Visiting Havana, Cuba is like riding a time machine back to an era of vintage muscle cars and crumbling colonial buildings, before there were cell phones or Internet. For budget travelers, finding a high-quality paladar (privately-owned restaurant) without overpaying can be a daunting task. Enter Doña Eutimia: a well-known yet authentic restaurant in the heart of Old Havana.

Hidden down a cobblestone alley off the regal Plaza de la Catedral, Doña Eutimia boasts consistently-superb Cuban cuisine at surprisingly modest prices. If you can stand the heat, outside seating provides the occasional stray chicken circling your feet while street musicians perform popular Latin tunes.

The shrimp appetizer ($5) is simplistically grilled with generous amounts of garlic and olive oil. While the pungent aroma may linger on your breath for hours, the delectable flavors will linger on your memory for longer. The Cuban staple, Ropa Vieja ($8), is shredded lamb marinated in a tomato sauce with onions, peppers, garlic and spices. The meat is tender and juicy, with enough sides (traditional salad, rice and beans) for two people to share for a filling meal.

Reservations must be made at least a day in advance as the word is out on this popular Havana favorite.

Doña Eutimia
#60-C, Callejon del Chorro
La Habana, Cuba
+53 7 8611332