Ice cream / by Liesl Pfeffer

Coppelia ice cream Havana, Cuba August 2013 Coppelia is a really, really popular state-run ice cream parlor in Vedado, Havana. Cubans line up down the block and around the corner to get ice cream here at pretty much any time of the day, even in the rain. Because this is Cuba, usually only a couple of flavors are available at any one time. As foreigners, we were not allowed to dine in the main parlor. I’m not sure if this is because the parlor is government-owned and operated - it was never explained. We were promptly stopped and escorted by security to a special room for foreigners, off to one side and up some stairs, where we could eat ice cream at inflated tourist prices. There were no windows, only a few tables, one waiter taking orders and serving ice cream, while a television in the corner played local news. I’m not gonna lie, it was as depressing as it sounds.

Coppelia ice cream
Havana, Cuba
August 2013

Coppelia is a really, really popular state-run ice cream parlor in Vedado, Havana. Cubans line up down the block and around the corner to get ice cream here at pretty much any time of the day, even in the rain. Because this is Cuba, usually only a couple of flavors are available at any one time.

As foreigners, we were not allowed to dine in the main parlor. I’m not sure if this is because the parlor is government-owned and operated - it was never explained. We were promptly stopped and escorted by security to a special room for foreigners, off to one side and up some stairs, where we could eat ice cream at inflated tourist prices. There were no windows, only a few tables, one waiter taking orders and serving ice cream, while a television in the corner played local news. I’m not gonna lie, it was as depressing as it sounds.