Beachside dining in Cuba: Fresh + Delicious


Lobster lunch & beer at Ranchon Las Dunas
Lobster lunch & beer at Ranchon Las Dunas

In a resort destination filled with all-inclusive hotels it is hard to make a go as an independent restaurant or bar. And yet, along the main beaches of Cayo Coco, there are a handful of Ranchons, beachfront bars with cheap beer & rum and reasonably priced lobster. I knew that I was going to try a Ranchon, assuming I could find one, because I wanted the experience. After having a pretty bad meal at the resort I was disappointed that there were not more of them to sample. It was delicious.

Inside Ranchon Las Dunas
Inside Ranchon Las Dunas

Set back off the main beach, Playa Larga, Ranchon Las Dunas is essentially an open-air hut raised up on stilts above the sand dunes. Booze is cheap – dollar beers and $5-12 for a full bottle of rum – and the full lobster meal was $12. That included rice, plantain chips and a handful of shrimp, along with a grilled lobster.

Lobster lunch & beer at Ranchon Las Dunas
Lobster lunch & beer at Ranchon Las Dunas

And so I sat, with the ocean breeze keeping the bugs away and with the sound of the waves breaking just over the dunes, drinking my beer and enjoying the one good meal I would have for the day.

Ranchon Las Dunas near Coyo Cayo Beach
Ranchon Las Dunas near Coyo Cayo Beach

As the meal (err…beer) came to an end I approached the waiter and asked, in my horribly broken Spanish, “A que hora es cerrado?” I had plans to be back for dinner that night, even before I saw the free buffet at the hotel. Alas, the shop closed at 6pm, well before I was ready to eat dinner. Maybe it is open later in season but I only got my one lobster. Still completely worth it.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and .

4 Comments

    1. Paid cash for my tickets. Just like most of my trips. Points are great but I don’t have the time to do MS to get to 20+ trips a year.

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