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This Cuban bar is an atmospheric hidden gem, worth visiting for its cocktails alone – no wonder it fills up quickly.
Montparnasse is full of surprising little gems, but this Cuban bar and restaurant is one of the best and most authentic. You’d never know from the outside, but its interior positively reeks of the Caribbean, with cigars all over the place, old leather sofas, various other Cuban knick-knacks and portraits of famous heads of state. The main room fits twenty or so, and there’s also a small terrace with two tables (if full, smokers can also make use of a dedicated indoor smoking area).
The menu offers around 30 tempting Cuban cocktails (think €8-€10 a cocktail, €18 for an XL version, €35 for a litre). It’s difficult to choose among so many, but make sure you try the Ernest Hemingway with Havana Especial rum, grapefruit juice and lime (and avoid the house mojito, which is rather bland). A non-alcoholic menu is also available, offering an equally varied selection of original and classic concoctions.
The drawbacks here are that you have to order at the bar (or risk irking a hot and bothered barman), and the atmosphere isn’t relaxing at all. It’s best to come here during the week, when less busy, and to avoid ordering food at peak times altogether, as the wait staff seem permanently harassed. But this aside, Cubana Café is worth a trip if you’re after a decently priced and inventive cocktail.
47 rue Vavin
|Transport:||Metro: Vavin or Notre-Dame-des-Champs|
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sun 10am-3am|