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Vegetarian in cuba?


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Holds PhD in Packing
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Joined: July 14th, 2004

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  • Added on: January 22nd, 2005
Hey guys, Im planning a short 2 week to one month trip in Cuba and have just started researching it. Figured it was best just to throw this out there. Is it going to be hard to find veggie cuisine there. I'm pretty strict when it comes to my diet so i'm just curious. I know when my sister went to the dominincan republic it was difficult and she ate alot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. What say you fellow veggies?
maybe tomorrow i'll want to settle down, until tomorrow I'll just keep moving on.


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Began Gap Year Trip Six Years Ago
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  • Added on: January 23rd, 2005
I was in Cuba for a few weeks and had a really hard time eating a few times. This was largely due to my refusal to pay the outrageous prices for the horrible food in hotels and tourist restaurants in Havana. In Havana much of the food is rationed but by my second time through the city I'd figured it out a little better. There are a few vegetable markets (organic too!) and little places in Chinatown to buy a box of fried rice and beans for 50 cents. The pizza is terrible but cheap, and I did find one place that was quite edible.

Outside of Havana I had fewer problems. The eastern part of the island is a lot more agricultural so there's a lot more variety and availabiity. You can actually buy bread and find veggie street food. Everywhere they sell bocaditos which are tiny little, basic, super cheap sandwiches which sometimes will be plain cheese. And if you can find veggie fritters buy as many of them as you can. They're delicious! Another good thing to find is somewhere that sells batidos in every town. For like 15 cents you could get a big glass of fresh fruit blended with milk. Practically a meal for me.

I took a bunch of Luna Bars which saved my ass. I've really never had such a difficult time being a vegetarian before. If you don't mind paying US prices for your food, stay in a casa particular and pay the people you're staying in to cook for you. The food in the hotels and restaurants is usually subpar, but when the locals cook for you...yum.

mina olen

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  • Added on: January 24th, 2005
I too had a hard time eating veg in Cuba. Even the ubiquitous beans and rice are most likely cooked in some kind of animal fat. We stayed mostly at a very decent hotel where the food was uninspiring, but did provide vegetarian options (I was part of a large group with more than a few vegetarians, so they made accomodations for us...) I do eat fish, so I had more options than a real vegetarian, but Cubans do love their meat.

I brought lots of snacks and was very grateful. I too ate cheese pizza and juice from street vendors, but I think that made me sick at least once, tho not terribly. I actually think it was the cheese that sat out in the sun rather than the water in the juice, but I will never know

If you are in a small family-run restaurant (paladar) or dining with a family, I found they have no qualms about accomodating your veggie preferences (saves them money after all) but they think you're wierd lol

mmmm... fried plantains....

PS next time I go to Cuba, I'm bringing hot sauce the food is mostly rather mild

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