Guy Fieri Takes Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives to Cuba

Guy and his Triple D crew head to the land of Mojitos, cigars and classic cars to get a taste of Cuban cuisine.

Fresh, Never Frozen

Guy and server Joan Blanco look on as Chef Alex Luco of El Figaro shells fresh lobster to make the joint’s signature Lobster in Coffee Sauce.

Find the Restaurant: El Figaro

Lobster in Coffee Sauce — El Figaro

As the story goes, this dish was created when Gilberto Smith Duquesne, one of the most-important chefs in Cuban history, accidentally spilled espresso in the lobster he was preparing for French President Francois Mitterrand. 

Family Time

Guy’s wife, Lori, and his parents gave the signature El Figaro dishes a try. "I’ve never had anything like this," Penny, Guy's mom, said of the lobster. "I love coffee, I love lobster, but who ever thought of putting them together?"

Find the Restaurant: El Figaro

Camagueyana-Style Pork Loin — El Figaro

Named for the Camaguey province, this pork loin is made with sauteed peppers and onions in a light sauce. Guy called this simple dish absolutely "dynamite."

Miami Beach or El Malecón?

The restaurant Nazdarovie sits on El Malecón, a scenic 5-mile stretch of highway along the coast of Havana. Guy thought it looked a little like Ocean Drive: "So easy to get those two mixed up, being that they're only, like, 90 miles away," he joked.

Find the Restaurant: Nazdarovie

Back in the USSR

Guy watches as Chef Irina Butorina of Nazdarovie mixes the dough to make Russian pelmeni, a filled pasta much like ravioli.

Find the Restaurant: Nazdarovie

Pelmeni, Russian-Style Ravioli — Nazdarovie 

Just like they’re made in Russia, these pelmeni are stuffed with meat, then topped with sour cream and fresh herbs.

Chicken Kiev — Nazdarovie 

A log of aromatized butter is frozen, then wrapped with a breaded chicken cutlet, which is then fried. Freezing the butter keeps it from melting during the prep process.

Fast Food, Cuban Style 

Guy watches as Chef Ugo Chigon prepares the signature stuffed plantains from Fonda Paladar la Paila, a Cuban joint known for its quick service.  

Find the Restaurant: Restaurante Fonda Paladar la Paila

Stuffed, Fried Plantains — Restaurante Fonda Paladar la Paila

These crunchy tostones are shaped like cups, deep-fried, then stuffed with lamb that’s been marinated in a housemade sauce. 

Barbecue Pork Ribs — Restaurante Fonda Paladar la Paila

The sauce on these Cuban-style ribs is made with sour orange for a fresh island feel.  

Feeling Salty 

Chef and owner Ivan Rodriguez and server Lilien Rodriguez tell Guy about the 21-day process behind salting and curing the lamb ribs for one of their dishes at Al Carbon. 

Find the Restaurant: Al Carbon

Salted and Pulled Lamb — Al Carbon

The dried lamb ribs are rehydrated before they're shredded and sauteed with onions, peppers and sour orange. “This is the best thing I’ve had since I’ve been here,” Guy says of the dish. 

Fish of the Day — Al Carbon

Everything at this restaurant is sourced locally and super-fresh, including this snapper that was caught the night before. After the whole fish is grilled, it's topped with a unique house chimichurri sauce made with balsamic vinegar.

Take Me to Church

In 2013 chef and owner Diego Hernandez turned his mother’s house into a holy house of food, La Catedral. Here, Guy helps Hernandez marinate goat meat for stew.

Find the Restaurant: La Catedral

Goat Stew — La Catedral

The goat meat in this stew soaks for 12 hours in an aromatic red wine marinade before it is cooked. The stew is then served with malanga, a boiled root similar to yucca.

Fried Rice — La Catedral

While not a traditional Cuban dish, this Cuban take on a Chinese favorite is made with chicken, pork, shrimp, ham and eggs. 

Chicken and Cigars

Guy watches as Chef Juvenal Gonzales makes the house chicken dish at Casa Abel, a one-stop shop for dynamite Cuban food and Cuban cigars.

Find the Restaurant: Casa Abel

Beer-Can Chicken in a Rum Marinade — Casa Abel

This one-of-a-kind house dish is made with three kinds of alcohol: wine, rum and beer.

Marinated Deep-Fried Pork — Casa Abel

The pork meat in this traditional Cuban dish is cooked on low heat so it remains incredibly tender. The carnitas are served alongside fufu, a mashed plantain dish seasoned with lime. 

Want More Guy?

For more Triple D action, watch a behind the scenes video to learn about the making of an episode, or explore Italy with Guy and his crew in our photo gallery. 

Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives