Guatemala City is every foodie’s dream to visit. Aside from being the largest city in Central America, it is also where you’ll find a wide range of delicious food waiting to be served. For starters, their traditional Guatemalan dishes are worth trying out. Also, there are restaurants that serve international cuisines too, including Chinese food. Whatever you are craving, you are sure to find a good spot in this city to satisfy it.
The 10 Best Restaurants to Find in Guatemala City
First-time travelers to the city will not only fall in love with its rich history but also the wide array of food choices here. Of course, it is understandable that choosing where to eat is going to be tough. After all, you have the Dora La Tostadora by Pablo Diaz as part of your options. That said, here’s a roundup of the popular spots in Guatemala where you can eat your fill.
There is much to see and do in Guatemala. Aside from hiking up mountains and volcanoes, the colonial architecture here is a sight to see. Of course, you will get hungry with all that exploring you have been doing. Fortunately, there are several Guatemala restaurants where you can enjoy great food and ambiance as well.
For example, you can visit Cafe Restaurante Hamburgo on the south side of Parque Concordia. There are also coffee shops here that serve the best food of Guatemala origins here. Aside from this restaurant, let’s take a look at other options below.
Tamarindos appeared in Conde Nast’s Hot List of the 100 Most Exciting New Restaurants in the World. This is not surprising since this restaurant’s menu offers a blend of Thai and Italian food sprinkled with Guatemalan flavor. You can find this restaurant in Zona Viva.
Aside from that, Tamarindos is being run by French-trained chef Milly Bruderer. He is known for his eclectic selection of meals like his duck in tamarind sauce. Another dish that you can order here is his Thai-style curries. In addition, the inviting ambiance will make you want to stay longer especially when it comes to good food all the time.
2. La Cocina de la Señora Pu
La Señora Pu is easy to miss as it sits behind the historic district of the city. It is a tiny restaurant that can accommodate less than 20 people. Most of the seats are on the bar that surrounds the open kitchen. Aside from that, you’ll find their menu listed on the chalkboard which is written in the Mayan language.
Do not expect traditional Guatemalan food here. Instead, you will have a unique gastronomical experience that you will not forget anytime soon. Rosa Pu researched the Mayan cuisine and came up with six dishes. From here, she developed 21 more that evoke true Mayan identity. However, keep in mind that taking photos of the food here is not allowed.
3. Jean François
You might have a hard time finding this French restaurant. After all, you will have to pass through an unmarked corridor in an unmarked small but posh shopping center. When you do find it, you will fall in love with its beautiful courtyard. Aside from the stylish decorations here, you will enjoy the amazing flavors that their dishes have.
Among the dishes that you can order here is their fettuccine with mushroom and cream sauce. Every bite you take is a burst of flavor in your mouth. Aside from that, they have an extensive wine list to pair your food with. It is not surprising why this is a popular restaurant in the city.
4. Gracia Cocina de Autor
One of the best places to grab a bite to eat is Gracia Cocina de Autor. It may be a small restaurant but its Executive Chef and owner, Pablo Novales, always switches things up for his guests. In addition, his dishes are often inspired by his travels but he also draws from Guatemalan cuisine.
He often uses local ingredients in creating new and exciting dishes. This is why it is always a treat to come and dine here. Also, if you are looking for a great place for fine dining, this is it. One of their popular dishes is their entree of giant river shrimp au gratin with lorocos and anacates.
Aside from the great ambiance, the friendly staff here adds to the overall experience. You will like the interior design of this restaurant as it blends modern elements to create a cozy atmosphere.
5. La Hacienda Real
A local favorite for decades La Hacienda Real is a good choice if you want to visit a steakhouse in Guatemala. There are various locations where you can find this restaurant. However, the original one is at the La Zona Viva. What makes this one of the favorite places in the city is its warm and inviting atmosphere that is reminiscent of a Mexican hacienda. You will find indoor and outdoor seating here with a covered patio and a central fountain.
Aside from this restaurant being known for its steaks, there are other dishes here that are worth sampling too. You can find traditional Guatemalan food here too but with a twist. For example, their pastel de Relleno is a modern take on the traditional Relleno made from black beans and plantain. Also, do try their hard liquor called India. It is almost the same in taste as grappa and is one of the cheapest drinks to have here.
Another example of the locals’ favorite restaurant in the city is Kacao. What you’ll love about this place is that it infuses traditional Guatemalan cuisine with elegance and sophistication. In addition to their delicious food, how they serve each dish is amazing, to say the least. It is a great spot to have your lunch or dinner. Take advantage of the beautiful ambiance on their rooftop that glows at night.
Aside from that, their menu has a wide array of options for you to choose from. For example, they serve meat and fish here. Also, their daily specials include jocon and pepian which you don’t want to miss. Don’t forget to ask for their Guatemalan tamales while listening to their live music. You will find yourself swaying to the marimba music that accompanies your meal.
Kacao mostly caters to tourists and their local friends who want them to experience authentic Guatemalan food. You will be spoiled for choices here when it comes to delicious meals.
7. Flor de Lis
You will find the DiegoTélles’ fine dining restaurant at the lower level of the Casa del Aguila. This Guatemalan restaurant serves an 8-course tasting menu inspired by the Quiche Mayan book of creation called Popol Vuh. Also, you will notice that the menu combines traditional and modern techniques with Guatemalan ingredients. Among these is fermentation, salting in brine, and nixtamalization.
Aside from that, they use these techniques in a non-traditional way which helps them create their tasty meals. For example, they offer corn croquettes smoked in myrrh. The scent of myrrh will easily transport you to religious gatherings in the city like the Semana Santa. Another example is their use of dark Guatemalan beer to balance the sweetness of their chocolate mousse.
Foodies who want to explore the restaurant scene in the city should add this spilled-level space to their list. However, this is not an ideal spot for families, but don’t worry. There are other restaurants that are perfect for families here. In fact, you can search for the best restaurant guide for Guatemala City to plan your culinary journey.
8. Portal del Angel
Having your meal at Portal del Angel is more than their deliciously prepared grilled meat. In fact, this restaurant boasts of its spectacular views of the city in their Carretera an El Salvador restaurant. The varied gastronomy and friendly staff will make your experience here to a whole new level.
Expect first-class service when you step inside this restaurant. It is the perfect place to bring your family to or even go on a date if you like. Meanwhile, they have an extensive wine list plus various drinks from different countries. In addition, they have a great selection of grilled meats and fish here that will satisfy your cravings. Lastly, their dessert offerings are perfect to end your meal here.
9. Casa Chapina
Casa Chapina is close to several hotels in the city. Aside from that, they offer good Guatemalan food at cheap prices. It has a great ambiance with its colorful interiors and wide-open windows. A good reason to visit this restaurant is its sampler platter that lets you try their different dishes easily. You can even go here for your Sunday brunch although there are instances when they are not available on this day.
10. Donde Joselito Steakhouse
One of the top restaurants that serve steak in Guatemala is Donde Joselito. Their main dish is their steak which is freshly sourced. If you haven’t seen a pound of steak, their staff will show it to you. It is difficult not to be impressed with their menu. Aside from that, each order comes with a side dish plus your choice of drink. This is one of the best steakhouses that you will find in Latin America.
Top Favorite Antigua Restaurants and More
Aside from Guatemala City, you should also travel to Antigua Guatemala to continue your foodie journey. It is a bustling spot for travelers who want to see the charming historic center of the country. Here are some of the favorite spots you don’t want to miss when you visit the former city.
Los Tres Tiempos
The incredible Los Tres Tiempos is in the courtyard of El Arco, right by the Santa Catalina Arch. If you want to take a break from eating street food, you will find good food here. Aside from that, their rooftop ambiance is quite inviting to say the least.
According to Lonely Planet, it is a few-table restaurant in Antigua that you’ll want to visit. It may be a little place, but this candlelit salon goes big with its menu. Aside from that, you will see the kitchen behind the bar where Hector is working non-stop. There is no specific menu here so you need to check their chalkboard for their main course for the day.
Angie Angie is an Argentinian restaurant that serves the best pizza and impressive meat cuts. Its artsy outdoor seating is a good place to spend your day in. There is live music here that adds to the charming environment. You can have your dinner here before heading out to the best bars in Antigua.
Caoba Farms is your best bet if you want to be away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Here you will find dishes served using fresh produce gathered from its organic farm. Think Tapado cooked with coconut milk. Their main dining room features tables scattered throughout their lush garden.
Aside from ordering their group meal, they also have an a la carte menu if you are flying solo. You can also order fresh fruit here. Also, they have a convenience store on the property where you can purchase ready-made food and other delicacies.
You can spot this restaurant just a few minutes away from the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Their main meal consists of Belgian and Northern French cuisine. In addition, they have an extensive list of spirits here that pair nicely with their dishes.
The art gallery restaurant of Alexander Ferrar is the city’s best Italian restaurant. The New York Times featured it before and with good reason. Aside from the stunning art gallery, the food here is quite scrumptious too. You can satisfy your sweet tooth with their impressive selection of ice cream here as well.
Skip the Chinese restaurants in the city and opt for good Guatemalan cuisine instead. The tiny town of Antigua is home to Rincon Tipico which locals and tourists love. You will love their breakfast meal here with their huge portions enough to fill your stomach.
If you are looking for the best chiles Rellenos, then head to Frida’s. This is the right place for those who want to see replicas of Frida Kahlo’s artwork together with good food. Their tacos are superb, plus they serve Antigua Cerveza too.
Cafe El Injerto
This ranks among the top cafes in the area. What makes this store stand out is the fact that it uses its own coffee. Aside from that, their cozy shop is the perfect place to enjoy fresh coffee beans while catching up with your friend.
Dona Maria Gordillo
Since you are in the city, don’t forget to visit this candy store. This shop still uses the old fashion way of making traditional candies. There will be a line here but it is worth the wait.