Las Cofradias: A Salvadorian buffet
Extensive buffet of local dishes. They had numerous kinds of tamales, including sweet ones, pupusas, stews, yucca, an array of salads, 3 or 4 bean dishes, plantains as side dishes and desserts, fruit drinks, etc. I couldn't taste everything because there was too much of it. One of the staff that spoke English told us what everything was.
It is a casual place-- tables and benches, paper napkins. Dinner cost $11 U.S., including service charge (May 2010) and they do take credit cards.
Favorite Dish: Some of the dishes I had were delicious; some I didn't care for, but it was a good look at what the local folks are eating.
- Arts and Culture
Restaurante Las Cofradias: Salvadoran buffet
Restaurante Las Cofradias is a great place to try Cocina Típica (traditional Salvadoran cuisine). There is a delicious buffet for just $8. The soups and desserts are particularly good as are the home-made soft drinks. There are plenty of vegetarian options here, made from corn, yucca and plantain. The service is very friendly and helpful too.
Mon: 4pm-11pm, Tues, Thurs, Fri & Sat: 8am-1am, Sun: 10am-11pm
- Business Travel
- Food and Dining
- Road Trip
Pizza Hut: A Pizza Hut like you have never seen!
Why on earth would you travel to a country 4000 miles away and go to a Pizza Hut when there are so many great local cuisine restaurants to try? That was my thought when I went to this place 3 years ago. I have been there twice since and it has been great every time. When you pull into the parking lot you will first notice 2-3 armed and uniformed security guards in the lot...typical of ES. When you enter the immaculately clean and brightly appointed restaurant you will be greeted by one if not two great hosts that will determine your need and get you quickly to the table. All of the employees are decked out in clean,crisp attractive uniforms and every detail right down to the proper name badge is consistant throughout the restaurant. The supervisors are all wired with headsets and monitor the activity in the restaurant so that nothing fails. We have always had a birthday person in our groups and the Pizza Hut crew does a great job with singing and other props that I will not give away here! When you leave you will all get free mints.
Favorite Dish: The pizza is great... better than any Pizza Hut or for that matter any other chain pizza place that I have been to. The salad bar is bountiful and attractive particularly if you have been avoiding fresh vegetables and salad elsewhere in the country for health reasons.
Several people in our group of 19 had another Italian dishes like rigatoni and it was good
La Hóla: Great kitsch, decent food
La Hóla, a take on “The Wave” is one of the restaurants along what used to be the popular nightlife strip called La Zona Rosa. A seafood eatery, the entire upstairs of the restaurant is made to be like a Pacific beach club, complete with thatched roofs and campy seating. The menu is packed with seafood dishes, but there are also pizzas and sandwiches, and the crowd appears to come here primarily for the drinks. The staff is helpful, but if you’re not there in a group ordering numerous drinks before you even hit the food, you’re unlikely to get quick service.
Favorite Dish: I had the Salvadorean shrimp soup. It was tasty and served in a bread bowl, but wasn’t all that memorable. The spicing was nice, and there were plenty of shrimp, but in all it just sort of tasted like a shrimp chowder.
La Pampa Argentina: A Delicious Piece of Argentina
La Pampa Argentina is another of the well-recommended restaurants in the Zona Rosa, an area of San Benito that was once the heart of nightlife in San Salvador. The restaurant presents itself as being much fancier than its price-range, which is a rather pleasing combination. The décor is tasteful without being either plain or kitschy, and the waiters here are experienced and helpful. While it is quite pleasant to spend one's time on the balcony, it is wise not to sit too close to the edge during the rainy season, as sudden thunderstorms can cause rain to come under the awning. The food is very nicely presented and portions here are on the large side, so don't over order. The meals are authentically Argentine, well spiced and served with various dipping sauces. The general lack of customers in Zona Rosa means that you are likely to be taken care of too closely, but the waiters never give the impression that you are intended to finish the meal quickly.
Favorite Dish: I had the Argentine empanadas as an appetizer, which are served with a cup of broth. These were piping hot and well-spiced. For the entrée, I had a delicious parillada that included strips of tender beef, Argentine sausage, a salad and corn on the cob. All of it was excellent, especially when accompanied by garlic bread and the various hot sauces. Finally, a decent flan for dessert made it difficult for me to make it back to the hotel quickly.
Tre Fratelli: Mediocre Italian Cuisine
Tre Fratelli is one of San Salvador's mainstays of Italian cuisine, but that doesn't mean that it is a memorable place to eat. The décor is minimally Italian, with the standard Salvadorean design of the building. The interior is dark without being romantic, in part due to the constant playing of sports on the various televisions around the room. The staff is friendly and helpful, but there really aren't all that many customers to be served. The food is not bad, but it's not good either, often lacking proper seasoning, with way too much salt to be either tasty or healthy.
Favorite Dish: I had the bocconcini salad, which did not contain bocconcini, but was drowned in enough balsamic vinegar to disinfect a major wound. The ravioli, stuffed with meat, were decent, despite a slathering of tomato sauce.
When my then-teenaged niece, a notoriously picky eater, came from the US to visit me in El Salvador for three weeks, one of my biggest concerns was figuring out how to feed her. If you, or anyone you plan to travel with, are similarly picky but love American-style fast food, fret not – San Salvador has just about everything you could hope to find. US chains McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s, KFC, Subway, Domino’s, Pizza Hut (especially Pizza Hut), and many others are all thick on the ground in San Salvador. Pollo Campero, home to good fried chicken, is something of a national obsession (even though the chain originated in neighboring Guatemala) and is definitely worth a visit. Biggest (that’s actually the name of the restaurant) is the local competition to the various international hamburger chains; personally, I never found their burgers too appetizing, but they offer a decent breakfast. Another local chain, Nash, offers pizza and fried chicken – something for everyone. My favorite local fast food chain – Mc de Servipronto, a rogue chain of counterfeit McDonalds restaurants born out of some sort of licensing dispute back in the 1980s –has unfortunately been forced out of business after decades of lawsuits. I always enjoyed going into the Mc de Servipronto that was located on Bulevar de los Héroes, ordering their feature sandwich, the Big Mmmm (their version of the Big Mac), and reading the anti-McDonalds propaganda posted on the walls.
Pueblo Viejo: Breakfast Buffet at Pueblo Viejo
During my time as a Peace Corps volunteer in El Salvador, I usually made the three-hour bus trip to San Salvador about once a month, sometimes for work-related meetings and sometimes just to meet up with friends and/or do a little shopping. Oftentimes, my last stop in San Salvador before heading to the bus terminal and then back to my Peace Corps site would by Pueblo Viejo, a restaurant located in what was once known as MetroSur and is not just another wing of the ever-expanding MetroCentro, reputedly Central America’s largest shopping mall. I’ve eaten dinner there a couple of times, and the food was good, but the time to visit Pueblo Viejo is definitely in the morning, when they have their all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet featuring just about every type of food that Salvadorans serve for breakfast, all excellently prepared and accompanied by coffee and a variety of fresh juices. At about $8 per person, it’s certainly an expensive breakfast by local standards, but I still always feel like those are $8 well spent. Indeed, this breakfast buffet makes Pueblo Viejo one of the three restaurants in San Salvador (along with El Sopón Típico and Inka Grill) that I always look forward to returning to during each trip back to El Salvador.
- Arts and Culture
Café Miranda is an old coffee farm, dating from the end of the 19th century, that has been open to public since 2001. There is a nice garden and restaurant and when the weather is good the panoramic view is supposed to be great. Unfortunately it was cloudy when we visited, but the pupusas were delicious. We had chocolate de cacao to drink and two different pupusas and it was all very good.
The restaurant is open on Wednesday - Thursday between 11.30 - 17, and on Friday - Sunday between 8 - 19.
Shakes - juicebar and cakes
Together with Nancy and Ellie I went to Shakes to taste the best fruit juices in town. They have a big varity of fresh fruit juices and you can choose to have it with water, milk or frozen. The price begins at 2 dollars (June 2009). There are also cakes.
I hade a strawberry juice with milk and it was delicious! The upstair area where we sat was also lovely with a lot of plants and fresh air (far fom the air in the centre).
Olivos Café y librería
Olivos Café is situated in the same building as the Hotel Hilton Princess and we parked the car in their garage (it was 1 dollar). At Olivos Café they serve crepes, salads, sandwiches, chicken dishes, cakes and muh more. You can sit inside with A/C or outside. We sat outside and had salmon crepes, crepes with vegetables and a soup and five beers. Everything was 27.72 dollars (June 2009). A 10% tip had been added alredy.
I had salmon crepes, also with cream chease and pesto inside. They were very good!
At Olivos café there is also a small bookstore and sometimes they arrange music events.
La Hola Beto's: Seafood Galore
Within the bustle of the city but you feel far from it in this restaurant. The restaurant is known for their mariscos. We had ceviche which was great. The menu also has dishes that are original yet traditional. The restaurant is open M-Sa 11 a.m. until 2 a.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. until midnite. They take credit cards. There is dining inside and out. Pretty good cocktails as well.
Tre Fratelli: Great service/fun
I read a few opinions on Thorn Tree Forum about this place but since it was in the heart of Zona Rosa, thought I'd ignore those opinions and try it out anyway. Service was great. The wait staff was great. The atmosphere was great. My Spanish.... not so great. But, hey, point and SMILE. I took 8 years of German... did not pay off in this country. Great wine list.
Pasta Gourmet: Ravioli and Fresh Pasta on Paseo Escalon
Pasta Gourmet its a store and a little lunch and coffe restaurant.
Fresh Ravioli, Fresh Pasta,
Pizza, Lasaña, Focaccia Bread
and a lot more
ALL HOME MADE fresh, frozen or ready-cooked
WITH A BIG QUALITY for a good Price
They offer cookery course too realy cheap and helpfully
Favorite Dish: Ravioli de Queso, Focaccia Bread (ther realy tasty), and Tomato-Olive Sauce
Meson de Goya: A school that is a restaurant
Meson de Goya is part of ITCA (Instituto Tecnologico de Centro America - http://www.itca.edu.sv), a technical institute. Future restaurateurs and hoteliers study here. My friend Hans Radlemaier (husband of my classmate Claudia Galvez) is now (year 2006) in charge of these carreers, and also of the Meson de Goya, which is good news! This restaurant is a bit off the beaten path or "in" places, as it is located inside the ITCA institute, but is on a mayor street entering Santa Tecla city, and has a fresh, verdant setting. If you have reached the mayor malls in Antiguo Cuscatlan (Multiplaza, Las Cascadas, La Gran Via), it is not that far from these... and it is virtually at the back of Merliot Mall. I like to come here when I have to lunch with someone working nearby, and we don't have time to go farther... and we have the added satisfaction of helping with the future of our people in the tourist trade. (Note: the photos are from year 2003)