Sobremesa: Don't miss their Blackberry Chipotle Steak
Great ambiance for a romantic dinner
Perfect for going out and enjoy a great meal with friends and family
Favorite Dish: Pumpkin Cheesecake with Cognac Ice cream
More than 60 exotic Ice cream flavors
Unicorn SteakRelated to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Arts and Culture
- Gay and Lesbian
Doña Luisa Xicotenca: Best Bakery in Antigua - Doña Luisa Xicotenca
This bakery has the best banana bread EVER! I am a fan of banana bread and have had many different kinds but this tops them all. Most times when you go to the bakery the bread will still be hot and they will put it in a bag and tell you to keep it open until it cools completely.
This is a very busy bakery and I saw a lot of people buy bread, buns and bagels. We also bought some cookies at Christmas time that were so delicious. Each time we are in Antigua we always pick up a few loafs of banana bread to give to people when we visit. People are always asking where we got it because they love it. I highly recommend his bakery and its just up the street from central park so not too far out of the way. They also have a restaurant which we did not eat at but, I am sure if good also.
Favorite Dish: Banana Bread; Cookies
At Bagel Barn you can have a big variety of fresh bagels. There are also different kinds of coffee and smoothies to drink. I came here twice during my visit and took the opportunity to read in one of the guidebooks they had (as I didn’t have my own guidebook for Guatemala). There are also magazines to read.
On my first visit I had a bagel with mozzarella and tomatoes and a Pepsi to drink. Tip was included in the bill and I paid 46 quetzales. On my second visit I had a bagel with cream cheese and a medium coffee. With tip it was 27 quetzales (July 2009).
Bagel Barn is open between 6 - 21.
La Pena de Sol Latino: Nice Food and Live Music
Newly-opened in 2006, this restaurant was opened more as a place to showcase the house band that plays there most nights. Their style is a blend of Guatemalan and Andean sounds and is very eclectic. The musicians are good at what they do and there's no cover so it's a great environment where one can hang out with a drink of their choice. They do serve food (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). For dinner I had a grouper filet with a macadamia nut crust on ratatouille. Not overly exciting but nice nonetheless. The owner, an ex-pat American who is also a member of the band, was very welcoming and accomodating, explaining the mission of their restaurant/band and explaining the dishes.
Favorite Dish: Grouper with macadamia nut crust
Stands at La Merced: Local street food
Gotta love street food. La Merced is the place to go in Antigua. There are plenty of stalls selling hot food out front of the church. All kinds of good stuff here to choose from. Keep an eye on how it is cooked and where the meat is coming from if you are concerned about your stomach. I look for crowds or the number of customers a vendor has as a sign..the good ones will have lines.
Eating in Antigua is generally safe due to the high volume of tourists the place sees so indulge a bit in some local fare.Related to:
- Historical Travel
I forgot: Local food
Antigua has no shortage of places to eat including the major American chains like Subway and McCrap...Some places are little holes in the wall serving basics such as tacos etc...
There is also the usual midrange places where you can sit down, have a beer and eat some slightly overpriced fare as I did my first night..the upside is that most of the places are clean and no worries of tummy trouble...I had none on this trip...keep in mind I ate like a mouse on the beach in Hawaii.
Best suggestion is to walk around and check out menus and the number of people in them..always nice to see locals in a place...if you see a pile of tourists then hang on to your wallet as you will probably pay $$$.Related to:
- Historical Travel
Pollo Campero: Quick Chicken
Pollo Campero is Guatemala's answer to KFC.....They say it less greasy that the Col's stuff. I would tend to agree. While I tend to avoid fast food on trips unless I am stuck in an airport and need a cheap bite but I wanted to try this place while I was in Antigua as I would probably not get the chance the day I flew home and the price was right....less than $10 for a meal...
Favorite Dish: The fried chicken will not get your fingers all oily like KFC and you can either order from the front counter or sit down and they will take your order from your table. They even have the green hot sauce in a cup at the table along with packets of ketchup. At the end of the day it is a quick/cheap meal that hits the spotRelated to:
La Cuebita de Los Urquizu: Antiguan buffet...
Did not eat here but this place seemed to be full when I walked by a couple of times and the food was steaming hot out front next to the street. While not exactly a buffet they did have a wide range of plates/pots out front ranging from hearty meat stews to fresh guacamole
Favorite Dish: I would have tried anything had I had more time here.Related to:
- Adventure Travel
Micho's café pub: A light lunch
This is another friendly spot where we found a tasty light lunch. The small interior has a number of quirky decorative items (US car registration plates, for instance), but we sat outside in the courtyard with its attractive modern fountain and surrounding craft and jade shops.
Favorite Dish: My cheese and tomato bagel and Chris’s cheese and ham croissant were washed down with a couple of bottles of our favourite Moza beer. Service was prompt and friendly and the bill reasonable, although annoyingly I seem to have forgotten to note the exact figure.
By the way, do (if you're female!) check out the ladies’ loo. You’ll be given a key to the basement ones in the building across the courtyard, which are clean and well supplied, but the outstanding feature is the washbasin taps, each of which is encased in a traditional wooden mask – see photo 2 for an example.
Café El Portal: Best coffee spot?
This quickly became our favourite coffee spot in Antigua. It has a great location on the west side of Parque Central, opposite the cathedral, and a well-chosen seat at the bar affords a good view of all the activity out on the street. The coffee is good, with lots of interesting choices in addition to the usual espresso, cappuccino or latte options. Typical prices: 9 Q for a double espresso, 10 Q for a cappuccino, the same for a latte. The cakes and pastries looked delicious and were served in generously large slices, but somehow I managed to resist trying them!
Café Condessa: Popular for lunch
This is a busy café on the west side of the Parque Central, opposite the cathedral. To get to it you must walk through the great little bookshop of the same name, and past a tour agency desk and a small courtyard. There are a few tables along the far side of that courtyard, which is where we sat, and a large room beyond with many more. It seemed popular with locals out shopping for the day as well as with tourists – usually a good sign.
Next door there is a small counter service coffee bar but we never visited here, preferring the more relaxed atmosphere of the nearby El Portal (see next tip).
Favorite Dish: I ordered a fresh orange juice, which when it came tasted suspiciously like squash. The waitress insisted it was fresh, but willingly changed it for a Gallo. I had a spinach salad to eat – the leaves were young and tender, and the dressing and lardons very good, although the croutons were a little too crunchy for my taste. Incidentally all salad vegetables here come from their own farm and are guaranteed washed in pure water, so you needn’t worry about eating them. Chris drank a Moza beer to accompany his turkey salad sandwich. The bill was a fairly reasonable 127 Q (without service).
The main downside was the constant noise of hammering above our heads – there was clearly building work going on somewhere above us. It somewhat spoilt the restful atmosphere of the courtyard, and was even more of a problem for the two women sitting across from us who found that plaster dust was dropping into their food and drinks. There were no free tables to which they could be moved, and although staff helpfully pulled theirs away from the wall a little, from what I could see the problem continued and they cut short their lunch. You might want to check that the work is finished if you go there in the near future (we were there in November 2010) and if not ask for a table in the room at the back.
Café Bourbon: Good breakfast spot
This little café/bar on 5a Avenida Norte became our favourite breakfast spot. A table by the window meant a great view of the street for people-watching; the coffee was strong and very good; the staff were friendly; and there was plenty of choice whether you wanted a small pastry or a large cooked breakfast.
Favorite Dish: On the first morning here we paid 58 Q for two cappuccinos and two pastries. On the second we were a little hungrier, so I had the excellent yoghurt / fresh fruit / granola combination while Chris went for the French toast. With two coffees (a cappuccino and a double espresso) the bill came to 110 Q.
The bar is open all day and on weekend evenings sometimes has live jazz. The lunch and dinner menus sounded good but we never got around to sampling these, although I’m sure with a longer stay in the city we would have done – also the tempting selection of cocktails!
La Peña de Sol Latina: Live music
Although I’d read pretty good reviews of this restaurant, we hadn’t originally planned to visit it as there were several equally appealing nearer to our hotel. But when we walked past earlier in the day we paused and got talking to the owner, Bill Harriss, a friendly ex-pat American. He was very helpful in recommending some good places to see in the city, and also invited us inside to see the attractive courtyard and explained the ethos behind his restaurant. It was opened with the specific aim of showcasing local music, and a band performs live every evening – although as he was at pains to point out, not so loudly as to make dinner conversation impossible. We liked what we saw and heard, and as our first choice of Frida’s (see next tip) was closed for a private function, we decided to return.
It proved to be a good decision, as we had a tasty meal and enjoyed the atmosphere a lot. The music was provided by the house group, Sol Latino – Andean Folkloric style with Pan Pipes, and with the American owner on drums (which he played with infectious enthusiasm).
Favorite Dish: Chris chose a plate of nachos with chicken, which he enjoyed, while I loved my grouper with macadamia nuts, rosemary potatoes and ratatouille (the house signature dish), although the ratatouille could have been served a little hotter for my taste – we were to find however that lukewarm food is apparently the norm in Guatemala! I had an excellent margarita and Chris the inevitable Gallo. We both had room for dessert, and both chose the delicious pineapple flambéed with rum.
The bill came to 280 Q with service – not the cheapest meal in Antigua but by no means the dearest either, and good value for the quality of the food, friendly service and entertainment.
Rainbow Cafe: Great atmosphere, even better food!
What a great place, we loved Rainbow Cafe/Bookshop, there was live music every night, with bands at the weekend, an open air patio and relaxed atmosphere. The staff were very friendly and patient with our Spanish! But the main thing that stood out was the food, it was fantastic and very reasonably priced (especially the lunchtime special, soup and sandwich for Q32!). They also have the best collection of second-hand books in Antigua.
Favorite Dish: My favourite dish was the falafel, it comes with hummuas and pita bread, taratur sauce and salad and was just delicious! Very generous portion as well.Related to:
- Family Travel
Cafe Condesa: Good food & a good story
The Café Condesa is in part of a building that was originally the home of the Count of Gomera, who was governor from 1609-1623. His successors also lived here. A story says that one of the counts came home at the wrong time and found his wife with the butler, and that he buried the butler alive. The story got some credibility after the 1976 earthquake—workers found a skeleton standing up within the pantry wall. The house was exorcised in 1992.
Favorite Dish: The quiche was excellent.
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