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!Add to your Trip Planner
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.Add to your Trip Planner
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.Add to your Trip Planner
Mono Loco: Nachos as big as your head!
The Mono Loco is listed in 80 Bars Around the World as the best bar in Guatemala----and there is no doubt about that! What a fun place to come to meet friends, locals, and travellers alike. It has great atmosphere, wonderful food, strong drinks, lively music, happening sports, and terrific service. I had a blast there drinking the local Gallo beer sharing a huge plate of nachos (best I have ever had anywhere) with my traveling companions. I can't wait to go back to Antigua for another Mono Loco experience!
Favorite Dish: Order the nachos or the big-ass burrito. Unbelieveable. Extremely affordable with generous portions.Related to:
- Study Abroad
Restaurante Las Palmas
I had just read the menu outside Restaurante Las Palmas and had decided to go inside when someone handed me a piece of paper where it said I could change it for a glass of vine at the restaurant. It tasted good with wine so after the first glass I ordered another. While I was waiting for my meal I got nachos with dip to eat. It was on the house. A glass of vine, a bottle of water, lasagne and tip was 127.50 quetzales (July 2009).
The service was good and it was a quiet and nice restaurant.Add to your Trip Planner
Da Gusto: Eat Where Bill Clinton Did!
My guide brought me to the Da Gusto Restaurant which is famous for being where Bill Clinton ate in 1999, as well as for its good food – so okay, let’s go have lunch!
It’s located near the museums and the reception was warm and friendly and there is middle courtyard, a second floor where the restrooms are, and an inner dining hall. We ate in the latter.
We both ordered steaks, and I ordered one with the combinations such that I also had chorizo and plantain and I think my guide ordered one which was a little spicier – PUYAZO. But my dish (Asado Chapin Puyazo) was really good and I finished it!
Then my guide suggested we try the Mole which is a plantain dessert bathed in chocolate. I tried it and it was good, not as sweet as plain regular plantain (although I really like sweet things, hehe).
My bill was about 330 Quetzal, tip included --- about US$60
Favorite Dish: Asado Chapin Puyazo and the plantainRelated to:
- Family Travel
Rainbow Café: Best atmosphere in town
Hands down the best place we found in Antigua, we liked it so much we came here nearly everyday of our visit! They have great healthy food at remarkably cheap prices considering its Antigua we are talking about (my favourite was the falafel). They also had live music everynight, a good secondhand bookshop, talks given by local charities every Tuesday etc.... but the thing we like so much about Rainbow was the atmosphere, the staff were soooo friendly and helpful and the artwork and comfy lounge area made for a great experience everytime!
Favorite Dish: My favourite dish was the falafel although the Greek Chicken was pretty special too! I liked the falafel so much because it came with a delicous tahini sauce, hummus, pita bread and salad... and the price was about half what other restaurants were charging and it was nicer and more plentiful!!Related to:
Te Quiero: Great Tapas
This tapas restaurant is interestingly decorated, the back room includes interesting antique colonial furniture. The owners are a friendly couple who are full of information about Antigua -Karla, a Guatemalteca who also runs a salon upstairs and Scott, a young American expatriate. There is music Fridays and Saturdays; we heard an acoustic guitar performer who sang in English and Spanish, sometimes one verse in Spanish and the next in English.
Favorite Dish: This is a great tapas restaurant with fabulous variety. We asked for non-meat tapas and were surprised at the variety, taste, and price. For a little less than $8 US we had a great dinner of tapas for two.Add to your Trip Planner
La Fonda de la Calle Real: Authentic Guatemalan
Even though partly famous because Bill Clinton ate here (there are several framed photos in the restaurant), the food is the star. The most popular dish is Caldo Real (caldito real is a smaller portion). It is a chicken soup with rice and cilantro and other ingredients and is delicious. This makes a nice starter.
There are several entrees from which to choose, ranging from Gallo Chincha (rooster in a sauce), chiles rellenos, steaks and much more.
For dessert, try the fried bean and plantain medallions (can't remember the name), they were awesome.
The restaurant is reasonable, too. Four of us had starters, entrees, one dessert, and several beers and glasses of wine. It set us back about USD20 each, including tip. Not too bad.
Favorite Dish: Caldo RealAdd to your Trip Planner
Doña Luisa Xicotencatl: desayuno
Best breakfast in town. Also a bakery with great smelling stuff.
In a big old colonial house with lots of seating, this place is great and quite inexpensive comparatively.
Local dishes, great smoothies and coffees and pastries all available.
Favorite Dish: Huevos RancherosRelated to:
- Food and Dining
Mercado Municipal, Santa Lucía and elsewhere: mercados
To get good local food go to the market and try things you haven't heard of. I like hilachas and tamales and pollo en jocón.
In the Southeast of town at the Santa Lucía church in the courtyard there is a lady who does good local food every day for lunch. It's worth a visit if you're in the neighborhood or checking out the church.
Favorite Dish: Hilachas. She makes this traditional beef stew really good.Related to:
- Food and Dining
- Budget Travel
Bistrot Cinq: Great dining in Antigua!!
We visited this restaurant on a trip this weekend----great experience---food and wine was outstanding. Our server was great and took very good care of during our visit. Come to find out the restaurant was created by a famous American chef, Robbin Haas. We will be going back to Bistrot Cinq soon!!!!!
Favorite Dish: Our favorite dish was the roasted chicken---a simple meal that was prepared perfect! We also shared the short ribs that we great-----and finished with the Vanilla Bean Crème Brulée-----what an amazing meal!!!Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Food and Dining
- Wine Tasting
Sangre: Wine Bar and Tapas
Walk through the small boutique that fronts 5a Avenida Norte to get to this stylish wine bar that serves tapas, those small dishes of appetizer creations so well known in Spain. The decor will remind one of being in a trendy bar in NY or LA and is a nice change from the colonial atmosphere that is prevalent in Antigua. Service is good and friendly and the dishes are simply done and tasty. We only had a couple of plates (antipasto plate with olives, goat cheese, tomatoes, and crackers...forgot what the other one was) and I had a nice glass of Gascon Malbec from Argentina. We sat at the bar and had a nice conversation with the bar tender.
Good atmosphere with friendly staff and good eats.
Favorite Dish: Gascon Malbec, tapasAdd to your Trip Planner
La Fuente: Nice Setting, Mediocre Food
We were starving and looking for something inexpensive. We found what we needed at La Fuente which takes up a side of an inner courtyard that surrounds a pretty fountain, stone walkways, and greenery. The remainder of the courtyard is taken up by a nice assortment of shops that are worth browsing through. The food was inexpensive and wasn't overly impressive although it served its purpose. Burritos, wraps, and vegetarian dishes. I wasn't totally thrilled when I saw that some dishes had American cheese. But to relax in such a setting is quite a nice experience. Just don't come here expecting fine dining.
Favorite Dish: NoneAdd to your Trip Planner
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