UPDATED LAST: Read in the bottom of the post how the food has changed in our February 2023 visit.
One of our regular places to eat in Madrid is HAVANA BLUES. It has changed A LOT since we first ate there in 2014 so I want to do a new blog post about it.
OUTDOOR DINING APRIL 2022
I really admire the owner Rafa – you can see him preparing the outdoor area below – because he’s so hands-on and he would be there for breakfast till closing time. Now though the hours are shorter than before. They open for lunch instead of breakfast now.
DiploDog went with us because we were eating outdoors.
It’s nothing fancy. A neighborhood joint that we are lucky to have so nearby for a quick bite when we are too tired to go out. They have yummy affordable drinks too because it’s a bar. However, unlike in 2014, they no longer serve free tapas with their drinks. I think they are just simplifying their menu & making sure they are profitable so that their business can continue to thrive in the changing times.
For me the must-try dish here is the SQUID WITH MOJO VERDE. It’s sooo good. The squid is perfectly cooked each time & the Mojo Verde is the secret weapon. Seriously I dream of that Mojo Verde. I was asking if we could buy a jar to take home, but I wasn’t successful. LOL.
TD & I shared this dish. All we had to do was order an extra portion of rice to go with it.
I don’t have a picture because we had it for take away, but DiploBaby loves the CUBAN SANDWICH. If you have room for dessert – coz the portions can be big – I highly recommend the GUAVA CHEESECAKE. Drooling worthy!
To give you an idea of the prices, here’s the receipt. Not bad for 3 people with cocktail & dessert!
INDOOR DINING APRIL 2022
We usually eat 1-2x per trip in Havana Blues and it’s always a happy experience for us, as you can see from the pics.
As you can see we are creature of habits and order our favorites each time.
INDOOR DINING FEBRUARY 2023
When we came back to Madrid this year the first place we ate us was Havana Blues because it’s such a convenient location for us. After a day of travel, you don’t really want to go far to eat. My only complaint is that it does smell strongly of food inside, but I didn’t mind it after a while. I didn’t want to smell smoke outside & be in the cold.
The place was fully booked for the late Spanish dinners. Since we came at 7pm we could just eat and run.
Do you see the fridges behind Yaya B? That’s where they freeze their beer mugs!
TOSTONES are twice-fried plantain slices commonly found in Latin American cuisine and Caribbean cuisine. Generously douse it with sauce & salt for flavor. I prefer them thinner usually.
Happy to have a quick dinner coz we are tired an hungry.
ROPA VIEJA is a dish we regularly order here. I wonder if the cook/chef is new because I remember the stew being even more flavorful in 2014 & 2022. It’s still good, but I remembered it was mind-blowing before. I hope it’s just an off night coz I love this dish.
The CHIPIRONES WITH MOJO VERDE is still as tasty as it was before. It’s always the star of our meals here. The squid is perfectly cooked and that MOJO VERDE is really my favorite thing in this restaurant. How I wish I could just buy a jar to take home to Switzerland!
What TD and I like to do is split both so we can have a taste of both dishes each time we are here.
DiploBaby’s regular order is the SANDWICH CUBANO. Those thin banana chips are so good too.
Yaya B made a mistake with her order. She thought the CUBANISIMO would be crunchy lechon. So now we know it’s not.
Boy was I glad I ordered JARA PEQUEÑA or SMALL JAR OF BEER. It was literally ice cold. SO good!
We ate so well for such a good price as you can see below. We love Havana Blues and I hope next time we go back to Madrid we can say high to Rafa. I think he goes now when it’s peak times that’s why we didn’t see him.
HAVANA BLUES MENU
They have a simple menu, but we are creatures of habit. Maybe next time we should try the Pollo Tropical and langostines.
Paseo de Santa María de la Cabeza 56, 28045 Madrid, Spain
+34 915 39 45 89
Tues /Thu 1–11:30 pm • Wed 1–11 pm • Fri – Sat 1 pm–12:30 am • Sun 1–6 pm
Takes Reservations, outdoor seating available