What a nice place! After some hard bus rides through Guatemala we stayed a few days on the wonderful island Flores. There we went EVERY night and some days even for lunch (too bad they dont do breakfast) to the Villa de chef restaurant. Right at the shore of this beautiful lake, with romantic sunsets almost garanteed and an atmosfere that is unbeaten on the island you really dont have to look any further. I ate the local fish( Blanco) several times and my girlfriend ate through the variety of vegetarian dishes, wich were always yummy and - thank god! - not too expensive (like at other places we tried the first day). Best Mojitos too. Tip; Happy hour!
Too bad we didnt have time to rent the canoes they have.
But hey, maybe next time.
Favorite Dish: Fish Blanco!!! Sorry I´m good at eating, not describing...
The Cafe Arqueologico is like a meeting point for people who are interested in Mayan Culture or Archeology in general. The walls are full of photos of the work at the sites in the jungle, there is a collection of books about the Maya and you can book tours to the sites, too.
At the time I stayed at Flores there was also a presentation about the maya and war by a local expert.
When it comes to eating you can choose between "normal" meals like burgers or mexican style food and what they call prehispanian dishes. They consist of local ingredients that were already used by the Maya.
There are a lot of good restaurants at Flores but If you`re interested in Mayan culture or want to try something special the Yaxha is the place to go.
Favorite Dish: Chicken with Chaya Sauce
Chicken with a Sauce that is made of the leafs of the Chaya plant that was also used by the Maya. I liked it very much because it has a spicy, a little bit sour taste that i hadn`t experienced before.
But the other prehispanian dishes I tried (for example a dish with Yucca roots) were very tasty, too.
This place is known for its views of the sunsets on the western part of the island, hence its name! The restaurant has a nice outdoor seating area in the back overlooking the lake, making it a great place to watch the sunset beyond the lake. The happy hour specials are pretty decent: 2 large Gallos for 18Q ($2.50), among others. The food wasn't bad overall: The salsa was pretty respectable, while the chips were obviously out of a bag and so-so. My entree of chicken terryaki was passable, but large. I was told by a local that the specialty lake fish was very good, but the server was honest and told me that it wasn't very large. The service was a little lacking, mainly because there were a lot of people and only one server at the time. Overall, I was satisfied with this place because I enjoyed the salsa and the view and the cheap beer.
We did not eat here but the menu posted outside the door made us wish we had an extra night in Peten so we could try out the food. Based on our short walking tour of the south side of Flores, La Luna looks to be one of the nicer eating establishments. Based on the description in our Lonely Planet guidebook, we would have definitely given La Luna a try as it is described as having "innovative chicken, fish, and beef dishes the likes of which you'll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in Guatemala."
As one crosses the causeway, and bears to the left, toward the north, there are a variety of fast food and cheap places to eat, that may also serve a beer and provide a view across the water. Further along, past a couple of internet cafes, toward the north side of the island, there are a couple of streets run parallel along the north side of the island. The further one is Calle 30 de Junio. This is a very short walk and all restaurants can be viewed within a few minutes. There are also a couple of small grocery stores along this street. Those restaurants on the southside of the street, such as La Luna, provide a more old-world feel for dining and some excellent cuisine. Those on the outside, provide perhaps the best ambiance on the island, such as Las Puertas. Indoor dining is provided, but several restaurants have outdoor dining with views across the water, which can be pleasant either for breakfast or after dark. These restaurants are likely to serve a variety of courses, including good seafood dishes. Wine, tropical bar drinks, and beer available at these more upscale priced restaurants. They are still a good bargain though, as this is Guatemala, and even the best restaurants are an excellent deal. Menus are generally placed outside the restaurant door, so it's easy to browse a number of restaurants before deciding. Reservations are rarely needed, except maybe at La Luna.
In late November, it felt like there was one restaurant open in Flores for each visitor. It is tricky to choose between so many empty places, and a little sad too.
Anyway, Villa del Chef prides itself on cleaning all ingredients, and the outside dining room looked cute. The fried chicken and fries were as plain as can be, but the place did feel very clean and safe.
If you eat dinner too early, as I often do, you may experience a little pang before retiring for the night.
The Pasteleria La Isla is just the spot: it closes late, and offers an array of plain but good little brioches, as well as a wonderfully moist banana cake (Pastel de Banana).
I tried the very same breakfast in several places, some plain and some fancier: cheesy eggs, fried plantain, and black beans - with an odd cinnamon gruel on the side.
The best I had was at Cool Beans, a how-hip-can-you-get coffee place in Flores (free shower, free condoms).
Although it is a bit strereotypical, Cool Beans is just the right place to exchange tips with other travelers. Since I had visited Tikal the previous day, I shared my knowledge with two Quebequois who told me about Antigua in return.
AFTER ARRIVING IN FLORES THE MIDNIGHT BEFORE, WE CAME TO A HOTEL RESTAURANT THE MORNING AFTER WHICH LOOKED A VERY NICE HOTEL WITH A SWIMMING POOL IN IT. WE JUST CAME FOR BREAKFAST IN WHICH I WAS SERVED A REALLY NICE SMOOTHIE WHICH I THOUGHT TASTED REALLY DELICIOUS.
Favorite Dish: THE SMOOTHIE BLENDED WITH WATER WAS DELICIOUS. I BELIEVE IT HAD A MIXTAURE OF PAPAYA, MELON, AND PINEAPPLE WHICH MADE IT TASTE REALLY SWEET.
HOWEVER, I CAN'T REMEMBER HOW MUCH IT COST NOR THE BREAKFAST I HAD I'M AFRAID.
IF YOU HAPPEN TO COME HERE, TRY IT!
It's just a good solid laid back type of place. It's directly across from the local hostel so it has a good vibe at night as well.