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Travel Inspiration

Paris – La Havana : how to enjoy Cuba in Paris

CUBA IN PARIS

Now that Cuba is opened to mass tourism and everybody wants to travel to the island, we have decided the opposite: stay in Paris and enjoy Cuba our way. Today we will forget about exploring Paris Like a Local and we will try to get a glimpse of what Cuba has to offer, at least in the City of Light! We have listed below our favorite addresses for those who want to enjoy Cuba in Paris.

cuba in paris

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A LITTLE BIT OF CUBAN CULTURE

1- LA MAISON DE L’AMÉRIQUE LATINE

217 boulevard Saint-Germain, Paris 7; M. Solferino, L12; Vélib post #7.008

This cultural center located in the 7th Arrondissement of Paris represents all the countries in Latin America and of course, Cuba has its own place here. La Maison de l’Amérique Latine continuously proposes all kind of artistic, literary, philosophical or musical activities.  They organize (usually for free) discussions on current topics, conferences, exhibitions, literary prizes (Roger Caillois, Edouard Glissant, Carbet de la Caraïbe) and concerts. Check all their events here

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2- SPECIALIZED BOOKSHOPS

You can also enjoy Cuba in Paris through its literature. In Paris there are two bookshops, both located in Paris 6, specialized in Hispanic Literature, with a wide selection of books available:

Librairie Espagnole. 7 rue Littré, 75006 Paris; M.  Saint Placide, L4; Vélib post #6.027

Librairie Hispano-américaine. 26 rue Monsieur-le-Prince, 75006 Paris; M. Cluny-La Sorbonne, L10; Vélib post #6.029

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FOOD & DRINKS

The Cuban Cuisine is an interesting blend of native people’s cuisine on the island plus Spanish, African and Caribbean cuisines, with different spices and flavors.

Rice and beans are a culinary element found throughout Cuba, cooked together or apart. When cooked together, the recipe is called either  “Congri”“Moros” or  “Moros y Cristianos”. If cooked separately, it is called “Arroz con/y Frijoles”.

Being Cuba an island, seafood dishes prepared in different ways are an important part of its everyday menu.

Meat, when available on ration book, is usually served in light sauces. The most popular sauce is Mojo or Mojito (not to be confused with the mojito cocktail), made with oil, garlic, onion, spices such as oregano and bitter orange or lime juice. Ropa vieja is shredded beef dish (usually flank) simmered in a tomato-based criollo sauce until it falls apart. Boliche is a beef roast, stuffed with chorizo sausage and hard-boiled eggs.

Cuba’s tropical climate produces fruits and root vegetables that are used in Cuban dishes and meals.

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3- MUCHO GUSTO FESTIVAL

Mucho Gusto is an event organized by the Restaurant and Cocktails bar Cuba Compagnie to celebrate the gastronomy of Latin American countries. During one week this festival proposes us a virtual travel through our taste buds: Cuba (of course) but also Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Mexico, all in a colorful setting. The last edition took place from 23rd to 27th October and we are willing to know what next edition has to propose.

cuba in paris

 

4- RHUM FEST PARIS

Parc Floral de Paris. Route de la Pyramide – Bois de Vincennes (entrance through Pavillon des Cèdres). M. Château de Vincennes, L1; Vélib post #12.125

cuba in paris

This is the largest rum fair in France and the largest in Europe by the number of rums present. This alcoholic festival includes master classes, rum tasting courses and a couple of bars. The fourth edition will take place on 22nd, 23rd and 24th April 2017, are you going to miss that?

Price: single tickets from 49€ (one day)

READ MORE –   Best Food Festivals in Paris

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5- HAVANITA CAFE

11  rue de Lappe, Paris 11; M. Bastille L1, L5, L8; Vélib post #11.004

cuba in paris

We like la Havanita for its atmosphere, where the Havana’s charm of the 1950s blends harmoniously with the Cuban effervescence. With their comfortable armchairs, unique design with murals representing the Havanese Malecón, its portraits evoking characters and scenes of daily life in Havana and cool music we don’t need much more to feel the Malecón’s sea breeze.

What to order?  La Havanita proposes local beers but also mojitos and other rum-based cocktails.  Meals include lots of fish, meat, and other Caribbean /South American dishes.

cuba in paris

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6- CUBA COMPAGNIE

48 boulevard Beaumarchais, Paris 11; M. Chemin Vert, L8 and M. Bastille, L1, 5, 8; Vélib post #3.001

cuba in paris

Another restaurant with a Cuban atmosphere. Una “brocheta de pez espada” (skewered swordfish), why not? Swordfish marinated in Hemingway sauce served with rice, cassava, and plantain bananas. Looks good? It tastes even better!

Other swordfish dishes are proposed on the menu: swordfish filet in coconut milk and pineapple sauce served with rice, cassava and plantain bananas was my choice. . . Yummy!

For those who prefer meat, the Picadillo a la Havanera can be the perfect choice: beef marinated in sauce served with rice, cassava, and plantain bananas.

cuba in paris

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MUSIC & DANCING

7- LATIN CLUBS

After a good meal why not some drinks and maybe some salsa dancing to burn those extra calories? In Paris there are lots of Latin Clubs proposing salsa, merengue and more, here are our favorite ones:

Bar Club Salsa. 9 rue du Général Lanrezac, Paris 17; M.  Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile, L1, 2 and 5; Vélib post #17.033

Salsa Cafe.  176 rue Montmartre, Paris 2; M. Grands-Boulevards, L8 and L9; Vélib post #2.010

Montecristo Cafe. 68 Av des Champs-Elysées, Paris 8;  M. Franklin Roosevelt, L1 and L9; Vélib post #8.050

Latina Cafe. 114 av. des Champs-Elysées, Paris 8; M. Métro George V, L1; Vélib post #8.052

Barrio Latino. 46/48 rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, Paris 12; M. Bastille, L1, 5, 8; Vélib post #11.004

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8- DANCING SCHOOLS

If your dancing level is not good enough yet Paris has also some salsa schools where you can learn the basic steps. Our favorite ones are listed below:

Salsabor. 31 Rue Chapon, Paris 3; M. Arts et Métiers, L3, 11; Vélib post #3.011

SalsaNueva. 32 rue du Capitaine Marchal, Paris 20; M. Pelleport, L3B; Vélib post #20.023

cuba in paris

If you are interested in salsa festivals, salsa workshops and other salsa events, check this complete online salsa guide

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CUBAN SHOPPING

9- LATIN DANCE SHOES

45 Rue des Citeaux, Paris 12; M. Faidherbe-Chaligny, L8; Vélib post #11.008

If you forgot your dancing shoes at home, the shop Latin Dance Shoes is the place to go. Latin Dance Shoes proposes the best brands (PAOUL, SUPADANCE, CAPEZIO, SANSHA, PORTDANCE, INTERNATIONAL DANCE SHOES…) and good advice.

 

10- CUBAN CIGARS

cuba in paris

There are many elegant shops dedicated to the sale of Cuban Cigars in Paris. If you are a Cuban cigars lover don’t miss the following shops:

Boutique 22. 22 avenue Victor Hugo, Paris 16;  M.  Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile, L1, 2 and 5; Vélib post #17.033

Flor de Cuba. 1 avenue Raymond Poincaré, Paris 16; M. Trocadéro, L6, and L9; Vélib post #16.014

La Cave à Cigares. 4 boulevard Denain, Paris 10; M.  Gare du Nord, L4 and L5; Vélib post #10.152

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Paris is not la Havana but as you can see there are many Cuban options to virtually travel to Cuba or just keep us entertained for a while. Salud and enjoy!

cuba in paris

Do you know other cool Cuban addresses in Paris? Send us a mail and we will include them in this post

Click here to read more Travel Inspiration posts

 

A big Merci! to Havanita Cafe Paris and Cuba Compagnie,  for allowing us to use their pictures for this post. This list is based on our own personal experiences and/or reviews online. 

Men migrate with food, kitchen utensils but also with recipes and eating habits. Once in France, many keep the culinary practices of their country. During the nineteenth century, grocery stores and restaurants founded by emigrants started to appear in France. Primarily intended to serve these foreign communities, Arab and Asian grocery stores started to be appreciated also by French people, curious to discover cuisines from other parts of the world. Until now. Today it is possible to try food from any part of the world in Paris, maybe this is one of the reasons why Paris is called the Capital City of the World ;- )

 

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  • Melody Pittman
    02/28/2017 at 11:14 pm

    I loved visiting Cuba! I had a wonderful trip and I wish that I had seen your suggestions before. I especially loved all of the food and drink suggestions.

  • Jetsetter Jenn
    02/28/2017 at 7:04 pm

    Paris is one of my favorite cities! I just love how you can find so many different cultures in the city center. I’d love to try Cuban food! Everything looks and sounds amazing. Great photos, thanks for sharing 🙂

    • WorldInParis
      03/01/2017 at 8:30 pm

      Glad that you liked the post, Jenn. Yes, all the cultures can be found in Paris 🙂

  • Carmen's Luxury Travel
    02/28/2017 at 1:04 pm

    Oooo, I’m half Cuban AND I love Paris so this is definitely the post for me! My mouth is watering over the Picadillo a la Havanera. Bookmarking this for the future. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • WorldInParis
      02/28/2017 at 11:04 pm

      Fue todo un placer, Carmen 😉

  • Kerri
    02/28/2017 at 12:10 am

    Whoever would have known. Although having spent time in CUba, I know that there is almost a little piece of it in every major city. Such a fascinating place. I loved my trip there, but am unlikely to go back 1) it’s so hard to get to from Australia and 2) it just won’t ever be the same again due to the borders opening up etc. I’d be happy to reacquaint myself with it in Paris though.

    • WorldInParis
      03/01/2017 at 8:34 pm

      Even if it is not the subject of the post I have mixed feelings about going to Cuba. Like you said, I think it was a cool place to explore but I think I missed my opportunity, now that it is open to mass tourism

  • noel
    02/27/2017 at 7:04 pm

    Wow, cool places to visit around Paris, would love to check some of these out

  • Shelia
    02/27/2017 at 5:28 pm

    My hubs and I met over Mojitos. These are good tips/places to go in our favorite city. I’ll try some next time I am there!

    • WorldInParis
      02/27/2017 at 10:27 pm

      Ahahaha! Yes, mojitos in the City of Love sounds like the perfect plan for you! 🙂

  • Nic
    02/27/2017 at 1:00 pm

    This is such a cool post! It definitely saves you from travelling all of those miles if you only want to experience the Cuban culture! Although we still definitely want to travel there as it’s only one of the two communist countries we have left to visit!

    • WorldInParis
      02/27/2017 at 3:46 pm

      Lol. Thanks for the comment Nic. Which is the other communist country left? Maybe I can write a post about it, Paris – XXX 😉

  • Stacey Veikalas
    02/27/2017 at 12:10 pm

    Very fun I had no idea there were so many fun things to do “AL Cuban” in paris. I love the dancing and of course a cuban cocktail and rum are always fun!

    • WorldInParis
      02/27/2017 at 12:34 pm

      You see, there is no need to go to Cuba for us, lots of funny stuff in Paris ! 😉

  • Vicki Louise
    02/27/2017 at 11:33 am

    I had no idea there was such a taste of Havana in Paris! The food, the shopping, dancing – everything looks so much fun – and that cocktail at the bottom of your post has my name written all over it!

    • WorldInParis
      02/27/2017 at 12:35 pm

      Lol! If you ever come to Paris I will take you for a walk (and some mojitos) 😉 Thanks for your comment, Vicki!

  • Marge
    02/27/2017 at 12:22 am

    A taste of Cuba in Paris! What a swell idea! I have always been fascinated with the idea of seeing a piece of another country and learn and experience their culture without going far. I’m not saying I don’t want to do it in the country itself but I just love to get a little taste of something, like a preview of what’s to come. Not sure which one I’d be able to reach first, Cuba or France but at least if I ever get to France first then I know I can go somewhere with a little piece of Cuba.

    • WorldInParis
      02/27/2017 at 12:37 pm

      The good thing about Paris is that you can find many “little taste” about almost any country, maybe that’s why Paris is called “the Capital City of the World” 😉

  • Kevin's Travel Diary
    02/26/2017 at 9:49 pm

    Wow, first time I’ve ever heard about this. I’m so glad that you have shared this or I would have never known. So beautiful.

    • WorldInParis
      02/26/2017 at 11:16 pm

      As you can see, Parisians have many alternatives to a flight to Havana 😉

  • Sibeal Turraoin
    02/26/2017 at 12:58 pm

    I never knew about this! If I hadn’t read the article I’d swear your photos were straight out of Havana!

  • Nathan
    02/26/2017 at 4:07 am

    All of this looks so cool, especially the Rhum fest. I would love to check it out. I like the idea of a Cuba staycation– I’ve never thought of that. Great idea and your photos are awesome!

    • WorldInParis
      02/26/2017 at 3:32 pm

      Well not all the people have the means to travel when they want so this is an alternative way of “traveling” 😉

  • Travellingdany
    02/25/2017 at 11:32 am

    What beautiful, beautiful pictures! And I loved the different take on Paris, you have a great style!

    • WorldInParis
      02/25/2017 at 7:56 pm

      Oh, thank you very much! 🙂