This is kind of a go-to place when I'm around this part of the city in and around lunchtime. It's not the best restaurant in the city and chances are you're not going to rave about the food after eating here but for a state run restaurant (Habaguanex) it's not bad....and it's located steps away from one of my favourite places, the Conde de Villanueva LCDH. That's usually when I end up eating here, either before or after visiting the cigar shop.
I can't find any information or exact dates but around the late 19th century until I don't know when, this used to be 'La Imprenta La Habanera', a printing house. The Havana City Historian’s office restored this space and inserted this lovely restaurant with it's typographical decor that depicts it's prior life. When you look around you'll see the furniture is shaped into numbers and letters and scattered pieces of antique printer's paraphernalia some of which I don't doubt was here when they began the restoration.
They've done an amazing job on the renovations and although the chairs aren't the most comfortable we are never there long enough for it to make a difference. It's almost like eating in a quasi museum. As far as the food goes it's average but a bargain for the price with main courses ranging from the chicken at $5.90 to the Lobster at $18.00 and appetizers for $2.50-$5.05. One thing I don't like about this place is that there are always items unavailable on their tapas menu and on this last visit they were actually sold out of all of the 8 items. I came with a couple of friends, a Canadian and an American and they enjoyed it as did I. The food is hit and miss and some things are better than others and a persons tastes and expectations will determine what their opinion of this place will be. I say, don't go in with high expectations because this isn't a privately owned restaurant like the many that are opening up recently and isn't run that way. I have never been disappointed, except in the case of the missing tapas, and it's excellent value for your dollar. It's definitely worth a try if you're in the neighbourhood.
La ImprentaMercaderes No 208
entre Lamparilla y Amargura
Habana Vieja, La Habana
Phone:+53 7 8649581
Red Peppers stuffed with Blue Cheese 5.05
House Soup 3.50
Fried Chickpea 4.00
Bacon, Beef, Chicken Kebabs 8.50
Lamb Stew 8.00
Braised Squid 8.00