Change is rippling through Cuba’s dining scene. The island’s cuisine has long suffered a dismal reputation, which is unsurprising after the food-rationing days of the Special Period. But thanks to a recent reversal of the laws prohibiting private businesses, there’s been an explosion of paladares (home-run restaurants) building up a buzz around “nouveau Cuban” cuisine. Havana leads the charge, offering everything from fine dining in palatial old apartments to hipster tapas bars. Navigating the food and drink scene is one of the best things to do in Cuba. But also snatch up any chance to dine in your casa particular (home stay), where it’s all about robust slow-cooked stews like ropa viega (shredded beef) and epic tropical fruit breakfasts.