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Traditional Cuban Foods: All you need to taste in 2023

Foods based on cuban tradition

Are you looking to add some flavors to your meals? If you want to spice up your meals then you are in the right place. Cuban food is the answer you are looking for as it has got everything you want from a meal. 

For those who don’t know what Cuban foods are you are in luck as in this article, I will be explaining each of the dishes so you tell which one has the best taste. 

Let’s continue reading the article, Traditional Cuban Foods: All you need to taste in 2022, so you will know which dish to make and impress your Cuban bae.

What are traditional Cuban foods?

Cuban foods are heavily influenced by Spanish-style foods. It’s no surprise as Cuba used to be a Spanish colony. Over the years, Hispanic influences have crept in with the Spanish cuisine making it truly unique. Although they have many other influential factors the Spanish left the strongest mark on Cuban cuisine.

The types of traditional Cuban Foods:

Cuban food has it all, the main entree with appetizers, sides, desserts, and cocktails. Although in the US the famous Cuban food is the sandwich today I won’t mention the sandwich anymore and check the other type of Cuban cuisine that everyone is missing out on.

  1. Mar Y Tierra / Surf and Turf
  2. Rice and black beans
  3. Pernil Asado
  4. Croquetas De Jamón
  5. Bon Bon Cubano
  6. Churrasco
  7. Havana Truffled Yuca Fries with Chorizo
  8. Arroz Con Pollo
  9. Pina Colada Flan
  10. Yankee In Havana
  11. Calle Ocho Coconut Shrimp
  12. Ropa Vieja
  13. Arroz Morro
  14. Havana Drams Mojito
  15. Coquito Tres Leches

Mar Y Tierra

Do you like shrimp and delicious sirloin steak? Then Mar Y Tierra is the dish for you. The steak is seasoned with special Cuban species that give a mouthwatering taste and it is paired with large grilled shrimp. The shrimp are sauteed in savory garlic sauce which gives this dish a unique flavor.

Rice and black beans

You can keep mashed potatoes as a side for the Mar Y Tierra dish but I usually like to keep rice and black beans as my side dish.

The dish is as simple as it sounds. The unique thing about this dish is thate rice, black beans, and veggies are all cooked together in the same pot. This is why the dish has all the flavors in it.

Pernil Asado

A slow-cooked pork marinated with oregano, sofrito (a blend of garlic, onions, peppers, and cilantro), and mojo sauce. The mixture of flavors gives this dish a unique taste. 

This pulled pork dish is one of my favorite meals of all time. It is traditionally served with black beans but you can replace the black beans with mashed potatoes or Croquetas De Jamón.

Check our detailed healthy recipe on How to make authentic Cuban Pernil Asado 

Croquetas de Jamón

Crispy chicken is filled with creamy cheesy and normally this Cuban dish is used as a snack in the Cuban community but you can use it as an appetizer as I frequently do. 

I generally make a lot of croquetas as it takes a long time to prepare, I freeze and take them out to fry when I have company over.

To know more about Croquetas de Jamón, check the recipe out so you can cook it at home.

Bon Bon Cubano

Do you like rich molten chocolate lava cake with a Cuban twist? This is a dessert item that you can pair with any of the above Cuban foods.

The rich molten chocolate will melt your heart and fall in love with this amazing dish. When you have this dessert in a restaurant they will serve it with a scoop of ice cream and generally, it’s a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream. When making it at home you can use any ice cream flavor you like to have with the chocolate lava cake.


This dish is full of flavors that bring out the taste of the steak and gives your tastebuds the taste it truly deserves. The marination is done with special mojo sauce (Orange, olive oil, garlic, cilantro, sugar), which gives this dish its unique flavor. By using butter and special herbs the flavors are brought to the front and when you finish the meal it will leave you wanting more. 

You can serve this dish with black beans or with yellow rice which gives this dish a special taste which is why I always rice to add more flavor.

Here is our detail recipe on How to Cook a Churrasco Steak on the Grill: A Detailed Recipe

Havana Truffled Yuca Fries with Chorizo

If you want to try traditional Cuban food with a modern twist. This dish is made up of crispy yucca fries, sliced chorizo, melted shredded Manchego cheese, and a flavorful ahi truffle mayonnaise. The taste will remind you of Cuba.

So dont wait anymore, you can either make this delicious truffled yuca at home or you can visit Havana Dreams to give your tastebud’s a much-needed treat

Arroz Con Pollo

This chicken with rice meal will make you feel like you are in Havana. The rice is rich in flavors and spices making it the tastiest dish that came out of Cuba. Although not the traditional food of Cuba because it originated in, you guessed it, Spain.

The Cuban dish does resemble the old Spanish in many ways but in many ways, they are not similar at all. You can almost say Arroz coo polo has been fussed.

The unique taste comes from the use of various vegetables and cooking in the same pot. With fried chicken, this is a proper meal for anybody.

Pina Colada Flan

When a flan gets a Cuban makeover then the result becomes a Pina Colada Flan. This mouthwatering pineapple-flavored flan is the perfect dessert item for all occasions.

The flan is slowly baked with a cream filling and you top it off with diced pineapples and coconut custard. The burst of different flavors will make you feel like you are on a beach, with each bite you would feel a gently cool ocean breeze flowing.

Yankee In Havana

A perfect drink to go along with Cuban foods. The drink consists of bourbon, honey syrup, and fresh lemon juice, finished with Angels Envy port, and Peychaud Bitter spitz.

The drink helps to elevate your appetite so that you can enjoy your meal even more. This cocktail can be found in the best Modern Cuban Restaurant and Bar in Queens, so you can either make it at home or visit Havana Dreams so

Calle Ocho Coconut Shrimp

Savory coconut battered deep-fried shrimp that you will eat till you drop. Coconut shrimp is the best late-night bite. If you serve this delicious shrimp at a party you will only see an empty plate moments later.

Coconut shrimp is a crowd-pleaser and easy to make. What else do you need from a mouthwatering dish? Nothing is the answer so next time when you have friends over, don’t think and serve them Calle Ocho coconut shrimp.

Ropa Vieja

The traditional food of Cuba, Ropa Vieja will leave you full and satisfied in every sense of the word. Ropa Vieja is full of flavors and full of culture and tradition.

Although Ropa Vieja means old clothes because of how it looks after it is cooked. But looks as it always were, is deceiving in this case also because it tastes like heaven. Every piece of meat you put in your mouth will give you a new sensation.

Ropa Vieja consists of shredded pull pork and is normally served with black beans but you can replace the beans with tostones or plantains which brings out all of the flavors and enjoy the dish more.

Know the full recipe for Ropa Vieja from here.

Arroz Morro

Arroz Morro is simply Cuban black beans and rice. This dish is simple and easy to make in just 30 minutes. With just 5 ingredients delicious Arroz Morro is made.  

This simple dish is so delicious because it is made in a single pot. Single-pot dishes bring out all the flavor in place and give the meal something extra. The burst of flavor is why I love Arroz Morro so much.

Nowadays you will find capsicums, bacon bits, and onions added to Arroz Moro this is not traditional Cuban style adding extra ingredients will only add more flavors to the dish. You have to be careful when introducing a new item to a dish that has been perfected over the years.

Interested for Arroz Morro recipe? How to make authentic Cuban black beans and rice (Cuban Style)

Havana Drams Mojito 

Mojito is a traditional Cuban drink. It is with 5 ingredients which consist of white rum, sugar, lime juice, soda water, and mint.  

If you are in the mood to try out something different then go visit Havana Dreams in Astoria where you can have a Mojito that is out of this world. The restaurant and bar have taken this cocktail to a new level. It consists of Bacardi 8 years old, fresh lime juice, and fresh Yerba Buena Gomme syrup, topped with club soda. 

Havana Dreams mojito is the best way to visit Havana without leaving your bar sit.

Coquito Tres Leches

I will end it with the best cake that came out of Latin America. Although it originated in England the Cuban have found comfort in this dessert and have made their own.

The tres leches cake can be easily made and as it has alcohol in it, over the years it has become one of the favorite cakes to have after or before a meal.

If you haven’t tried this heavenly dessert then 2022 is the year your will change forever.

What is the most popular food of Cuba?

One of the most popular traditional food of Cuba is Ropa Vieja. The shredded beef dish is made using various ingredients which is why the dish is full of flavors and that’s why it is a favorite food of a nation. 

Rice and beans dish has a soft corner for all Cubans and that’s why almost all the popular dishes include rice and beans


Read this article to add more flavors to your daily meal with the above traditional Cuban foods. I have mentioned 15 traditional food of Cuba. Read about them and decide which one you want to make at home. All of these foods are easy to make and I have shared the recipe with you as well which will make your life easier and full of flavors.

This year give in to your taste bud’s true desire; to eat traditional Cuban Foods: All you need to taste in 2023.

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