Cafe Laurent Havana

Havana’s Top Ten Places to Smoke Cigars

Havana and cigars are simply inseparable. Until just a few years ago, the city was the fine-smoke Eldorado. In the meantime, it has unfortunately become a little more difficult to find havens for smoking. So it’s good to know where you can go in Cuba’s capital to indulge in your cigar in a nice environment. The following is a list of the best places.

Above the Rooftops

Restaurant La Guarida (Central Havana),
Concordia No. 418, between Gervasio & Escobar

The restaurant La Guarida is a legend. It’s one of the first paladares [small, privately run restaurants] in Havana and also where, already years ago, one was able to dine well. La Guarida became famous through the movie Strawberries and Chocolate. For some time now, the restaurant has had a rooftop terrace, with white and pink furniture and matching lighting. Totally stylish.

Photo: Claudia Puszkar

Small but Excellent

Paladar Otramanera (Miramar),
Avenida 35 No. 1810, between 20 & 41

The Otramanera is a small paladar with excellent food and outstanding cocktails. The wait staff already brings a cigar ashtray as soon as you start unpacking your cigar. Especially outside, on a small terrace with a front yard, is the best place to sit.

Photo: Claudia Puszkar

The most Beautiful View of the Water

Restaurant Rio Mar (La Puntilla, Miramar),
3ra & Final No. 11r

In Rio Mar, above all, the way they prepare
the fish is superb. And the terrace located directly over the water and the view of the other side of the Malecón esplanade are heavenly.

Photo: Claudia Puszkar

Peace and fresh Air in the City Center

Habana Vieja /// Old Havana

Like every big city, Havana is noisy, dirty and often very hot. But there are small parks in the city – islands, if you like – mostly with marble benches. As a tourist one hardly notices these parks, or the peace and freshness that prevail inside them. Just take a seat, light your cigar and relax.

Photo: Claudia Puszkar

The nicest Square

Hotel Nacional (Vedado),
Calle 21, corner of Calle O

If you haven’t at least smoked a cigar on the terrace of Hotel Nacional, you haven’t really been to Havana. There’s hardly a more beautiful place in the world for it than this one.

Photo: Claudia Puszkar

The most Beautiful Sunset

Restaurant Café Laurent (Vedado),
Calle M No. 257

Café Laurent is on the rooftop terrace of a six-story building. Long, white curtains gently blow in the breeze. There’s a partial view of Havana’s rooftops, but you can also see the Malecón and the sea. When the sun sets, the best moment has arrived.

Photo: Claudia Puszkar

In the Thick of It

Café Paris (Old Havana),
Calle Obispo,
 corner of Calle San Ignacio

If you prefer a bit more action and enjoy the hustle and bustle of a city, stop by at Café Paris on the Calle Obispo, the main shopping street in Old Havana. It’s teeming with people, with buskers completing the picture, like at the theater.

Photo: Claudia Puszkar

The best Atmosphere

Bar El Floridita (Old Havana),
Obispo No. 557, corner of Calle Monserrate

The famous bar El Floridita is the tourist joint. But if you’re lucky, there’ll be a good band playing, and the audience is carried along
by the spirit. That’s when the fun starts. Don’t think about the price of the drinks, just drink! Recommended is the Daiquiri Natural; the bar isn’t called La Cuna del Daiquiri (“the cradle of the daiquiri”) for nothing.

Photo: Claudia Puszkar

Typically Cuban

Restaurant Casa del Musico (Miramar),
Calle 12, between Avenida Primera y Tercerao

In Miramar in the Casa del Musico, there’s a typically Cuban atmosphere. Even the clientele actually tends to be made up of locals. You can get a solid lunch here – tasty and uncomplicated, and after, or during the meal, you can have a relaxed smoke.

Photo: Claudia Puszkar

In the Country

Restaurant El Rancho Palco (Cubanacán, Playa),
Calle 140, corner of Calle 19

It’s just like being in the country at El Rancho Palco, near the El Laguito manufacture. You can completely forget that the city is so close by. One disadvantage is the abundance of mosquitoes, which hang around due to the restaurant’s proximity to the water and which also aren’t bothered by the cigar smoke.

Photo: Claudia Puszkar


Originally trained as a sociologist, Claudia Puszkar has written about Cuban cigars and their history for years. She travels regularly to Havana to hunt down old and new cigar factories, and is always on the lookout for new impressions of the city and its residents.


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