It’s been a while since I’ve last visited Havana – this spot used to be one of my go-to’s for brunch when I was back in highschool a long while ago. Havana has definitely seen a major upgrade and a switch of hands – as the owners own Belgard and the Vancouver Urban Winery as well. They kept a lot of the vintage parts of Havana (ie, everyone’s scrawling on the walls) but upgraded the space to make it more modern but more Cuban, if that makes sense.
You’ll find Cuban inspired cuisine here with a West Coast twist. On this particular visit, we went for lunch.
We shared the Croque Señora, Little Havana Brunch Bowl and 1212 Burger.
First off, the Croque Señora ($16) – a Cuban twist on the Croque Monsieur. This is a Cubano sandwich topped with a fried egg and charred poblano cream sauce and mariquitas. I love a good Cubano sandwich and I definitely enjoyed their iteration here – its something about the sour pickles and salty meat that is such a great mixture. The egg on top and accompanying fried potatoes were a nice addition to make this more brunchy.
The Little Havana Brunch Bowl ($16) is made with crispy yuca hash, brown rice, avocado, mojo vinaigrette, cilantro, poached eggs, chared poblano cream sauce, chimichurri and canchita. Of the three items we had, this was definitely my favourite. A mix of savoury, salty, sweet and bright flavours and not to mention the different textures made this bowl a memorable one. I’d definitely order this again.
Finally, the 1212 Burger ($16). It’s made with pressed Cache Creek Natural Beef and topped with spicy red pepper relish, aged cheddar, caramelized onions, confit garlic aioli, iceberg and tomato. You can choose your sides, for this one we went with the Calle Ocho Salad (seasonal greens, vinaigrette cotjia cheese).I found this dish to be less impressive than the first two, but I guess if you’re craving a burger and end up at Havana, it isn’t so bad. I liked the crispy bits of the beef patty but I felt like the flavours fell a bit flat.
I would definitely come back to Havana to check out their dinner options, but also to catch a bit of theatre, as it’s located very indiscreetly in the back!
For more information on Havana and to check out their menu, click here: https://www.havanavancouver.com/