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“Excellent place to eat”

Paladar Los Mercaderes
Ranked #23 of 785 Restaurants in Havana
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $11 - $34
Cuisines: Latin, Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Families with children, Business meetings, Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Description: Our restaurant is located in the center of OLD HAVANA in a beautifully renovated colonial house built circa 1890. It has 2 salons, each with unique decorations, fabulous furnishings and signature tiles. There are also frescos from 1905 on all of the walls which brings an added facet to the style of the restaurant. Our beautiful interior hanging garden adds an enticing and pleasant ambience to your dining experience. Please join our family restaurant and enjoy fabulous Cuban food plus some international food , friendly service, great beverages and all the best of old Havana.
Portsmouth
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Excellent place to eat”
Reviewed February 13, 2013

We had a lovely evening here. Superb meal and impeccable service. Great music from a very mellow guitar duo on the balcony.
We ordered a 'special' each which was recommended by the waiter, though it was more expensive then we expected, especially for Cuba. Meal with Wine was £75 for two. Compared to a quality UK restaurant though it is half the price, so still highly reommended.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank redshoot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
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English first
Kitchener
Level Contributor
25 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Great food, Great Service”
Reviewed February 13, 2013

Cuba is not known for its amazing service, but this place should be! By far the best service I received in Cuba. The food was tasty - another rarity for the island. The owner provided us with information on the food we ordered and the chef cooking it. When our meal was done he gave us suggestions on where to go out that night. A great experience in Cuba. Worth the money.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank d7scott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkeley, CA
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Fabulous dining at Paladar Los Mercaderes”
Reviewed February 12, 2013

My wife and I visited Havana in January with a Northern California tour group sponsored through the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. Although we had read warnings about food in Cuba being pedestrian and nothing to look forward to, reality was completely contradictory.

The growth of paladares -- private restaurants opened in formerly grand homes -- has completely changed the food dynamic in Havana, at least for visitors with financial resources greater than that of the locals. (Of course, outside of Western Europe, this is frequently a sad but real aspect of travel and life.)

Our second day's lunch at Paladar Los Mercaderes could not have better set the tone and encapsulated the wonderful surprises of Havana in the culinary world.

We were welcomed by the owner, Yamil Alvarez Torres. Torres has recently left the engineering profession and turned his old family home into a wonderful restaurant in Habana Vieja. He proudly points out the exact reproductions of the tile floors in the three story home, the artwork that hangs on every wall and the intricate patterns of wood ceilings of the old home, now restored to their original grandeur and polish.

After an introduction to his daughter and the staff, the food made its appearance and complemented the stylishness of the interior and furnishings of the restaurant. Sumptuous appetizers were followed by a choice (for lunch) of chicken or fish. In my case, as a Californian not use to finding lobster of the nonfrozen variety, that was my choice. And, indeed, it was a good choice: large firm pieces of lobster easily extracted from the tail and accompanied by rice and other well cooked side dishes.

My wife enjoyed the chicken as much as I did the lobster. And the other reports of people in our party were equally positive about the preparation of the dishes.

After the main course was finished, a signature experience for Havana dining began. Yamil brought out to our party's table a large box of cigars from which two of our party made selections. Yamil cut the cigars for smoking and assisted us with the quintessential Cuban cigar experience. In short order, a waiter brought along a 15 year old bottle of rum to add flavor and joire de vivre to the experience. There were more takers for the rum than for the cigars.

Needless to add, the lunch experience flew by in a mere two hours and then we were off for more touring.

In dialogue with Yamil as we exited my wife and I referred to the our home port of call: Berkeley, California. Yamil then told us that only a week or two before, the mayor of Berkeley (Tom Bates), our local state senator (Loni Hancock) and ....DRUMROLL....the highest priest in the culinary church of Northern California (Saint Alice Waters) had dined at Paladar Los Mercaderes several times while visiting Havana. (Before we left home I recalled having read a small piece in the local press about them visiting Cuba to investigate sustainable agriculture projects.)

As constituents and supporters of our city's First Couple, Senator Hancock and Mayor Bates, neither my wife's nor my eyebrows were raised.

And I am proud to report our independent judgment. As worshipers in the Church of Chez Panisse, we had been very impressed with the food and dining experience at Los Mercaderes even before Yamil dropped the boldfaced names of earlier visitors like Alice Waters who preceded us.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
Thank dcole3d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Århus, Danmark
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Our best meal in Cuba”
Reviewed February 6, 2013

We didn't go to Cuba for the food - most of the restaurants we visited were very disappointing and the food was blend. So it was a nice surprise to find Paladar Los Mercaderes: The food, staff and ambience here was excellent. Even the two vegetarians at our table had several options in the menu. We went here twice - and recommend this paladar to everyone who want at least one nice restaurant experience in Cuba!

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Petersh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, New York, United States
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“YAMIL DOES IT AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Reviewed February 6, 2013

The incredible smells that come out of the balcony area lured us into a magnificent display of rose pedals that adorn the stairway and bathrooms of this clean and elegant gem in the rough. The food is amazingly prepared by Chef Luisito, and is brought out by some of the most well trained and attentive servers i have ever had the pleasure of dinning with.You will not be disappointed! This place is a must visit !
Luigi NJ

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank BONLU75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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