A Taste of Antigua, Guatemala

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love my food. My hobbies include breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s not uncommon for me to be thinking about what I intend to eat for dinner whilst tucking into lunch. If I don’t eat I get ‘hangry’ so it’s best to keep me fed at regular intervals. I don’t cook but I have an appreciation for those who do and the way to my heart is definitely to cook for me or restaurant-hop with me, sharing delicious classics taken from cuisines around the world.

Before I travelled to Guatemala I had been warned about safety and told that the food wasn’t very good there. Numerous blogs I’ve read, and fellow travellers, praised the culinary scenes in North America’s Mexico City and Oaxaca but their Central American cousin Antigua is a burgeoning foodie heaven not to be overlooked. When I returned to Antigua, needing to base myself somewhere for a couple of weeks to invest time in developing my not-for-profit travel community the Artbird Network (you can read about this project here https://uncagedartbird.com/artbird-network/), I embarked on a culinary journey of the city with similarly gourmet-minded friends. I have since left Antigua but carry with me lovely memories of the meals enjoyed and good times shared.

*Whilst in Antigua, I stayed at Barbara’s Boutique Hostel – my Antigua home. The hostel is beautiful, with the loveliest staff who really took care of me. The rooftop has a great view of Volcan de Agua. The free breakfast gives you the perfect start to the day with pancakes, scrambled eggs, fresh fruit etc. The luxurious bunk beds have comfy mattresses, privacy curtains, a mini fan and night light. I loved my stay here and will definitely return again!

Here are some foodie recommendations for you:

Apetito – a wine bar and craft pizza restaurant in a lovely courtyard setting. The salmon appetiser is incredible!

Caoba Farms – a 20 minute walk from Parque Central, Caoba Farms Restaurant is a farm-to-table organic experience. Very popular with the ex-pat crowd on a weekend, you will find live music, a farmers market and delicious food on Saturdays and Sundays. On weekdays it is a quieter place, perfect for enjoying breakfast or lunch in rural peace.

El Viejo Cafe – offers traditional Guatemalen cuisine. Go to enjoy a good breakfast whilst sitting in the courtyard.

Frida – As a massive Frida Kahlo fan, this bar and restaurant was a firm favourite of mine. Happiness is a glass of sangria and shrimp tacos at Fridas…

Hobbitenango – visitors come here to see the hobbit-sized eco cabins and the spectacular view but you can actually tuck into an all-you-can-eat buffet breakfast or lunch on Saturdays and Sundays as well as enjoy fabulous cocktails in the bar. It’s a bit of mission to get to but well worth it.

Kombu – the best ramen in Central America. Trust me. I ate here so many times!

La Bruja – cute vegan and vegetarian cafe located in the same courtyard as Apetito. Prepare to be dazzled by the build-your-own burger selection and the size of the portions.

Panaderia y Cafe Santa Clara – lovely bakery offering the tastiest pastries in Antigua.

Por Qué No? Cafe – super tiny but super cool bar and restaurant. You will queue here every night it is open (Mon – Sat) but you will be grateful you waited. The food is divine and you must leave room for their famous chocolate brownie.

Rincon Tipico – a budget-friendly option. Popular with locals and backpackers, this restaurant is a good place to try Guatemalen food. Expect to queue for a table. My roasted chicken and potatoes was so good.

Sobremesa – this is the place you go if you want to treat yourself. A fine dining restaurant/art gallery showcasing the work of owner Alex Ferrar. The food is great but go just to chat with the owner as he is a real character.

Toku Baru – another budget-friendly place popular with backpackers so you may have to queue for a table in the evening. Toku Baru offers full and half portions of curry dishes etc and their falafel comes highly recommended.

One for coffee lovers: Union Cafe (two locations) – phenomenal dirty chai latte! Serves certified organic Guatemalen coffee.

For a ‘Mayan hot chocolate’ head to the ChocoMuseo. You can sample all kinds of chocolate for free here, or sign up for their chocolate making workshops.

If you are just after some good drinking places, you can’t go wrong with these suggestions:

  • Antigua Brewing – huge range of craft beers, good live music venue and a hidden cocktail bar.
  • Cafe Sky – THE place to watch the sun set over the volcanoes of Antigua.
  • Cafe No Se – candlelit dive bar offering live music – do not go here unless you want to get very drunk, You have been warned 😉

My earlier post on Antigua with suggestions of things to do and some other recommendations can be read here: https://wp.me/p9u5hw-1n1

Selection of pictures from my stay:

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