); Varadero’s best restaurant: Salsa Suarez Restaurant y Bar | Visit Cuba


Varadero’s best restaurant: Salsa Suarez Restaurant y Bar

By John Walters / Posted November 15, 2013

Calle 31 #103 e/ 1ra y 3ra Ave., Varadero, Cuba

53 045 612009   fabiyoel@yahoo.com

Cuisine: Cuban, Italian, International

For those who know Varadero’s burgeoning paladar scene Salsa Suarez has quietly established itself as the pre-eminent place to be. Lets face it – hands down it is the best. Absolutely on a par with what Havana has to offer. This is no shack on the beach offering shrimp or lobster place and surviving on a walk-by crowd.

Salsa Suarez patio This is a destination place. One that makes it worth heading out of your all-inclusive hotel and reaching into your pocket to pay for dinner rather than simply showing your wrist bracelet. From the outside little is given away; it is situated on a quiet city side street downtown. There is a discreet sign but little more that gives away the secret. Look for the neatly cut green vines that provide a loving embrace to the building.

Varadero menuInside in the spacious, airy patio it quickly becomes apparent that this is a quality place.  The menu is written large on a blackboard or two or three.  Not too long, not too short. It covers  all the bases from tacos and sushi to pasta and grilled meats with several options of each. For starters I can recommend the Shrimp & mushrooms drowned in olive oil  (Gambas y hongos ahogados en oliva) and the Chicken cesar salad with dried fruits (Ensalada cesar d’pollo y frutos secos.)

It is difficult to pick out main courses for a highlight – everything is good. The calamar and octopus (Calamares y pulpos a la diabla) is outstanding and my personal favorite; Marlin with Roquefort (Marlin en dados al Roquefort) is fabulous. The food is obtained fresh locally which means that the menu is subject to change although it seems that the staples are there consistently.

Salsa Suarez barThe service is fast and efficient from a staff that understands the difference between being friendly and overbearing. I like a little chit chat but not the ‘Where are you from, how long are you staying?’ They get it.

There is an inside air conditioned space if it gets too hot outside tastefully decorated with Cuban photography. Outside on the terrace you could be in a small Greek or Italian town close to the sea and influenced by the sea-water but away from the beach, enjoying a nice bottle of wine as the jet set wander over from where they have parked their yacht. And yet this is still Cuba. This is not running away or escaping from Cuba from the town of Varadero, simply an enhancement.

John Walters