Cuba is known for its coffee, but it hasn’t necessarily been known having a cafe culture like you might find in some other Latin American or European cities. Cubans buy coffee from windows facing the street sold out of people’s homes, or in bars and cafeterias, rather than lingering over a coffee.
However, in the past several years Havana has seen a massive growth in the number of cafes and coffeehouses to enjoy, with full menus of coffee options, both hot and cold. There are now some truly incredible cafes here, innovating and expanding Cuba’s traditional coffee culture.
As serious coffee lovers we’ve tried the coffee just about everywhere in Havana. These are our absolute favorite spots throughout the city, with the most delicious options you can’t miss at each spot. Let’s dive in to the top ten cafes in Havana!
El Café is my personal favorite coffee spot in Havana – it’s the perfect combination of delicious coffee and wonderful atmosphere. Set inside a restored colonial building in the heart of Old Havana with sky-high ceilings and original patterned floor tiles, the entire shop constantly smells amazing with fresh-ground coffee. If you’re an iced coffee fan, this is the place for you, but their cappuccinos are great too.
Plus, stick around for the food, which is fantastic, too – make sure you get something with their famous sourdough bread. They also serve delicious mixed drinked for happy hour, so you might have to save time in your itinerary for a few trips here.
Calle Amargura #358 between Aguacate and Villegas
Mamaine is set back from the street in an old colonial mansion in the Vedado neighborhood – look closely, you might miss it! Enjoy the perfect coffee and their delicious chocolate cake from the front patio to people watch, or on the second level inside, with cozy pillows and throws to spread out on the loft and enjoy a drink.
Calle L # 206 between Calle 15 and Calle 17
Hav Coffee & Art
One of the newest coffee shops in Havana, HAV Coffee & Art is definitely the place to be. The interior is beautiful – I love the modern inside the colonial building – and the coffee is even better. True to its name, you’ll also find some incredible rotating art installations by local artists in the back rooms.
Calle Jesus Maria #258 between Calle Compostela and Calle Picota
Café Arcangel is a perfectly quaint and cozy cafe with exceptional service and great coffee, including iced coffee and delicious affogatos (ice cream topped with a shot of espresso) for a serious pick-me-up . Close to Old Havana but a few blocks from the main tourist spots, this is the place to relax and slow down in the middle of a day of sightseeing. It also has delicious sandwiches and small bites.
Calle Concordia #57, between Galiano & Aquila
This cafe is the place to be if you’re looking for the perfect cozy, old-world coffeehouse in Havana. Café O’Reilly grinds and prepares its own beans in house, which gives the entire cafe that irresistible coffeehouse scent – and you can purchase bags of coffee to go. There are endless options here, including hot coffees and great iced coffees, plus spiked coffees as well.
Calle O’Reilly #203, at the corner of Calle San Ignacio
Cuba Libro is an English-language bookstore, the only one in Havana, founded and lovingly stocked by an American expat in Havana. But it’s not just books – Cuba Libro has fantastic coffee and tea options as well, and sweet treats on rotation, too. Make sure to try the Jamaica iced tea if they have it! Hang out inside and stay a while with a book or enjoy the patio.
Calle 24, at the corner of Calle 19
The food and coffee at Panparapan are great – try the café bonbon for something sweet and the croquetas if you’re hungry – but the real star of the show here is the incredible patio and terrace where you can spread out for hours over coffee with friends. Or, come for happy hour and stick around for beers and their mixed drinks.
Calle 23 #1202, at the corner of Calle 18
One of the most beautiful cafes in the city, Cafe Bohemia is a fantastic place to escape the heat of the day. Set inside a renovated historic building in Plaza Vieja, you’ll find tables and chairs spilling in to the plaza – but the best seat are in the building’s courtyard. They have a large menu of coffee and breakfast or brunch options.
Cafe Bohemia also shares a space with Estancia Bohemia, a small bed and breakfast with a few private apartments for rent. Equally as beautiful as the cafe downstairs, Estancia Bohemia is a great option to consider if you’re looking for where to stay in Havana.