Typical Cuban cuisine and food dishes in Cuba prepared by family Rental Houses

Cuban dishes at Casa ParticularFood in Cuba is a rich, varied and tasty experience. Its origins stem from a fusion of Spanish, African and native island cuisine which have resulted in a wide variety of ingredients making up what have become the most popular Cuban dishes.

Typical Cuban food is made from the many tropical fruits and vegetables found on the island. Pork, rice, beef, lamb and chicken feature highly on most menus and while fish and seafood dishes are less common, they are found in many private family homes in Cuba.

Tourists visiting Cuba and staying in private rental houses with Cuban families have the opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of typical dishes. Home owners are usually very generous and flexible when it comes to cooking traditional dishes of the island and it's a great way for tourists to sample genuine and affordable Cuban cuisine.

This list shows a few of the most common dishes that are served by private rental accommodation in Cuba.

Cuban breakfast at private houses in CubaCuban breakfasts in casas particulares usually include a variety of seasonal tropical fruits with papaya (bomb fruit), pineapple, guava and melon slices featuring along with fresh fruit juices, milk and coffee. Breakfast in Cuba is always accompanied by plenty of bread, butter, jam and honey. Ham and cheese normally accompany eggs at the breakfast table coming in all styles – omelettes, fried or scrambled.

Cuban breakfast consisting of a selection of tropical fruits: pineapple, guava, melon and papaya (bomb fruit). Omelette, cucumber and tomato salad. Bread or toast, cheese, jam and honey. Drinks: coffee, hot milk, orange juice and tea.

Beans are a common feature in Cuban lunches and dinner, normally seved with white rice combined with chicken, vegetables, seafood or congrí, which is the most common way of serving Cuban rice (you'll also find various types of beans appearing in the many different Cuban stews on offer).

Cuban dish with rice and seafood in CubaCuban seafood platter: battered shrimp, breaded fish fillet, grilled lobster garnished with grilled tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, peppers and onions.

Meat and fish are normally served grilled or fried and served in delicious lightly spiced sauces. It's also very common to find grilled pork or beef, fish fillets, lobster and lamb cooked in tomato and pepper sauces, known as ropa vieja. Seafood enchiladas, fried shrimps in garlic, BBQ pork ribs and various types of fried meat served in bread crumbs are also popular.

Side dishes in Cuba usually consist of fried or boiled root vegetables, served on their own, stir fried in butter or a tomoato based sauce.

Homemade Cuban desserts are the perfect ending to most meals and often feature fruits such as guava, mango, papaya cooked in sweet syrup and served in orange or guava shells. Coconut preserve (grated coconut in syrup) or milky creme brulee puddings are favourites of many families.

Sample menu of typical breakfast, lunch and dinner served by private rental houses in Cuba

Cuban rice dishes

Cuban rice with chicken and vegetables

  • White rice
  • Congrí rice
  • Rice with chicken
  • Rice with Vegetables
  • Fried rice

Cuban Soups and Stews

  • Chicken Soup
  • Fish soup
  • Vegetable soup
  • Black bean soup
  • Red bean stew
  • White bean stew 
  • Chickpea stew

Meat and Fish in Cuba

Cuban typical dish with roast meat

  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Beef
  • Lamb or mutton
  • Fish
  • Seafood
  • Smoked pork

Cuban Side dishes

Cuban dish - Banana Fufu

  • Ladybugs banana (planthopper) 
  • Fried plantains 
  • Fried sweet plantain
  • Fufú plantains 
  • French fries 
  • Mashed potatoes 
  • Potato planthoppers 
  • Boiled sweet potato 
  • Fried sweet potato 
  • Dasheen boiled with mojo sauce
  • Mashed dasheen 
  • Dasheen planthoppers 
  • Cassava with mojo sauce 
  • Boiled pumpkin with mojo sauce 
  • Pumpkin puree

Salads and vegetables

  • Fresh leaf salad 
  • Stir fry vegetable salad

Cuban desserts

  • Preserves fruit in syrup
  • Creme brulee
  • Ice Cream
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