Guatemala Culture – 7 of the best places to eat and drink
One of the most enjoyable ways to (literally) get a taste of Guatemalan culture is to sample some of our country’s remarkable food and drink. We’ve spoken before about the rich variety of cuisines on offer in Guatemala. But here we’re focusing on the 7 best places to eat and drink in our country.
So, from Mayan-inspired foods to traditional tacos, family restaurants and late night bars, here is our guide best places to eat and drink in Guatemala.
The best place for breakfast in Guatemala City
Guatemala City is a busy, vibrant place where you can great food at any time of the day or night. But if you are in need of a hearty breakfast, where do we recommend? Our pick has to be the Saul Bistro Guatemala – the perfect place to refuel after a lie-in.
This traditional breakfast spot is well-loved for its food and drink of course – but also simply as a place to people watch. Our advice is to order yourself one of their delicious desayunos (breakfasts) and watch the world go by.
We recommend the Guatemalteco en Paris – egg with black beans and mozzarella in their famous ‘Crepe Saul’. Take a look at their menu here.
The best place to get tacos
It isn’t just Mexico who do tacos – in fact this staple is popular right across Central and South America. The wonderful thing about tacos is that they come in such variety – but they can also vary wildly in quality. So, where’s the best place to have tacos in Guatemala?
Well, our pick is in the city of Xela. The city itself is beautiful, and one of the best places to buy handicrafts. Here’s our review of Chichicastenango market. But what about those tacos?
Tacarozon is right in the heart of town, and serves some of the best tacos we’ve ever tasted. They’re made from local ingredients, by passionate locals who know what they are doing. Their tacos are breathtaking, but we also have to mention their fried avocados – we’ve never tasted better.
The best place to have a drink on the terrace
When you think of your Guatemalan getaway, do you imagine relaxing on a terrace somewhere with a drink in your hand? If so, then we have the perfect place (and drink) for you. Our country loves rum, and one of the most popular here is Zacapa Centenario Rum. It is produced right here in Guatemala and is aged up in the hills of Quetzaltenango to give it a unique taste.
But where do we recommend you enjoy it? Well, it is hard to think of more perfect surroundings than La Cueva de Panza Verde in Antigua. Of course, Antigua itself is a gem, but after a day exploring this beautiful city (read our guide here, head to this atmospheric place for an evening drink on their terrace.
The best late night bar
Certain areas of Guatemala City feel like they never sleep, particularly Zona 10 (Zona Viva). It’s a vibrant area full of nightclubs, bars and restaurants. Many of the clubs in this area play music late into the night (usually reggaeton).
But our pick for a late night bar is somewhere with a little more of a bohemian feel. Las Cien Puertas (The Hundred Doors) at 9a Calle between 6a and 7a Avenidas in Zona 1 is open until 2 am every day apart from Sunday.
You’ll find it tucked away in a colonial-era arcade and it is almost always busy – with good reason. The music is great here and the Gallo beer even better. The food is also good too – we recommend their excellent quesadillas.
The best restaurants for families
Finding places to eat that all the family loves can be tricky. But we’ve picked the fantastic Sobremesa in Antigua for one very important reason: they do excellent ice creams. More of those in a moment.
The main meals here are great, and there’s something to suit every taste. Highlights include their beef tenderloin in spicy blackberry & chipotle reduction. Or their octopus with fennel, arugula and walnuts in an orange vinaigrette is just delicious.
For the less adventurous members of your party, there are also plenty of easy toasted sandwiches, as well as the classic margarita pizza option.
And the ice cream? Take your pick from caramelised white chocolate and macadamia, white chocolate and hazelnut and even basil flavours!
The best restaurant for a romantic meal
Looking for the perfect place for a meal for two? In a country where reserving a table isn’t common – and where many people love to eat out – finding that quiet place can be tricky. But our tip for a romantic meal is one of the most beautiful and intimate restaurants we’ve ever visited.
The El Tenedor del Cerro in Antigua is in a beautiful location, up on a hill close to the town. We recommend getting there around sunset, when the views are truly breathtaking.
The restaurant is in the historic Casa Santo Domingo which is a former convent. The service is just right – unobtrusive, friendly and efficient – leaving you in peace to enjoy the experience. Our recommendation is the delicious sea bass with a glass of Chilean wine, followed by a stroll among the sculptures in the monastery grounds.
The restaurant that makes you feel part of the family
Sometimes the very best restaurants might not look the most inspiring from the outside. But the humble Utz Hua restaurant in Xela is a real hidden gem, just of the central park in the town. It’s one of the friendliest places we’ve ever eaten – a restaurant where you feel you’re eating with family.
And in a way, you are. Utz Hua is family-run and popular with locals who love the authentic, traditional Guatemalan cuisine on offer here. Our recommendation is to go for their spicy pepian – a homemade spicy stew that is one of our country’s national treasures. For a guide to traditional Guatemalan dishes, take a look here.
And finally, don’t forget to say hello to the family’s grandmother if she is there when you visit.