Varadero: A Foodies Guide

While most travelers flock to Varadero for its pristine beaches, there’s more to this Cuban paradise than sun, sand and ...

While most travelers flock to Varadero for its pristine beaches, there’s more to this Cuban paradise than sun, sand and sea. The city has a burgeoning food scene that offers a unique blend of traditional Cuban cuisine and international flavors.

Let’s explore the top 10 restaurants in Varadero that are worth leaving your all-inclusive resort for. But if you’re looking for more than food, check out my Varadero itinerary for things to do in Varadero. It covers the best experiences available.

10 Best Restaurants in Varadero Cuba

Now you’re likely staying in an all-inclusive resort while visiting Varadero. Most travelers to Varadero choose the all-inclusive resorts over local accommodation options. But the food is always terrible in the resorts.

Check out any of the resort reviews on Google maps or on Tripadvisor and you’ll see two things. The first will be a lot of Cubans leaving fake reviews to bump up the resorts rating. And the second will be the real tourists complaining about the food in the resorts.

If you’re expecting gourmet cuisine and fine dining while staying in an all-inclusive resort in Varadero, you have the wrong expectation. If you pay a few hundred dollars for a week long stay that includes all the cocktails you can drink and food, you won’t be getting lobster.

What the all inclusive resorts typically serve is hamburgers (avoid) and anything they can make with produce they’ve procured from the Government. Inside the resorts you’re going to be eating a lot of stale bread and lettuce during your all inclusive stay. But there is a bright spot.

If you venture out of your resort in Varadero you’ll find there are a wealth of local restaurants with some of the best seafood you’ll find in Cuba. Not just in Varadero.

All of the restaurants below will have fantastic seafood. And I’ve eaten at all of them and can tell you, the lobster (langosta) and octopus (pulpo) are what you should try!

Below is the list of the 10 best restaurants in Varadero. Click each restaurant for it’s location on Google Maps:

  1. Varadero 60
  2. La Barbacoa
  3. Salsa Suárez
  4. Waco’s Club
  5. La Cofradia Del Pescador (great lunch – try the grilled lobster)
  6. La Gruta el Vino
  7. Paladar Nonna Tina (hidden spot that actually has good Italian cuisine)
  8. Esquina Cuba
  9. La Fondue
  10. La Vicaria

Varadero 60

Nestled in the heart of the city, Varadero 60 is an Italian restaurant that has won the hearts of locals and tourists alike. Offering a variety of delectable Italian dishes it’s perfect for a romantic evening or a family dinner.

Yet it’s the lobster and sirloin steak that you should order from Varadero 60. Italian, unless it’s from Paladar Nonna Tina (below) will be hit or miss. Cubans rarely know how to make Italian food.

The restaurant’s tranquil ambience, paired with top-notch service, makes it a must-visit spot in Varadero.

Local Food Tip: The lobster is a bargain in Cuba and usually runs $10-15 USD.

La Barbacoa

Renowned for its hearty and flavorful Cuban food, La Barbacoa is a local favorite. Their dishes, like the battered shrimp platter, are sure to satisfy your taste buds without breaking the bank.

The restaurant’s open-air setting adds to its charm, making it a great spot for budget travelers seeking a unique dining experience.

Salsa Suárez

Salsa Suárez is a gem located by the beach, offering a blend of Cuban and Italian dishes. The peaceful and stylish restaurant, with its beautiful patio garden, is the perfect place to unwind after a day at the beach. The restaurant also has a full bar serving wine and beer, making it an ideal spot for a relaxed dining experience.

Local Beer Tip: Order the Cristal verde (green Cristal) or the stronger Bucanero. Avoid the Cristal Extra (white Cristal) — it’s not a local favorite.

Waco’s Club

Located in the city’s heart, Waco’s Club offers a relaxed and elegant dining experience with exceptional Cuban cuisine. The restaurant’s fine tableware and ocean views enhance the dining experience, while the staff’s commitment to excellent service ensures a memorable visit.

From surf and turf to grilled octopus and chicken breast, every item on the menu is worth trying. But my recommendation is the octopus.

La Cofradia Del Pescador

Located on the water, right by the catamaran docks, La Cofradia Del Pescador has one of the best (and freshest) lobster offerings in Varadero. And you should definitely order the lobster!

After a day of sailing and swimming with dolphins, disembark your catamaran and head straight in for a grilled lobster with a sunset cocktail. That’s my idea of a perfect day in Varadero!

La Gruta el Vino

Nestled in Josone Park, La Gruta el Vino is a cave restaurant offering delectable lobster and steak dishes. The unique setting, coupled with live Cuban music, makes it a popular spot among locals and tourists alike.

I personally enjoyed the unique ambience of La Gruta el Vino. And I loved the larger lobsters that they serve.

Paladar Nonna Tina

Hidden away from the city’s hustle and bustle, Paladar Nonna Tina offers a taste of Italy in Varadero. Despite the city’s reputation for undercooked pasta and over-cheesed pizza, Paladar Nonna Tina manages to impress with its authentic Italian cuisine.

Local Tip: Paladar Nonna Tina is the only place I’ll order Italian dishes like pasta or pizza.

Esquina Cuba

Another standout in the Varadero food scene is Esquina Cuba. This popular spot offers a jovial atmosphere and a classic American car displayed at the center of the restaurant. The menu features retro dishes from the 1950s, making it a must-visit for those seeking a taste of traditional Cuban cuisine.

La Fondue

For those seeking a different kind of dining experience, La Fondue offers fun fondue options. This café serves a variety of seafood dishes and salads, making it a great spot to switch things up from the usual Cuban fare.

La Vicaria

Last but not least, La Vicaria is a government-run restaurant offering hearty Cuban food at affordable prices. Its outdoor patio is a hit among budget travelers, making it a great spot for light, inexpensive bites.

final word on Food in Varadero Cuba

After a day of frolicking on the beach, swimming with dolphins or driving Jeeps through the wilds of Cuba, the local restaurants listed in this guide promise a culinary adventure that goes beyond the confines of your resort.

Each restaurant on this list offers a unique dining experience that showcases the rich flavors of Cuban cuisine. And some of the best seafood you’ll find in Varadero. Remember to book in advance to secure a table at these popular spots.

And if after trying all the Cuban cuisine you can handle and deciding that you love it, why not learn to cook Cuban food and take some of your favourite recipes home with you?

Additional Information: While you’re in Varadero, don’t miss out on the city’s nightlife. After a delectable dinner, head out to explore local bars and clubs for a taste of Cuban entertainment. From live music to dance performances, there’s plenty to keep you entertained long after the sun has set.

Travel Tips: Read my guide to packing for Cuba for the essential items you should have with you when traveling here. Read how to get from the Varadero airport to the city, read my guide to traveling from Havana to Varadero if your flight is landing at the José Martí International Airport in Havana, before you go booking any buses. These guides will save you time and money.

Happy dining in Varadero!

Where Can I Get More Information About Cuba?

I’ve made my Complete Guide To Traveling Cuba available on this website. And I recommend you read it before traveling to Cuba. It will help you navigate Cuba and Cuban society.

My Complete Guide To Cuba will save you a lot of time and a significant amount of money on your trip to Cuba. Cuba is not the sort of destination where you can just arrive unprepared. 

Read the most Complete Guide To Traveling Cuba here.

Kieran Proctor author at and tattoo

About The Author

I’m Kieran and I write & manage ‘In Lovely Blue’. I was born and raised in Brisbane, Australia. I moved to the beautiful and sunny Gold Coast for my undergraduate university studies. Before finally moving to Canberra (the Capital of Australia) to finish my studies and work in the Australian Public Service.