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“Beautiful Garden Restaurant”

Paladar Dona Carmela
Ranked #414 of 839 Restaurants in Havana
Cuisines: Cuban
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed March 20, 2012

We were on a guided tour from Varadero to Havana and our tour guide chose this restaurant for us. It is across the water from Old Havana in a residential neighbourhood. Apparently these type of restaurants have only been legal for the past 3 or so months....before then people made do with state run establishments or when to illegal spots. This spot had apparently been open 15 years underground.

The setting for this restaurant was absolutely beautiful. We were there on a hot day and just entering the back garden made you gasp with delight. There were fruit trees, fountain, and lots of foliage.

When we were there it was very busy. The only real downside to this was that it was super slow. It probably took them 20 minutes to take our order...we were there for 2 hours at least.

We all started with bread....served without butter, but still tasty. The main dishes were served with the meat you ordered and the side dishes all family stylle. The black beans, rice, and artichoke salad were all delicious. There was an outdoor oven and grill, so the main courses were wonderful.

We only ate out one other time and this place was much more money than the previous. However, the meal was very good and probably worth the extra money. In town meals seemed to hover around the 5 or 6 peso mark....this was between 15 and 18 CUC.

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Thank n0rthvangirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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109 - 113 of 261 reviews

Reviewed March 13, 2012

Dona Carmela is located in a home on a residential street close to La Cabana fort. They serve local Cuban food including the most tender pork steak which are really ham steaks. The Cubans eat a lot of pork so they know how to cook it well. We ate outside under the trees surrounded by flowers and birds. The chef cooks some of the food in a wood burning oven at the foot of the garden. We were on a guided tour of Habana and our guide reccommended this restaurant. The helpings are large so be careful of how much you order and lunch cost us $40 with a beer each. They also rent rooms.

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Thank GenevieveCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2012

I went here with a group of 7 and our Cuban, guide and the food was incredible. We had been dining at local government owned restaurants, but this blew them out of the water. We started the meal with bread, family style salad and a delicious garlic and eggplant salad. There were tons of options for dinner including a whole grilled Red Snapper ( which I got), combo plates with various types of seafood, and the typical chicken and beef. The meal was served with typical Cuban black beans and rice, as well as yucca with a special house-made Valencia orange and garlic sauce. I also got a glass of sangria that was pretty good. The whole meal cost 35 CUC, which is more than I would spend at any restaurant, but the food was fantastic, and the grilled fish I got was enough to share. Because so many of the restaurants in Cuba are state owned, I definitely recommend visiting this Paladar for an authentic Cuba experience.

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Thank Brianna P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2011

We booked a private guide to visit the city of Havana on our recent trip to Cuba and he recommended we try this place.

I was a little hesitant to go with his recommendation but we were very happy with our decision. The restaurant is very small and is located in what seemed to be a very small private hostel. I couldn't see a sign in front of the house when we stopped but once we crossed the gate and went in the the backyard courtyard we found this nicely set-up restaurant. As it was raining there were only two table set-up, not sure if there are more normally. For the most part of lunch we were the only ones but as we were about to leave a couple showed up as well.

The spanish owner Carmela came to greet us (she spoke very good english) and went on to describe the menu.

The food was very good and felt authentic compared to the all inclusive buffet. We had a mix of chicken, beef, lobster, octopus and everything was delicious. The Mojitos we ordered were also very good.

It was more expensive than eating in Varadero but it seems Havana is just a more expensive city. We had a good time and have no problems recommending the place.

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Thank n8fire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile
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Thank Lilibeth F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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