Kieq Ik Wai'm Ja Restaurant & Steak House: Above the Crowd
While walking through the jostling, crowded market of Chichicastenango I saw a restaurant sign pointing up a flight of stairs leading off the sidewalk. I decided to check it out and was very pleased to find the Kieq Ik Wai'm Ja Restaurant & Steak House. The restaurant was a relatively quite spot above the hustle of the market below and offered an excellent place to relax, refresh, and refuel myself at mid-day. My table was on a balcony, looking out over a sea of makeshift tin roofs and tarps that covered the stalls in the market below.
Favorite Dish: I had a chicken and rice dish, garnished with fresh tomatoes and cucumbers. It was well presented (see photo) and very tasty.
- Food and Dining
Restaurant Kieq-ik Wai'm Ja: A great people-watching place
This restaurant is situated on the second floor, overlooking the public market, so you can eat and watch the action in the market at the same time, which is great fun, as the market is busy all day.
The food is good and the portions are generous. This is one of the few restaurants in town which serves the local dark ale known as Moza.
Favorite Dish: Lake Atitlan perch...Hard to find a restaurant which serves fish and seafood...and this one does an excellent job with it.
- Budget Travel
- Arts and Culture
La villa de Don Tomas: This is a rip-off!
La Villa de Don Tomas was recommended to us for lunch, as being one of the best restaurants in Chichi. This large upstairs restaurant is indeed quite attractive with white linnen tablecloths on the tables. The menu is so-so...featuring pretty routine dishes, local and international, as well as luncheon choices such as tacos, hamburgers and cheeseburgers. Two of us ordered a plain hamburger but they served us a cheeseburger (which is more expensive, of course!). Also, they overcharged the beers by 5 quetzales (75 cts)...
Restaurante San Juan: Good breakfast spot
Ideally located above the ruckus of the market, Restaurante San Juan is located on the north end of the Parque Central opposite the Iglesia de Santo Tomas. It's upstairs and has a balcony from which you can observe the fray over a cup of coffee, orange juice, or your beverage of choice. We arrived in Chichi rather early (10am) so we made a quick walk through the market in order to get some breakfast and fortify ourselves for the shopping ahead. The plato tipico desayuno comes with eggs cooked to order, frijoles, fresh tortillas, cheese, plantanos, and sausage. The restaurant is brightly colored in oranges and muted yellows and is a welcome calm after running through the market. Service is good and the food a great value (30Q or USD 4.00).
Favorite Dish: Plato tipico desayuno.
Restaurante Los Cofrades: Another restaurant above the fray
Los Cofrades is located on the second floor of a building above the streets of the market. Like Cafe San Juan, it allows the diner to escape the craziness of the market while offering, at least at the small tables that line the narrow outside balcony, a view of the fray below. Los Cofrades offers local dishes including grilled meats, smoked grilled chicken, and the typical frijoles, planatanos, and tortillas. It's a nice place to at least sit and observe the goings on in the street and catch up on writing in your travel journal.
Favorite Dish: Grilled pork, limonada con soda
Las Brasas: Tough steak
On Wednesday night after experiencing a power outage, we decided to pick a place a little closer to our hotel. This place is located on the first floor (one level above the street) just above a little courtyard off of Calle 6. We were both pretty hungry and ordered steaks. The menu said we were ordering "filet mignon" but we ended up getting definitely was not a filet. The meal came with soup and salad and we order two beer each. The total bill was 164 Quetzales or about $22 USD (currency conversion as of 2/5/2006). At $11 each, the price wasn't bad, but the steak was horrible.
Tu Cafe/Villa de los Cofrades: 2 tips in one
On the main square, we had two decent meals. First, after experiencing some awful coffee at the nearby Tziguan Tinamit, we decided to try a place called Villa de los Cofrades. We had tried the coffee here the night before and it was good, so we though we'd give it another try. Since we had woken up at 6 am, getting a good cup of coffee was somewhat of a mission. We had also noticed a lot of locals sitting on the street sipping bowls of what looked like Cream of Wheat and we thought we'd give it a try. We both had very good cappuccinos here and ordered up bowls of avena, a type of local porridge (see local customs tip for details). Yum.
For lunch, we went to Tu Cafe on the eastern end of the square to the left of the Church of Santo Tomas. I ordered some chorizo and some nachos w/ guacamole and both were good. A cold beer also hit the spot after all the shopping on what hot slowly become a hot day.
I don't remember exactly what we paid. Both of these places are among the more expensive in town since they're on the main square, but still they are very cheap.
Restaurante Tziguan Tinamit: Bad coffee
This isn't just a breakfast place, but we stopped in for some grub on Thursday morning. After tasting the coffee, we decided to cut our losses and go elsewhere. It's amazing that it can actually be difficult to find good coffee in a country that is so famous for the quality of its beans. Unfortunately, a lot of the best beans are exported to the U.S. and sometimes what's left for the locals is pretty low quality.
Just north of the main square.
La Fonda del Tzijolaj: Very good food
Very clean restaurant on the first floor.
The Res de Carne was very good for 25 Quetzales.
Slightly more expensive than elsewhere but worth the money.
On the other hand, the service was very bad and we were summoned very early to leave the restaurant. They put the chairs on the tables, started cleaning the floor and put some lights out.
We would have liked to sit there some more time because there was a tropical storm outside. No, we had to get out and be soaked
- Budget Travel
local cafe: Beer
We ordered two beers 'to take way' in a local caffee but the guy behind the counter didn't understand us.
We had to drink them there at the counter.
It was not bad and we ordered two more and this time we managed to get away with closed bottles.
- Budget Travel