[ Main Site Menu ] [ Back to Entertainment Menu ] [ Back to Tourism Menu ] [ Index to Site Documents ]


[REF: Cabaret Yearbook, Winter Resort Number, Volume One, poss 1956, p68]



Tropicana, Truffin Ave. & Linea (B-4544).  This claims to be the largest and most beautiful night club in the world.  Located on what was once an extensive private estate, Tropicana has two complete sets of stages, table areas and dance floors.  If the weather is fine, the outdoor area is used; otherwise everyone moves to the indoor area.  Tall palm trees growing among the tables lend the proper tropical atmosphere and blend well with the ultra-modernistic architecture.  Shows include 50-dancer chorus lines which often branch out into the trees.  Rhythms and costumes are colorfully native (voodoo is a frequent theme.)  Top names often star.  Minimum at tables is $4.50 per person, but this can be avoided by sitting at bar which has adequate view of stage.

Montmarte, 23rd St & P (U-5207).  Montmartre is the only major Havana night club that is entirely indoors.  It is more conveniently located (in the Vedado section) than Tropicana, which is a 20-minute ride from the center of Havana.  Montmartre, which used to confine its shows to a series of acts, now also goes in for large-scale productions, directed by an American.  Name acts are frequently imported (most recent: Los Chavales de Espana).  There is a $4.50 minimum at the tables, but none at the two bars (both of which afford a view of the stage).

Sans Souci, Arroyo Arenas Highway (BO-7979).  Usually run by Americans, San Souci is located in a Spanish-type villa.  Stage, dance floor and tables are under the moonlight.  Shows, like at the other Big Three nightclubs, are production numbers with name acts.  Good-looking U.S. show girls are an added attraction.  Sans Souci, as well as Tropicana and Montmartre, has a gambling room with roulette, craps and chemin de fer, etc.  Located even further out than Tropicana, Sans Souci usually opens only for the winter season.


Bambu, Rancho Boyeros Highway (I-5072).  About 15 minutes from Havana, the Bambu is located in rustic surroundings.  Show consists of local talent.

Panchin, Fifth Avenue & C (B-7794).  This is located in Havana's Coney Island area.  Genuine native rhythms (rumba, mambo, cha-cha-cha) are played by small orchestras and danced to by a class of people that are not particularly inhibited.  These often provide a better show than the show on stage.

Pennsylvania, Fifth Ave. & C (B-7807).  It is a few steps to walk from the Panchin to the Pennsylvania and get more of the same atmosphere.  Teachers from U.S. dancing schools often come to these places to learn the latest local dances.

Southland Club, San Rafael & Prado (M-9296).  A cozy place off tourist-traveled Prado Boulevard, with dance music and a show consisting of singers and rumba dancers.


Shanghai, Zanja # 205 (W-9497).  Located in Chinatown, the old, hot and uncomfortable Shanghai Theater has the only public burlesque in Havana.  Girls strip completely (no G-strings).  This theater is probably one of the few places in the world which openly shows pornographic movies.  Admission is $1.25, but varies according to the location of the seats in the big old Havana theater.


Taberna San Roman, San Pedro & Oficios (M-4460).  Cured meats hang from the ceiling, and wine jugs are on shelves along the walls.  The walls are also decorated with bull-fighting posters from Spain.  A band provides dance music, and on Saturday nights the Spanish equivalent of a jam session gets under way.  Customers make impromptu music and someone usually plays a bagpipe (Spanish, not Scottish).  Well off the beaten tourist track.

El Colmao, Aramburu # 366 (U-9729).  Spanish music, singing and dancing.  Customers try to drink wine by pouring it in a thin stream from Andalusian jugs directly into their mouths.  After drinking enough wine, many of the customers participate in the informal floor show.

Tasca Espanola, Carcel & Prado (W-9452).  The Tasca is decorated to resemble a Spanish bandit's cave.  Guitarists, singers, pianists and dancers make up the show and also provide music for dancing by customers.


Nacional, 21 St & O (U-8981). The Arboleda Room provides a quite place to enjoy good liquor.  A pianist provides pleasant music.

Sevilla Biltmore, Prado #225 (M-9961).  The Carnival Room has miniature shows (usually a singer and an accompanist).

Presidente, G St. & Calzada (F-6622).  The Chez Merito provides a trio of musicians.


Floridita, Obispo & Monserrate (M-5031).  The Floridita (Formerly known as La Florida) claims to have originated the daiquiri (named after a Cuban river).  It has developed daiquiri-making into an art, and provides half a dozen different types.  Most famous daiquiri customer at Floridita: Ernest Hemingway, who uses a special out-sized glass.  The place also has an excellent restaurant.

Johnny's Dream Club, on the Almendares River.  Johnny's is noted for its fluorescent murals and tables located on several tiers and so enclosed that they provide adequate privacy for lovers.  There is a dance floor (to recorded music) and a simple show (singer, pianist).  This place is owned by the same Johnny who owns Johnny's Bar (with "bar" girls) and Johnny's 88.

Mes Amis, Seventh Ave. & La Copa.  Tony Gorody provides some of the most pleasant piano-playing in Havana, fine for listening or dancing.  A haunt for local Americans who avoid strictly tourist spots.

El Dorado, Prado #521 (M-4888).  El Dorado and other nearby cafes opposite the Capitolio lend a Parisian air to the city.  Tables are in the open-air on Prado Boulevard.  El Dorado has an all-girl orchestra for entertainment.

Sloopy Joe's, Agramonte # 252 (M-4178).  This is a mecca for tourists, but few locals (Cuban or American) go here.  Sandwiches are excellent, and a small musical group plays.

Pan-American Club, Bernaza 1 (M-4811).  Piano music, and fine chicken and steaks.

El Mirador, Paseo & First St. Customers can sit on an outdoor terrace, drink, watch outdoor movies and be cooled by sea breezes from the ocean.


Colonial, Oficios #164 (A-7324).  The Colonial uses local talent, frequently risque, to please the tourist trade upon which this place lives.  Prices are tourist-aimed, with a minimum of $1.50 per person at the tables.

Palette Club, Central Highway (X-3019). Risque shows and private rooms for a price keep this place closed whenever the authorities decide to crack down.

End of Page

Copyright 1998-2014 Cuban Information Archives. All Rights Reserved.