El Rancho

El Rancho

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Ratings and reviews
4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles

RATINGS
Food
3.8 of 5 bubbles
Service
3.8 of 5 bubbles
Value
3.5 of 5 bubbles
Atmosphere
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Details
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CUISINES
Caribbean, Latin, Seafood, Spanish, Cuban
Meals
Lunch, Dinner, After-hours
FEATURES
Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Table Service, Live Music
Can a vegetarian person get a good meal at this restaurant?
About
The lobster was very good here.....price was only $15.00 CUC. The filet mignon was also good here. This restaurant is right across the street from Josone Park in Varadero.
CUISINES
Caribbean, Latin, Seafood, Spanish, Cuban
Meals
Lunch, Dinner, After-hours
FEATURES
Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Table Service, Live Music
4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles1,077 reviews
Excellent
375
Very good
368
Average
170
Poor
77
Terrible
87
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

James S
Toronto1817 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022 none
One of the things we do on our week-long trips to Varadero is enjoy at least one meal away from the resort, more if it’s a special occasion or the resort food is below par. This year we decided on a place close to our resort, El Rancho across from Josone Park and the Beatles Bar. We enjoyed dinner there so much we went back for lunch on our last day. We checked it out during the day, reading the large menus written on chalkboards to confirm that they had lobster and that we could pay in CUPs ( Cuban Pesos) . The waiter we spoke with assured us we could either pay in Dollars or Pesos. Price for Grilled Lobster was 850 CUP and he advised us that this was $20.00 USD or $25.00 Canadian. 850 CUP is actually $15.30 Canadian at the official exchange rate so this made me a bit leary but we went back for dinner that night. Again, we confirmed we could pay in Pesos prior and were advised we could. In fact, they’ll take any currency aside from US Dollars but don’t take credit cards. There were some shortages post Covid, including no beer and no papas fritas but pina coladas were okay, not the best in Varadero but better than the ones at our resort. We both ordered grilled lobster which was a fairly large tail served with butter, rice, sweet potatoes and salad. My wife who is a bit of seafood aficionado noted that the lobster tail was frozen but still quite good. Not the best lobster we’ve ever eaten in Cuba, but far from the worst. As in most places there was a couple of local musicians wandering from table to table to serenade diners for tips. The bill for two lobsters and two pina coladas was 2000 CUP plus tip which at the exchange rate we got for our Canadian Dollars was $25.00 Canadian, or about half what we were used to paying for lobster in CUCs pre Covid. As I said we went back for lunch later in the week. This time the wife had the grilled shrimp which she said were excellent. I had the grilled chicken and the portion was enormous and it was tender and juicy. For a nice surprise this time they had both papa fritas and ice-cold frosted mugs of Cristal beer, both of which I took advantage of. Lunch was a little more than 1200 CUPS plus tip or $15.00 Can
Written May 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Elizabeth C
Baarn133 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2020 couples
Nice food, especially the fish really fresh and well cooked. The restaurant is just a big wood gazebo, and the personal who work there is gentle and professional. Some cutie cats walk between the tables all the time to ask leftovers. Strongly recommend it. Not expensive at all!
Written January 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sheila270
Toronto3737 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022 couples
This restaurant is on the Varadero strip across from Parque Josone. It opens at 12:00. It’s an outdoor restaurant under a wooden rooftop. There’s a large lobster on the roof. A couple started singing and playing the guitar. They stopped at a table and asked what song they would like to hear and they performed it in English. The menu was on a chalkboard and in Spanish and the prices in pesos . We ordered 2 roasted chicken and 2 pina colada’s. The meal came to $30 Canadian. The chicken was a huge chicken breast. It didn’t have much flavour. The pina colada’s were delicious. The server was helpful with the menu and prices. I think since a lot of tourists go there they should have prices in the CDN dollar too and the menu translated in English beside the Spanish.
Written May 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Angmc
Lucan13 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 none
We ate at El Rancho after visiting the Beatles Bar across the street. Service was slow, and server paid us no attention at all. Food was ok...lobster was a bit overdone, but fish and shrimp were good. We were turned off by the singers who came around singing at tables - we didn't ask for them to sing for us, but they did and then all but demanded a tip. I said we'd tip after we paid our bill (and got some change), and the lead singer kept her hand out and stared me down. Aggressive and presumptuous to expect a tip for something we never asked for. Needless to say, they got zip for a tip. Not cool.
Written March 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Erin
25 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022 business
The food was good, service was “ok” but the owners need to be investigated. We had lunch and had eaten at many places in Varadero and used Canadian money. The exchange was basically 1.00 to 1 peso in restaurants.NOT this one they charged us as 1 peso is equal to .65 cents Canadian. When I questioned the exchange they said that the owner chooses what Canadian is worth and I should have brought pesos with me. I let the waiter know that his boss was doing something that the Cuban gov’t would not be very happy with as they do not like to see businesses ripping off tourists. He again explained to avoid being ripped off I should have gotten pesos. Sure to an extent he was right however all Cubans will tell you they prefer the Canadian as it is worth more and the other restaurants I went to appreciated the tips in Canadian as well. If you bring pesos and want food that was better than buffet food and comparable to an a la carte dinner it wasnt bad. But you will definitely be ripped off if you pay on Canadian. We were not the only ones this happened to so I don’t think they will discontinue their taking advantage. I paid what they asked but personally would never return as there are so many restaurants in Varadero that have much better food, service and appreciation for the tourists
Written November 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

iz_zWinnipeg
Winnipeg229 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 none
I've been going to this restaurant every year, once a year for the last 7 years. I wanted shrimps, they were out of shrimps. My daughter and my mom ordered chicken breast, it was horribly dried out. Very sad. Then my dad and I I were very excited to get our King lobster... Nope, it was so dry, it was pathetic. No flavor either. My dad was not impressed.....I don't know if they got a new cook, or something, but I will not be going back there again! And I do like music, but they have a group of people there that sings and play music, bu they are way too loud and kinds of ruins your dinner!!!!
Written January 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rob A
Winnipeg37 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 none
Stopped in purely on impulse and was NOT disappointed! I had the seafood soup which was delicious, with huge chunks of fish and lobster followed by the paella which was a generous portion, again with massive amounts of seafood in it. My son had the lobster in creole sauce and was treated to a very large tail in a flavorful sauce with the tiniest hint of kick. A GREAT value for the money and definitely worth a try if you are in Varadero!
Written January 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AussieTravellers555
Bonny Hills269 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023 couples
Good food considering the shortage of supplies. Our plates weren’t as full as some of the photos on this site but the food was tasty and the waitress was extra nice. The restaurant itself is old school thatched hut style which allowed a nice breeze to keep us cool. Lots of cats and chickens roaming freely. We would go again.
Written February 18, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

gregson561
Leeds87 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 couples
Initially we were impressed with how friendly and welcoming the waitress was bringing us in and seating us. Like everywhere in cuba there was a band who were good and not too imposing. A lovely piña colada and non alcoholic mojito came quickly. I had ‘Cuban soup’ to start followed by pork fajitas, my wife had a whole fish. The food tasted great, staff friendly and the total bill was $38.
Written November 2, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

clare
Bradford1456 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 couples
Myself , husband and our friend and her husband took a trip into Varadero on the hop on hop off bus. We were stopping at the Blau Varadero. It was our friends first time to Varadero ( not ours ) we did the markets and the new ( ish ) boulevard and stopped for a drink at the chocolate cafe . We then decided we wanted food but just a snack . We were going to just have a taco but carried on walking and came upon here. Looked busy which is always a good sign. We were seated quickly and we're looking at food orders coming out to people . Looked good. There were musicians playing . The menu was plentiful and priced very reasonable. We ordered 3 full lobsters meals and 1 medium ( note the full lobster didn't come with claws etc it was already prepared) 1 mojito, and 4 crystal beers . Total bill $122 which we thought was excellent value. Food was tasty and probably the best meal we had in Varadero ( apart for our special meal we had at our hotel I paid for for our symbolic wedding day on 1st November where we had surf and turf ) You Can tell a good place when the locals go and we saw locals eating there. Would definitely recommend and would go again .
Written November 16, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

bumper4
Newcastle upon Tyne496 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022 family
We decided to try this restaurant on recommendation. We had lobster and pork steaks and it was nice. The beer was served in a big glass but unfortunately it was flat and not great. The price was very reasonable and they actually took pesos which was even better as some won't take them.
Written November 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Zacatti
157 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 family
First time visit. Initially intended to have lunch there but once we figured out the exchange rate peso vs CDN//USD, we stuck to simple drinks to avoid losing the value of our currency. Service was decent. Drinks were good. Would recommend that you do your research for other dining options in the area to get your full currency value. Our cab driver did warn us that as a government run restaurant food/service quality would be ok; but it would be worth our time to travel further into downtown Varadero to find better authentic cuisine/service offered by private establishments: Turns out he was right.
Written March 12, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

cjslater
Wallaceburg7 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 couples
This was our second time dining at the El Rancho. The restaurant was a bit of a disappointment from our last visit. Resorts and restaurant in general seems to be lacking in fresh vegetables and fruit juices, things that make a meal enjoyable.
Written December 6, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Renée F
Orillia125 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021 couples
Excellent lunch of shrimp, salad and rice. THE best mojito ever, seriously! Make sure you bring cash right now as they do not have electric means of payment. Out doors under beautiful thatched roof. Good location on the Main Street and a nice break in the day.
Written December 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Linda D
Sarnia373 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 couples
You have to wait ages to be seated and the service is very slow, but oh but it’s worth the wait! I had lobster, there are three sizes on the menu and I had the largest. My husband had chicken and both meals were fantastic. We had a couple of drinks each and the total bill was under 50 CAD, you can’t go wrong. Would definitely return here if we go back to Varadero!
Written December 20, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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