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5 Dishes That You Have to Try in Cuba

I’ve been fascinated by Cuba for a long time, so I’m happy to share this post on Cuban food written in partnership with Saga Travel.


When you love food, every country you visit is more than just a holiday; it’s a new opportunity to experience a different style of food. And this is no more apparent than when you visit Cuba, because it’s not just a beautiful island, it’s a beautiful island that’s brimming with delicious food that you need to try, and with touring companies like Saga Travel adding this country to their itinerary it’s now easier than ever to get to.

Cuban drink cart by Jorge Royan


So with that in mind, here is a list of just five of the best must-have dishes that you will find on holiday in Cuba.

Vaca Frita

A classic recipe and an ever-popular staple of Cuban cooking, Vaca Frita is skirt steak that’s marinated in garlic, cinnamon, oregano, parsley and red vinegar and then braised until completely tender. The steak is then served with lime-infused onions and peppers.

Cuban Black Bean Soup

Black beans can be found in a lot of Cuban recipes, and black bean soup is a great example of this. The black beans are sautéed with onion, garlic, peppers, oregano and cumin and then stewed before being served with rice for a wholesome and simple dish.

Black bean soup by newton64

Malanga Fritters

The malanga is a root vegetable that’s most commonly found in tropical climates and malanga fritters are the ultimate in fast food in Cuba. The fritters are made by grating the vegetable, which then creates a natural batter that can be fried easily. The fritters are then served with local tamarindo ketchup for a filling snack.

Ropa Vieja

Made with braised shredded flank, skirt steak or brisket in a tomato sauce, ropa vieja is best served over fluffy white rice and is also a great accompaniment to that other Cuban classic; black bean soup.

ropa vieja by Infrogmation of New Orleans

Pernil Relleno de Moros y Cristianos

Not just one dish, but two for the price on one, this is the name given to moror y cristianos (black beans stewed with white rice) in a pork shoulder seasoned with garlic, oregano and sour orange. This is a dish that’s not just tasty, it’s also filling and utterly satisfying. Order this dish at the end of a long day of sightseeing in order to truly appreciate it.

Meat, herbs, spices, black beans and fluffy white rice are just some of the things you will try when you visit Cuba. But don’t overlook some of the other local specialities, such as fried plantain (tostones) and tasty yucca fingers, both of which act as the perfect accompaniment to Cuba’s most famous dishes.

There’s a whole island of flavour awaiting you this summer in Cuba, so don’t leave it too long before you go there.

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