On the non-descript, busy corner of Bucareli and Morelos streets in Mexico City is a café with a famous history: Fidel Castro and Che Guevarra met here at Café La Habana several times, chain smoking and drinking strong coffee, to plan the Cuban Revolution. Nowadays, you can still get excellent coffee—and pretty good food—while you plan something a little less dramatic (but more enjoyable), like your vacation itinerary. Old journalists and businessmen congregate here for hours on end while salt-of-the-earth, slightly surly waitresses take your order and bring you your food and drink.
Come for breakfast and order their chilaquiles, motuleños, or molletes, and wash it down with an espresso or café americano.
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Sip in the Shadow of History
The coffee should be better, considering it's both roasted and ground on-site, but be forgiving; you're here more for the experience of being at Café La Habana, where history-making conversations have been had at the formica tables.
And if those tables could talk, what stories they'd tell. The café, which opened in 1954, is allegedly the spot where Che Guevara (who lived briefly in Mexico City) and Fidel Castro planned the Cuban Revolution after having been introduced by Fidel's brother, Raúl, in the Mexican capital in 1955. A year later, Guevara would set off from the Mexican port of Tuxpan in the famed (and fated) Granma, bound for Cuba with the intention of overthrowing Batista.
But Che and Fidel certainly aren't the only famous personalities who have confabbed here. The café was a favorite haunt of journalists in the second half of the 20th-century, as many newspaper offices were just blocks away.
Today, the café hasn't spiffed up or attempted to conform to any trends. It remains doggedly old-school, with older waiters in white shirts, black pants, and vests, bearing trays of coffee and diner-style breakfast orders.