First of all I use to be a vegetarian myself. I became one when I was 16 and for years I’ve not put any meat of fish in my mouth.
And then I moved to Portugal and started to eat fish and see food. How can you not, when living in a ocean faced paradise.
And then I moved to Cuba and started to eat meat. How can you not, when living in a country where 90% of the people would kill for a piece of beef.
Fortunately for you, if you a vegetarian, you’ll be in Cuba only for a short time, short enough to survive.
Most of the tourist restaurants will have something vegetarian. Unfortunately Cubans don’t know how to cook vegetarian dishes so usually you’ll get some salad on the plate, maybe a fried banana. The safest option is rice and beans and congri (the same but cooked all together). Beans are a good protein and rice will give you some energy. Remember that you can order this in your casa and you’ll be charged less. Meat is the most expensive product on the Island (but also the most wanted).
Remember that Cubans don’t really understand the idea of the vegetarian diet. If you say you don’t eat meat they can serve you fish or lobster so always be clear when ordering food. Also they think you’re a bit crazy if you can go the supermarket and just buy all the things whey have to fight for and chose not to do it 🙂
You can buy your fruit on the street. It’s expensive. Maybe not for you but most of the Cubans can’t really buy any of these things. A banana may cost 15CUP (0,75EUR) and a small papaya 40CUP (3EUR). Expensive but when you’re on holidays that’s an option.
My advise, bring some crackers and dry fruit and nuts with you. It may really save you life when after few hours of hiking the only thing you’ll find will be a pizza with Cuban ham (!). Or when you go with your friends to a place with literally nothing you could eat.
Don’t be offended if people ask you 100 times what does it mean that you’re a vegetarian and what do you eat if you don’t eat meat. Because Cuba is one of those places that you eat what’s on the table. That’s the reason I stared to eat meat after 15 years! Because if a Cuban lady, who lives in a wooden house and no bathroom, kills a chicken to cook it for me, I will eat this chicken no matter what.