5 Classic Cuban Dishes to Try

5 Classic Cuban Dishes to Try
Cuban cuisine is an exciting explosion of spices and flavours, cooked with rice and bean staples alongside. Influenced by Spanish, French, African, and Portuguese cooking, Cuban dishes are usually sautéed, grilled or slow-cooked over a low flame and involve plenty of healthy beans, meats, seafood and exotic root vegetables for an affordable yet exquisite meal that will keep you coming back for more.
Grilled Lobster
You’ll find grilled lobster on almost every menu in Cuba. These small, spiny rock lobsters are slightly different than their European or North American cousins, but equally tasty.
Lobsters are usually grilled in Cuba and can be ordered whole or just the tail. The price here is incredible and for just a few pesos each, you can dine on lobster like a king, every night if you wish.
Aroz Con Gri
This simple but tasty dish is a staple of Cuban diets. Aroz Con Gri or Moros y Cristianos (meaning ‘black and white’) is white rice and black beans seasoned with Sofrito, a traditional Cuban base sauce of tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic and spices.
For a more extravagant version, try Pernil Relleno de Moros y Cristianos, which is one delicious Cuban dish stuffed inside another. Rice and black beans inside an orange and garlic infused pork shoulder – it’s a seriously indulgent feast.
Cuban Sandwich
The Cuban sandwich was actually invented by Cubans in Florida in the late 1800s, and it is still one of the most popular lunches in both places. This deliciously decadent sandwich contains slices of roast pork, ham, mustard, Swiss cheese and dill pickles, all fried or grilled in a golden brown Cuban or French roll. There are many variations of the recipe but you’ll find Cuban sandwiches almost everywhere you go – bad news for the waistline, as they’re seriously hard to pass up!
Arroz Con Pollo
This delicious dish is rice with chicken and vegetables – Latin style. Very similar to paella, Arroz Con Pollo is a popular Spanish and South American dish seasoned with bright, yellow saffron and paprika.
This filling dish would be eaten by families after a long day of work (or in your case, exploring Cuba!) as it contains everything you need from a balanced meal, plus it’s delicious!
Ropa Vieja
This Latin American comfort food consists of shredded beef in a spicy tomato sauce with plenty of peppers, olives and garlic, served over fluffy white rice.
You’ll find Ropa Vieja everywhere, particularly in the ‘paladares’, a new type of restaurant run in a family home. These small eateries often serve better quality and cheaper food than the best restaurants, and you can try a taste of real Cuban home cooking.