Clothing and Shoes
Men seeking a classic guayabera shirt should head to El Quitrín (Obispo #163, e/ San Ignacio y Mercaderes, tel. 07/862-0810, daily 9 a.m.–5 p.m.) or Guayabera Habana (Calle Tacó #20, e/ O’Reilly y Empedrado, Mon.–Sat. 9 a.m.–6 p.m.). El Quitrín also sells embroideries and lace for ladies, plus chic blouses and skirts. Most items are Cuban-made and of merely average quality.
Nearby, Sombreros Jipi Japa (Obispo, esq. Compostela, Mon.–Fri. 9 a.m.–5 p.m.) is the place to go for hats of every shade. La Habana (Obispo, e/ Habana y Compostela, tel. 07/861-5292; and Obispo, esq. Aguacate; Mon.–Fri. 9 a.m.–5 p.m.) offers a reasonable stock of shoes and leather goods.
For hip Italian items head to Paul & Shark (Muralla #105, e/ San Ignacio y Mercaderes, tel. 07/866-4326, www.paulshark.it, Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–7 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.–1 p.m.), on Plaza Vieja. This upscale boutique sells quality silk blouses, skirts, and other designer wear, including jackets and pants for men.
Vedado and Plaza de la Revolución
Galerías Amazonas (Calle 12, e/ 23 y 25, tel. 07/66-2438, Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–7 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.–2 p.m.) is a mall with several shops devoted to fashion, including designer labels. For quality imported shoes, try the gallery’s Peletería Claudia.
Adidas and Nike have their own well-stocked branches selling sportswear in the Galería Habana Libre (Calle 25, e/ L y M, daily 8 a.m.–7 p.m.).
Playa (Miramar and Beyond)
The Complejo Comercial Comodoro (3ra Av., esq. 84, tel. 07/204-5551, daily 8 a.m.–7 p.m.), adjoining the Hotel Comodoro, has outlets for United Colors of Benetton, Givenchy, Versace, and other name-brand designers.
The boutiques at La Maison (Calle 16 #701, esq. 7ma, tel. 07/204-1543, Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–6:45 p.m.) sell upscale imported clothing, shoes, and duty-free items.
Likewise, Le Select (5ta Av., esq. 30, tel. 07/204-7410, Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–8 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.–2 p.m.), with its ritzy chandeliers and marble statues, is as close as you’ll come to Bond Street or Rodeo Drive. This little Harrods in the tropics even has a ground-floor delicatessen, plus an array of boutiques selling high fashion, cosmetics, and the like.
Casa Verano (Calle 18 #4706, e/ 41 y 43, tel. 07/204-1982, Mon.–Fri. 10:30 a.m.–6:30 p.m., Sat. 9:30 a.m.–1 p.m.) sells Cuban-designed clothes, including beautiful one-of-a-kind Verano dresses and straw hats; upstairs men’s fashions are for sale, including shoes.
Adidas (3ra Av., e/ 70 y 82, Mon.–Sat. 9:30 a.m.–7 p.m., Sun. 9:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.), in the Miramar Trade Center, sells sportswear. The Miramar Trade Center also has a dozen or so upscale boutiques selling imported designer clothing.
© Christopher P. Baker from Moon Cuba, 5th Edition