If you are a serious foodie, then Guatemala is one of the best possible places you can visit on the planet. Guatemala City in particular is absolutely packed with great restaurants, and as the largest city in the whole of Central America it has become a diverse melting pot of different cultures and influences. For the capital, and for the country as a whole, that has had a wonderful impact on the food that is created here. But of course it is not all just about the country’s capital – Antigua, Flores and second city Quetzaltenango are also packed with wonderful eating experiences.
So, here is our pick of some of the best places to enjoy some incredible food, right across the country.
- Tamarindos, Guatemala City
A restaurant that is as diverse and exciting as the city itself. Tamarindos has won plenty of attention from the global restaurant community over the years, and we think quite rightly so – sit down for a meal here and you are guaranteed a fascinating eating experience. The food has been influenced by the many different and varied cultures who have come to Guatemala City and made it their home, and so you will get to enjoy food that draws on flavours that hail from everywhere from South East Asia to the Mediterranean. You’ll find the restaurant in the fashionable Zona Viva area of Guatemala City, and it is surprisingly affordable given its great reputation.
- El Portal del Ángel, Guatemala City
Staying in Guatemala City for a moment, we also just have to mention El Portal del Ángel. Even if the food was terrible (which it most certainly isn’t) you would probably want to come and eat here just for the remarkable views you get out over the city itself. The setting is just spectacular, and the team at El Portal del Ángel have ensured that you can eat and soak up the views easily, with a huge window the length of the restaurant. But while you might come for the views, you will most certainly stay for the food – perfectly prepared meat and seafood dishes that will give you a whole new perspective on this fascinating place.
- Rincon Tipico, Antigua
Something completely different now – a much humbler restaurant that either of the two we have included from Guatemala City, but no less special in our opinion. Rincon Tipico in the beautiful colonial era town of Antigua is cheap and cheerful, but the food is absolutely fantastic. Simple, well prepared Guatemalan food, served by a friendly team in comfortable surroundings, this is somewhere you will almost certainly bump into plenty of locals who know a good thing when they see it. Obviously, there is a lot of meat on the menu, but there is also plenty of choice for the vegetarians among you.
- Maple & Tocino, Flores
A restaurant with a view of the beautiful lake in Flores. This is another place that sells relatively affordable, simple and well prepared fare – but it is the setting that really makes this a hidden gem. We recommend heading down there for breakfast – it is the perfect spot to sit and take in the views while enjoying a coffee and a good breakfast. It is a little more expensive than some of the restaurants you will find in Flores, but the view and the friendly staff more than make up for it.
- Tertulianos Restaurante & Museo, Quetzaltenango
Another stunning setting to finish on, this time in the city of Quetzaltenango, the second largest in Guatemala. This restaurant is located in what was once a mansion that today also includes a fascinating museum. It is well worth having a walk around the mansion’s many beautiful rooms first, before heading to Tertulianos for some truly delicious food in a unique and historic setting. An absolutely unmissable treat if you find yourself in Quetzaltenango, and in our opinion one of the most unique dining experiences in Guatemala.
Guatemala really is a country whose diversity and ever-changing population has created a fascinating mix of influences. This shines through in its food – and from simple street food to haute cuisine, there is never a dull moment for those of us who are prepared to explore the possibilities.