Playa is ground zero for the hip private lounge club craze now sweeping Havana.

To mingle with Cuba’s artsy bohemians, head to Café Madrigal (Calle 17 #809, e/ 2 y 4, tel. 07/831-2433, Tues.-Sun. 6pm-2am), upstairs in the home of film-maker Rafael Rosales. This is a spot for tapas and a brain-freezingly chilled daiquiri.

One of the coolest bars in town, Milano Lounge Club (3ra #2404 e/ 24 y 26, tel. 07/203-4641, daily noon-3am) combines a chic glass-walled modernist restaurant and outdoor lounge club where a DJ spins techno tunes and Ernesto the barman puts on a Cirque Soleil standard show behind the bar. Expats consider the Miami-style alfresco lounge bar at La Fontana (3ra Av. #305, esq. 46, tel. 07/202-8337, daily noon-2am) a second home for its cool blue-lit chic and great cocktails.

A patron enjoys drinks at La Fontana.

Expats consider the Miami-style alfresco lounge bar at La Fontana a second home. Photo © Los viajes del Cangrejo, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

And you’re forgiven if you think you’ve landed in Miami’s South Beach at Kpricho (Calle 94 #110 e/ 1ra y 3ra, Miramar, tel. 07/206-4167), a super stylish and sexy lounge club with a hot late-night party scene. Same, too, for Melem (Av. 1ra e/ 58 y 60, tel. 07/203-0433, 8pm-3am), a chic and classy contemporary take on a cocktail club; it gets in the groove after midnight. A pity it permits smoking!

Drawing monied young Cubans, the Hotel Meliá Habana’s chic alfresco Sport Bar (3ra Av., e/ 76 y 80, tel. 07/204-8500, Mon.-Fri. noon-3am and Sat.-Sun. 9am-3am) has a hip South Beach vibe, with all-around sports TVs, a DJ, and occasional live music.

And about the only “wine bar” in town is classy air-conditioned Club de Vino Halo’s (Av. 3ra y Calle 78, tel. 07/204-2919), on the west side of Edificio Barcelona at the Miramar Trade Center. It serves only one white and one red by the glass. However, you can buy bottles—mostly Argentinian, Chilean, and Spanish—from a large international selection.


Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Havana.