Is the water safe to drink in Cuba?
Only drink bottled water. You will find that both still and sparkling water are available. Water is purified in the hotels and restaurants, and it is ok to drink beverages with ice wherever we take you on the tour. It is also not necessary to use bottled water to brush your teeth, as the tap water has also been purified. Salads and fruits are also acceptable to eat at all included or recommended restaurants.
Try to find “local” food.
There are a ton of restaurants in Havana, and it’s a little disorienting to narrow them down, especially when you won’t be online as often, using Google reviews, Yelp, and all our other American methods for find good food joints. There are a few upscale restaurants that cater to tourists and high-end locals, and then there are plenty run-of-the-mill tourist joints.
You’ll typically find menu items like bistec (steak), arroz con pollo (chicken and rice), tostones (plantains), and lots of black beans and rice.
Most of the food in Cuba is flavored with simple things like salt, garlic, and onions. It’s not the Cuban food you’re used to in the US because lots of ingredients, including spices, are hard to come by. For example, while ropa vieja is on most menus, it is not always available. If you think you might get tired of a pretty simple palate of flavors, bringing some travel sized hot sauce and pepper packets can mix things up.
What about snacks?
I always recommend packing a dozen granola bars and some kind of protein snack in case you need to eat more frequently than the scheduled meals. You may also want to bring electrolyte powder/tablet that can be added to bottled water in case you’re feeling dehydrated.