NYFW SS18 Photo Diary (2 of 2)

September 15, 2017



















Growing up does a few things to you. Personally, those few things include a palate for olives especially in a stiff martini, 3-inch block heels, binging food documentaries, and gaining a ton of valuable lessons only a few a few bumps and turns can provide. In the last NYFW Photo Diary (1 of 2), I said that I was doing it differently this year. I want to reveal a bit more insight than just that vague sentence I underwhelmingly crafted together. Whoops, I think I just made up the word “underwhelmingly."

Women grow up thinking they need to be with someone. With friends. With a man. With family. We’re very rarely taught to be autonomous. We’re told to have friends, to be in a group, to deal with petty bullshit to obtain the feeling of inclusion. Quantity feels more significant than quality. This piece of wisdom probably came to most people right after college. And let me tell you, wisdom is a process for sure. So I took this NYFW more solo, but don’t be mistaken, it wasn’t entirely solo. Those I did hung out with were pure gold. Unicorns of their kind. Quality friendships like no other. And it felt easy. And light. And it was in the moment. No expectations, no pressure. And I believe that no pressure starts at the core. It starts with me. So again, I find myself circling back to “me.” I adopted a self-care attitude and threw away this notion of FOMO that at times, were very detrimental to my better decision-making skills. How did I practice self-care during NYFW? It’s quite simple actually. Whenever I was commuting from one show to another whether it was in an Uber, on a train, or walking ferociously, it was MY moment. I took deep breaths and pretty vocal sighs. I would retire my phone for a few minutes. And go to this metaphorical empty box in my mind and turn off. Then I tell myself I’m a badass bitch and I’m going to own this shit so go, go, go, go! I drank less, only sipping cocktails or champagne in the evening and limited myself to 2 (maybe 3) max. I said no often. And I chose food. Yes, I chose food over fashion.

And it seems silly, but it truly helps. And I guess this truly means that my priorities are changing. Or that I’m getting older. Either way, I’m absolutely okay with that. And with myself.

Outfit 1

Outfit 2
Coat - Vintage



September 15, 2017
Growing up does a few things to you. Personally, those few things include a palate for olives especially in a stiff martini, 3-inch block heels, binging food documentaries, and gaining a ton of valuable lessons only a few a few bumps and turns can provide. In the last NYFW Photo Diary (1 of 2), I said that I was doing it differently this year. I want to reveal a bit more insight than just that vague sentence I underwhelmingly crafted together. …


















Growing up does a few things to you. Personally, those few things include a palate for olives especially in a stiff martini, 3-inch block heels, binging food documentaries, and gaining a ton of valuable lessons only a few a few bumps and turns can provide. In the last NYFW Photo Diary (1 of 2), I said that I was doing it differently this year. I want to reveal a bit more insight than just that vague sentence I underwhelmingly crafted together. Whoops, I think I just made up the word “underwhelmingly."

Women grow up thinking they need to be with someone. With friends. With a man. With family. We’re very rarely taught to be autonomous. We’re told to have friends, to be in a group, to deal with petty bullshit to obtain the feeling of inclusion. Quantity feels more significant than quality. This piece of wisdom probably came to most people right after college. And let me tell you, wisdom is a process for sure. So I took this NYFW more solo, but don’t be mistaken, it wasn’t entirely solo. Those I did hung out with were pure gold. Unicorns of their kind. Quality friendships like no other. And it felt easy. And light. And it was in the moment. No expectations, no pressure. And I believe that no pressure starts at the core. It starts with me. So again, I find myself circling back to “me.” I adopted a self-care attitude and threw away this notion of FOMO that at times, were very detrimental to my better decision-making skills. How did I practice self-care during NYFW? It’s quite simple actually. Whenever I was commuting from one show to another whether it was in an Uber, on a train, or walking ferociously, it was MY moment. I took deep breaths and pretty vocal sighs. I would retire my phone for a few minutes. And go to this metaphorical empty box in my mind and turn off. Then I tell myself I’m a badass bitch and I’m going to own this shit so go, go, go, go! I drank less, only sipping cocktails or champagne in the evening and limited myself to 2 (maybe 3) max. I said no often. And I chose food. Yes, I chose food over fashion.

And it seems silly, but it truly helps. And I guess this truly means that my priorities are changing. Or that I’m getting older. Either way, I’m absolutely okay with that. And with myself.

Outfit 1

Outfit 2
Coat - Vintage



NYFW SS18 Photo Diary (1 of 2)

September 12, 2017



























I’ve been doing New York Fashion Week for over 4 years now. And somehow, I am still experiencing firsts, like going backstage for the very first time and it being a phenomenal designer like Bibhu Mohapatra with Preciosa. Not only that, I still manage to always do each NYFW a little different. This year, I was able to do it with much autonomy and lots of breathing exercises slash “me-time” in between shows.  And I was able to do it with some of the most amazing people—some new faces, old faces, and well, my man’s face. All of which lies transparently on my Instagram story and lucky for me, they expire…forever. This is one time out of the year where I can see all my fashion friends all at once. And we’re taking full advantage.

One night over endless cocktails and house tunes, my friends and I have a reached a unanimous consensus that this is the CRAZIEST NYFW yet. So just an indication of how absolutely insane this Fashion Week, my right ankle is swollen and I can’t feel my legs (heels and too much sprinting between shows). I always said I needed to do more cardio. What a perfect opp. Along with the rare cardio I’m getting, I’ve been receiving an eyeful of style inspiration. These collections I see mix femme and raw, street elements seamlessly. I’m excited to see what else I’ll be seeing on the runway and on the street.  Because let’s face it, street style is always more appealing to me than dressed up theatrics.

Stay tuned for Part 2. 



September 12, 2017
I’ve been doing New York Fashion Week for over 4 years now. And somehow, I am still experiencing firsts, like going backstage for the very first time and it being a phenomenal designer like Bibhu Mohapatra with Preciosa. Not only that, I still manage to always do each NYFW a little different. This year, I was able to do it with much autonomy and lots of breathing exercises slash “me-time” in between shows.  And I was able to do it with some of …


























I’ve been doing New York Fashion Week for over 4 years now. And somehow, I am still experiencing firsts, like going backstage for the very first time and it being a phenomenal designer like Bibhu Mohapatra with Preciosa. Not only that, I still manage to always do each NYFW a little different. This year, I was able to do it with much autonomy and lots of breathing exercises slash “me-time” in between shows.  And I was able to do it with some of the most amazing people—some new faces, old faces, and well, my man’s face. All of which lies transparently on my Instagram story and lucky for me, they expire…forever. This is one time out of the year where I can see all my fashion friends all at once. And we’re taking full advantage.

One night over endless cocktails and house tunes, my friends and I have a reached a unanimous consensus that this is the CRAZIEST NYFW yet. So just an indication of how absolutely insane this Fashion Week, my right ankle is swollen and I can’t feel my legs (heels and too much sprinting between shows). I always said I needed to do more cardio. What a perfect opp. Along with the rare cardio I’m getting, I’ve been receiving an eyeful of style inspiration. These collections I see mix femme and raw, street elements seamlessly. I’m excited to see what else I’ll be seeing on the runway and on the street.  Because let’s face it, street style is always more appealing to me than dressed up theatrics.

Stay tuned for Part 2. 



Hotel Saratoga

September 6, 2017













How can I possibly go wrong when two of my favorite human beings –Beyoncé and Rihanna –also chose Hotel Saratoga when they came to Cuba? I mean, the choice seemed obvious, didn’t it. Too obvious.

I'm a sucker for details, for thoughtfully crafted experiences. Saratoga seemed to just get me. Like in my past life, I created Saratoga (and of course, I was Cuban). With their Cuban Art Deco vibes, unlimited wifi (which is absolutely rare in Cuba), a rooftop pool, important necessities at our fingertips: currency exchange, easy access to taxis and car rental, being located in the heart of Old Havana, having some of the friendliest staff, serving some of the best cafe con leche and Cuban sandwiches, and oh my god, the gorgeous bathroom. Each room seems well thought out for our comfort. They're equipped with a mini bar, toiletries like a pair of toothbrushes and toothpastes, a pair of soap, yes, even a pair of shampoo, bath bombs, everything in twos except the bottle of women perfume placed in the center of the toiletry stand. How cute, they care about my stench. I smelled like Cuban flowers and church. And I strangely liked it. Blend in with your surrounding, am I right? The only complaint I would have is how absolutely quiet this hotel is, which really isn’t a complaint at all. If you’re looking for something lit several floors below your room, this is not the place. There were any evenings where I went down to the lobby and listened to a live pianist while everyone sipped on daiquiris and mojitos. I enjoyed that.

So would I recommend this hotel? Yes, in a heartbeat! We really felt like the best versions of ourselves in Saratoga. It made the transition from what we knew back home to the full Cuban experience very smooth. It’s also a very entrepreneur-friendly place (because a girl gottaaa work).


Hotel Saratoga
Paseo de Martí, La Habana, Cuba

Images by Pedro Angel Morales & Lynn Kim Do



September 6, 2017
How can I possibly go wrong when two of my favorite human beings –Beyoncé and Rihanna –also chose Hotel Saratoga when they came to Cuba? I mean, the choice seemed obvious, didn’t it. Too obvious. I'm a sucker for details, for thoughtfully crafted experiences. Saratoga seemed to just get me. Like in my past life, I created Saratoga (and of course, I was Cuban). With their Cuban Art Deco vibes, unlimited wifi (which is absolutely rare in Cuba…












How can I possibly go wrong when two of my favorite human beings –Beyoncé and Rihanna –also chose Hotel Saratoga when they came to Cuba? I mean, the choice seemed obvious, didn’t it. Too obvious.

I'm a sucker for details, for thoughtfully crafted experiences. Saratoga seemed to just get me. Like in my past life, I created Saratoga (and of course, I was Cuban). With their Cuban Art Deco vibes, unlimited wifi (which is absolutely rare in Cuba), a rooftop pool, important necessities at our fingertips: currency exchange, easy access to taxis and car rental, being located in the heart of Old Havana, having some of the friendliest staff, serving some of the best cafe con leche and Cuban sandwiches, and oh my god, the gorgeous bathroom. Each room seems well thought out for our comfort. They're equipped with a mini bar, toiletries like a pair of toothbrushes and toothpastes, a pair of soap, yes, even a pair of shampoo, bath bombs, everything in twos except the bottle of women perfume placed in the center of the toiletry stand. How cute, they care about my stench. I smelled like Cuban flowers and church. And I strangely liked it. Blend in with your surrounding, am I right? The only complaint I would have is how absolutely quiet this hotel is, which really isn’t a complaint at all. If you’re looking for something lit several floors below your room, this is not the place. There were any evenings where I went down to the lobby and listened to a live pianist while everyone sipped on daiquiris and mojitos. I enjoyed that.

So would I recommend this hotel? Yes, in a heartbeat! We really felt like the best versions of ourselves in Saratoga. It made the transition from what we knew back home to the full Cuban experience very smooth. It’s also a very entrepreneur-friendly place (because a girl gottaaa work).


Hotel Saratoga
Paseo de Martí, La Habana, Cuba

Images by Pedro Angel Morales & Lynn Kim Do



cuba travel guide

September 1, 2017













Cuba is unlike any destination I have been to. One reason why Cuba is so unique is because of the travel ban that was recently lifted by Obama and then reinstated by Trump. Cuba's tourism is new. It's evolving in the face of the growing tourism. It's also a unique place because it really in it's own world. A true time capsule. And we're just living in it when we're there. Trust me, they are not living for us. The assimilation for foreigners is different. Is new. And I'm here to help you navigate Cuba (although I do encourage spontaneity and an open heart in the face of something new and challenging). This is everything you need to currently know when traveling to Cuba.

Tips 
1. As of today, Trump's Cuba Ban is not in effect yet. It takes time for legislation to go through. For instance, Obama's Cuba ban lift took four months. Clearly, time is of the essence! We decided to go now in fear that Trump's Ban will be in effect sooner than later. However, keep in mind that Americans can't travel to Cuba for tourism reasons. This is still true under Obama's current law as well. However, under Obama's law, it is much easier to travel. The 12 categories of travel is loose and easy to navigate around. For example, I knew someone who went to Cuba with tons of school supplies and used the reason "Humanitarian". Others put "People to People." However, when we traveled with JetBlue, there were no questions asked. It went very smooth. 
2. Visas can be purchased at the airline you are using to get there. We flew JetBlue and paid $50 (debit/credit only) for our visa and it was a simple process. 
3. Make sure you give yourself ample time at the airport. I suggest 2.5-3 hours before your boarding time. 
4. Outlets and voltage are the same as American and European's. (110v and 220v) 
5. Exchange your USD currency to Canadian (or Euros) before jumping on the plane to Cuba. USD gets an additional tax on top of the currency exchange. If you want to exchange it at your branch, call your bank and order your currency 5 days before your intended pick up date. That's the most economic way. If you don't have the time, you can certainly exchange it at your airport. Once you arrive to Havana, there are currency exchange booths at the airport.  
6. Tap water is dangerous to consumer here. There are plenty of bottled water available to purchase. I also brought a water filter bottle to filter my water when I brush my teeth. Showers and baths should be okay! 
7. Tip is 10% and occasionally included in the check. Always check! If you feel that the service is exceptional, tip 15%! 
8. The shittier the vehicle, the cheaper the taxi. To be safe, take yellow cabs but we did take older vehicles once or twice and survived. Take caution. 
9. Don't buy Cuban cigars from the street. In fact, buy cigars, rum, and coffee from government owned stores for the best price and for authenticity. 
10. Not every public bathroom will have toilet paper, bring napkins with you before you walk into a less modern restaurant, bar, or any public bathroom. 
11. If you're going to stay at an Airbnb with a family, bring American candy, chocolates, or toiletries as gifts. They'd really appreciate it! 
12. Wifi and internet are scarce here. You can purchase wifi cards which they sell by the hour. Some hotels have free wifi, too. We chose Saratoga hotel which had free wifi for the duration of our stay. 
13. Google maps work in Cuba! When you have internet, map your destination before you go. On airplane mode, it will still tell you your current location. If you're anticipating zero wifi connection, download the free map.me app and download Cuba's map. 
14. SnapChat does not work here! You also can not download apps from the App Store once you're in Cuba. Most apps that are already downloaded on your phone should work with minor glitches here and there. (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube works.) 
15. Book tours and excursions in advance (a month or two weeks prior) for the best price! But if you didn't, don't worry. You can certainly book something when you're there but you might not get the best prices. Scroll down more for recommended tours and excursions. 
16. It gets hot here! Even if you're not planning to go to the beach, bring easy to breathe clothes and sunscreen. 
17. The best time to go is December to May. Dry season and the hottest season is end of May to August. End of August to end of November is hurricane season.






What To Do
1. Explore Old Havana: we did this almost every single day and found something new and fascinating every single time. This area is where we found the food scene to be the most delicious.  
2. Take an Old Car Tour, a must do! And do this one your first full day if you can. It's best if you reserve a week or two in advance but we were able to get a beautiful car with a tour guide by emailing a service a day in advance. Nothing beats the feeling of being in an 40s vintage car with the roof down, seeing some of the city's most beautiful sights, and learning about Cuba's culture and history. We booked with Vintage Car Tours.  
3. Spend the entire evening at Fábrica de Arte Cubano. This is some of the best all around experience EVER. It's a restaurant / art / live music / shoppe / night club. All of those in one! I don't understand why we don't have something similar in NYC. Oh I know why. It's because we're very weird about partying and drinking around art. The place opens from 8pm-3am. Come before 9:15pm because the lines get intense! The party gets lit around 11pm. There are restaurants and cafes inside. There's also HUGE mojitos for $10 at the bar near the entrance. Good luck finishing it. 
4. Catch the sunset at Malecon and enjoy the scenic walk with booze in hand. 
5. Take a day trip to Santa Maria beach. Roughly 30 min from Old Havana.  
6. Take a full day trip to Vinales Valley. It's beautiful and it is a great place to buy coffee and get the best cigars.






Where To Stay

1. Hotel Saratoga 
2. Loft Habana 
3. Boutique Vedado 5tay8 
4. Hotel Ambos Mundos 
5. Hostal Chez Nous La Habana Cuba 
6. Airbnb - Hostal del Angel 
7. AirBnb - Boutique Apartment 
8. AirBnb - Los Balcones de Oficios. Habana Vieja 
9. Airbnb - Animas







Where To Eat / Drink
1. O'Reilly 304: One of our favorite restaurant in Cuba by far! They have amazing tapas, great live music, and their cocktails are some of the best I've had. Ever. Although their food isn't authentic Cuban food, the vibes and quality of O'Reilly's dishes are impressive. Try their gin cocktails! To eat, order their civiche and try their butternut squash soup with blue cheese chunks. OMG 
2. La Makina: We loved the quaint, intimate, and rooftop dining here. Their fried pork chops were so tasty! You must also try the frituras de malanga. Wash down your food with the freshest mango daiquiri. 
3. Sia Kara: We came here for lunch but wish we were also able to come back and see the dinner scene. Our coffees were divine and it's presentation was such a cute touch. The space itself has so much character. Order the mixed appetizer plate so you can taste a little of everything. You won't regret it. 
4. El Chanchullero: This restaurant is very popular among tourists but it's actually lives up to the food hype. Expect a wait but trust me, it's worth it. The cuisine is young and a more modern rendition of Cuban food is fantastic. Expect OD meat and being satisfied all the way through. The space is small but they have a cute upstairs section too. Oh, and the price is almost too good to be true. 
5. Habana 61: We stopped here for lunch one afternoon and found their ropa vieja absolutely delicious. Their chickpea broth with vegetable rice balls are a vegans dream come true. 
6. El Concinero: This restaurant sits right next to Fábrica de Arte Cubano on top of a working old mill. It's Brooklyn vibes meets Cuba. Reservations will guarantee that you won't wait but the bar / waiting area will give you a nice view. If you don't want to make reservations, head there around 7pm for dinner before going into the art museum next door. Their ropa vieja was also delicious. 
7. Floridita: Touristy but who gives a fuck. Go for the live music, to see Hemingway's statue sitting at the same spot he use to occupy. Order a daiquiri (Hemingways' favorite drink there). Go for the crazy amount of people jammed into one dope spot and friendly bartenders serving daiquiris in martini glasses.

One of the largest consensus I had from friends who have been to Cuba was that their food scene was not too great. The "lack of resources" made dining hard and taste even harder to come by. We'd like to disagree. We found some amazing restaurants that impressed our tastebuds, and I'd say that we're some of the pickiest eaters. You'll also learn patience on this trip because food takes time here. But it will totally be worth it. Some dishes you must try: ropa viejes, sandwich cubano, frituras de malanga.  


September 1, 2017
Cuba is unlike any destination I have been to. One reason why Cuba is so unique is because of the travel ban that was recently lifted by Obama and then reinstated by Trump. Cuba's tourism is new. It's evolving in the face of the growing tourism. It's also a unique place because it really in it's own world. A true time capsule. And we're just living in it when we're there. Trust me, they are not living for us. The assimil…












Cuba is unlike any destination I have been to. One reason why Cuba is so unique is because of the travel ban that was recently lifted by Obama and then reinstated by Trump. Cuba's tourism is new. It's evolving in the face of the growing tourism. It's also a unique place because it really in it's own world. A true time capsule. And we're just living in it when we're there. Trust me, they are not living for us. The assimilation for foreigners is different. Is new. And I'm here to help you navigate Cuba (although I do encourage spontaneity and an open heart in the face of something new and challenging). This is everything you need to currently know when traveling to Cuba.

Tips 
1. As of today, Trump's Cuba Ban is not in effect yet. It takes time for legislation to go through. For instance, Obama's Cuba ban lift took four months. Clearly, time is of the essence! We decided to go now in fear that Trump's Ban will be in effect sooner than later. However, keep in mind that Americans can't travel to Cuba for tourism reasons. This is still true under Obama's current law as well. However, under Obama's law, it is much easier to travel. The 12 categories of travel is loose and easy to navigate around. For example, I knew someone who went to Cuba with tons of school supplies and used the reason "Humanitarian". Others put "People to People." However, when we traveled with JetBlue, there were no questions asked. It went very smooth. 
2. Visas can be purchased at the airline you are using to get there. We flew JetBlue and paid $50 (debit/credit only) for our visa and it was a simple process. 
3. Make sure you give yourself ample time at the airport. I suggest 2.5-3 hours before your boarding time. 
4. Outlets and voltage are the same as American and European's. (110v and 220v) 
5. Exchange your USD currency to Canadian (or Euros) before jumping on the plane to Cuba. USD gets an additional tax on top of the currency exchange. If you want to exchange it at your branch, call your bank and order your currency 5 days before your intended pick up date. That's the most economic way. If you don't have the time, you can certainly exchange it at your airport. Once you arrive to Havana, there are currency exchange booths at the airport.  
6. Tap water is dangerous to consumer here. There are plenty of bottled water available to purchase. I also brought a water filter bottle to filter my water when I brush my teeth. Showers and baths should be okay! 
7. Tip is 10% and occasionally included in the check. Always check! If you feel that the service is exceptional, tip 15%! 
8. The shittier the vehicle, the cheaper the taxi. To be safe, take yellow cabs but we did take older vehicles once or twice and survived. Take caution. 
9. Don't buy Cuban cigars from the street. In fact, buy cigars, rum, and coffee from government owned stores for the best price and for authenticity. 
10. Not every public bathroom will have toilet paper, bring napkins with you before you walk into a less modern restaurant, bar, or any public bathroom. 
11. If you're going to stay at an Airbnb with a family, bring American candy, chocolates, or toiletries as gifts. They'd really appreciate it! 
12. Wifi and internet are scarce here. You can purchase wifi cards which they sell by the hour. Some hotels have free wifi, too. We chose Saratoga hotel which had free wifi for the duration of our stay. 
13. Google maps work in Cuba! When you have internet, map your destination before you go. On airplane mode, it will still tell you your current location. If you're anticipating zero wifi connection, download the free map.me app and download Cuba's map. 
14. SnapChat does not work here! You also can not download apps from the App Store once you're in Cuba. Most apps that are already downloaded on your phone should work with minor glitches here and there. (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube works.) 
15. Book tours and excursions in advance (a month or two weeks prior) for the best price! But if you didn't, don't worry. You can certainly book something when you're there but you might not get the best prices. Scroll down more for recommended tours and excursions. 
16. It gets hot here! Even if you're not planning to go to the beach, bring easy to breathe clothes and sunscreen. 
17. The best time to go is December to May. Dry season and the hottest season is end of May to August. End of August to end of November is hurricane season.






What To Do
1. Explore Old Havana: we did this almost every single day and found something new and fascinating every single time. This area is where we found the food scene to be the most delicious.  
2. Take an Old Car Tour, a must do! And do this one your first full day if you can. It's best if you reserve a week or two in advance but we were able to get a beautiful car with a tour guide by emailing a service a day in advance. Nothing beats the feeling of being in an 40s vintage car with the roof down, seeing some of the city's most beautiful sights, and learning about Cuba's culture and history. We booked with Vintage Car Tours.  
3. Spend the entire evening at Fábrica de Arte Cubano. This is some of the best all around experience EVER. It's a restaurant / art / live music / shoppe / night club. All of those in one! I don't understand why we don't have something similar in NYC. Oh I know why. It's because we're very weird about partying and drinking around art. The place opens from 8pm-3am. Come before 9:15pm because the lines get intense! The party gets lit around 11pm. There are restaurants and cafes inside. There's also HUGE mojitos for $10 at the bar near the entrance. Good luck finishing it. 
4. Catch the sunset at Malecon and enjoy the scenic walk with booze in hand. 
5. Take a day trip to Santa Maria beach. Roughly 30 min from Old Havana.  
6. Take a full day trip to Vinales Valley. It's beautiful and it is a great place to buy coffee and get the best cigars.






Where To Stay

1. Hotel Saratoga 
2. Loft Habana 
3. Boutique Vedado 5tay8 
4. Hotel Ambos Mundos 
5. Hostal Chez Nous La Habana Cuba 
6. Airbnb - Hostal del Angel 
7. AirBnb - Boutique Apartment 
8. AirBnb - Los Balcones de Oficios. Habana Vieja 
9. Airbnb - Animas







Where To Eat / Drink
1. O'Reilly 304: One of our favorite restaurant in Cuba by far! They have amazing tapas, great live music, and their cocktails are some of the best I've had. Ever. Although their food isn't authentic Cuban food, the vibes and quality of O'Reilly's dishes are impressive. Try their gin cocktails! To eat, order their civiche and try their butternut squash soup with blue cheese chunks. OMG 
2. La Makina: We loved the quaint, intimate, and rooftop dining here. Their fried pork chops were so tasty! You must also try the frituras de malanga. Wash down your food with the freshest mango daiquiri. 
3. Sia Kara: We came here for lunch but wish we were also able to come back and see the dinner scene. Our coffees were divine and it's presentation was such a cute touch. The space itself has so much character. Order the mixed appetizer plate so you can taste a little of everything. You won't regret it. 
4. El Chanchullero: This restaurant is very popular among tourists but it's actually lives up to the food hype. Expect a wait but trust me, it's worth it. The cuisine is young and a more modern rendition of Cuban food is fantastic. Expect OD meat and being satisfied all the way through. The space is small but they have a cute upstairs section too. Oh, and the price is almost too good to be true. 
5. Habana 61: We stopped here for lunch one afternoon and found their ropa vieja absolutely delicious. Their chickpea broth with vegetable rice balls are a vegans dream come true. 
6. El Concinero: This restaurant sits right next to Fábrica de Arte Cubano on top of a working old mill. It's Brooklyn vibes meets Cuba. Reservations will guarantee that you won't wait but the bar / waiting area will give you a nice view. If you don't want to make reservations, head there around 7pm for dinner before going into the art museum next door. Their ropa vieja was also delicious. 
7. Floridita: Touristy but who gives a fuck. Go for the live music, to see Hemingway's statue sitting at the same spot he use to occupy. Order a daiquiri (Hemingways' favorite drink there). Go for the crazy amount of people jammed into one dope spot and friendly bartenders serving daiquiris in martini glasses.

One of the largest consensus I had from friends who have been to Cuba was that their food scene was not too great. The "lack of resources" made dining hard and taste even harder to come by. We'd like to disagree. We found some amazing restaurants that impressed our tastebuds, and I'd say that we're some of the pickiest eaters. You'll also learn patience on this trip because food takes time here. But it will totally be worth it. Some dishes you must try: ropa viejes, sandwich cubano, frituras de malanga.