Among the numerous surprises kept at the ever magical Callejón de los Peluqueros (Hairdressers’ Alley) in Old Havana, there is a special place for Café Artes de Aguiar (Aguiar’s Arts Café) or The Artists’ Café, as it is more commonly known.
The cozy atmosphere that is so characteristic of this Café is largely due to the wise move of its decoration, a rustic and bohemian colonial style. The bare walls, as from an Iberian tavern, the wooden beams and doors, the colorful stained-glass windows, the old musical instruments hanging all around and the great many pictures of great writers, musicians, dancers and Cuban filmmakers, as a whole propitiate an extremely seductive and fascinating environment.
The menu includes Cuban, Italian and international recipes. Although the specialties of the house are shredded meat with Spanish sauce and beef tenderloin, the rest of the dishes turn out to be equally tempting and refined, among which you will find fish fillet with tamarind sauce, smoked salmon, Peruvian ceviche, crystallized lamb in Mediterranean style and Caldereta del Mar (fish stew).
If you wish lighter dishes you can choose from croquettes, tacos, panzerottis, quesadillas, battered fish chunks and garbanzo beans (chickpeas), to name some of the best. Now, whatever you order, make sure you try the sliced fried green plantain (tostones), a singular delicacy.
A variety of coffees, national and foreign cocktails, Cuban rums and whiskies make up the main attractions of the beverage menu, while among desserts there stand out the crème caramel and the cake of the house, made of chocolate and coffee.
Average price: 8.00 CUC
© Javier Roque Martínez
Translation: Beatriz Rodríguez