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Cuban food is legendary and is one of the best parts of any visit to Cuba. On this retreat you will enjoy fresh mouthwatering meals that are lovingly prepared in local kitchens!

The flavors of Cuba come alive with a colorful blend of African, Spanish and French influences.  You will delight in authentic, mouthwatering Cuban cuisine in locally owned and operated Paladars.  Paladars are family owned restaurants that are operated out of a home.  The paladar owners serve up fresh ingredients with truly inspired takes on traditional Cuban recipes.  

From Ropa Viejo, black beans and rice to the famous Cuban sandwich, each meal will be another opportunity to explore these beautiful island traditions. Perhaps you’ll wash it down with one of Cuba’s signature rum drinks. There is ample debate across the Caribbean of course but Cuba also claims to have invented the mojito.

And don’t forget your coffee!  Cuban coffee is an elevated art form.  It’s delicious, rich and served in a similar way to a sweet espresso with a whole sugar cane foam.  Coffee plantations have a rich heritage on the island along with its legendary tobacco and sugar crops.  

While pork and seafood play a prominent role in Cuban cuisine, each meal will feature amazing vegan options and we can accommodate other dietary requests.  Please list any dietary needs in the section provided on your registration form.  We will make every effort to accommodate your needs as long as we can make arrangements in advance. 

Our favorite vegan black bean recipe

One of my favorite Cuban meals is frijoles negros or black beans served over rice.  This is a vegan version that is my go to when I am craving some Cuban flavors.  Note that I have modified this over time…I am not a traditionalist…


  • 2 cans of unseasoned black beans rinsed and drained
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium tomato seeded and chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic minced or finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon Thyme
  • 2 teaspoons Oregano
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 

If you prefer to use dried beans, you will need to soak 1 ½ cups of rinsed beans with 6 cups of water overnight.  For speed and convenience, I use canned…


Pour rinsed beans into a 2-quart sauce pot and cover with water.  Add Bay Leaves, cover and heat on medium heat.  Reserve ¾ of a cup for mashing.  (note: if using dry beans, the whole batch first until beans are tender enough to mash with a spoon then remove ¾ cup)

In a medium skillet combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil, peppers, onion, tomato and garlic.  Sauté over medium heat until onion begins to turn translucent.  Add additional tablespoon of olive oil, Pepper, Salt, Thyme, Oregano and Cumin.  Sauté 3 minutes more until aromatic.  Remove the skillet from the heat and add ¾ cup of black beans, mash the beans and other ingredients into a chunky paste.

Add the contents of the skillet and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to the pot of beans and simmer for 45 minutes.  If the beans watery for your taste, turn the neat on high and cook uncovered to evaporate some of the water.  Be careful not to burn the beans to the bottom of the pot.  

Serve beans over rice with salt and pepper to taste.  I like to garnish slice avocado, raw onion, and tomato.