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Food in Antigua Guatemala

We are having a very nice time here in Antigua Guatemala, quietly living our lives for a month. the Guatemalan food culture in Antigua is very different to what we’re used to on the backpacker trail in Asia. For some reason we expected everywhere to have plenty of inexpensive eating options, it’s not really the case here. So lets talk a bit about food and where to eat in Antigua.

Where to eat in Antigua and Guatemalan food in antigua. Tortilla soup, typical of food in Antigua Guatemala.
Tortilla soup, one of my new Guatemalan favourites. Cafe Sky Antigua. This is our favourite place to eat in Antigua, but don’t expect backpacker prices.

When we first arrived in El Salvador the Central American staples of beans and corn were new and fairly exciting to us, but 6 weeks down the line we’re struggling a little. Struggling to find restaurants or places to eat that we can afford, as well as struggling to find variety.

Food in Antigua Guatemals, Pupusa and Tortilla stall
This is a lower cost option, pupusas and tortillas from a little shop in Antigua old town.

Financial necessity keeps me cooking at our rented villa, the market is great for fresh fruit and veg but I LOVE to eat out.

I love being out there, watching the world go by and trying the local foods of the region. Sitting at home isn’t for me.

We’re managing to eat dinner in a restaurant just once or twice a week, each time costing us $40 to $50. It’s a delicious and lovely treat, but we certainly couldn’t do it every day here. For the last 9 months in Asia we’ve eaten out 3 times a day, every day near enough. I miss it!

Budget Options For Food in Antigua

Where to eat in Antigua Guatemala? These are the local food options.

 Food in Antigua guatemala vegetarian food
Eggs, beans, guacamole and corn tortillas, they come is so many different combinations. This was particularly good at upmarket Cafe Sky.

Self Catering

There are plenty of beautiful villas to rent in Antigua at very good prices for a long stay. We have a small but well appointed kitchen here and we’ve been enjoying whipping up guacamole and fruit smoothies, but we need to get out! There is a small supermarket in town and a huge fresh produce market, shopping is fun and easy.

 Giatemalan food nachos
Avocadoes, corn and beans another way, nachos, yum!

The Market

Towards the back of the Antigua produce market there is a large food court. As you enter the labyrinth vendors accost you with rapid fire Spanish, everyone wants you to eat at their stall. I’m finding it really easy to pick up the Spanish, particularly the food words, so don’t worry too much about coming here if you don’t speak the lingo.

The Guatemalan food we have tried here has been good, soups, beans and eggs, black corn tortillas freshly cooked, but there isn’t much variety. There would be a lot more choice for meat fans, fried chicken is everywhere. We have paid around 20Q, $3/head for fairly large meals for lunch.

Small Restaurants.

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There are some but not as many as there are up market restaurants. We have tried a couple of restaurants selling tacos, burritos, pupusas and nachos, the usual Central American menu. We quite often find that these places are shut when we walk down to town, it’s a bit unpredictable. We found a nice little place this morning for breakfast , Cafe Boheme, 25Q ($3.60 AU) for eggs, beans, cheese, bread and coffee, not bad value. The fancy cafes and coffee shops around Central Park are more expensive.

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Breakfast cooked to order at Cafe Boheme.

 Junk Food

There is Mc Donalds, Burger King, Pollo Campero, pizza places, all the usual suspects and fast food restaurants in Antigua. 

Junk food in Guatemala, Mc Donalds
Mc Donalds, cunningly disguised on an Antiguan street. There is a nice courtyard out the back and kids play area.

We love the way the fast food restaurants are hidden inside old buildings in Antigua, you’d never know they were there.  Mc Donalds has a lovely courtyard out the back and a small kids’ playground, under 8s only.

Street Vendors and Strret Food in Antigua

Watch out for the women with cloth-covered baskets, ceviche stalls and juice stands. They have all sorts of goodies for sale. These would be our top tip for eating on a budget in Antigua.

We’re not so keen on eating as we walk or sitting on the kerb, or we’d use them more often.

When there has been an Easter procession event the street food vendors have been out in force, we found a lot more street food in the festival atmosphere. The kids loved the meat on a stick and roasted broad beans with a squeeze of orange

Where to eat in Antigua Guatemala. Guatemalan street food, meat kebabs.
Guatemalan street food, meat kebabs with pineapple.

 

Where to eat in Guatemala. Guatemalan street food. Food in Guatemala is very good!
Another delicious Guatemalan street food option, this one god for vegetarians and maybe vegans, roast broad beans with a squeeze of orange. Delicious!

Upmarket Dining in Antigua

Food in Guatemala. Guatemalan breakfast buffet. From Where to eat in Antigua Guatemala.
The fancy Sunday brunch buffet at Casa Santo Domingo on top of the hill. Well worth the trip. Black corn tortillas, pupusas and more.

There are endless restaurants here serving every sort of cuisine. Steak houses, sushi, Indian, Thai, crepes, even some Central American. If you came here with plenty of money you’d have a wonderful time trying them all. Some restaurants even have armed guards on the door, I guess to protect wealthy customers.

We particularly like Casa Santo Domingo. Free shuttle buses run up the hill to the restaurant. The Sunday morning bunch buffet is delicious, featuring regional specialities rather than international breakfast fare. This place is more than a restaurant, it’s a destination, you’ll find a kids’ playground. art installations a zip line course and incredible views at the top of the hill.

Food in Guatemala. Where toeat in Antigua, Guatemala. Amazing Liquados at Cafe Sky, Antigua.
The kids love the shakes at Sky Cafe.

Another favourite is Sky Cafe. The portions here are vast, so we manage with two shared mains between four. Even then it puts a dent in our pockets. Cafe Sky has a wonderful roof top terrace with views of Antigua and the volcanoes, I’d eat here every day if we could, the food and service are excellent.

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Antigua Guatemala Eating Out With Kids

So, yes, it’s an interesting culinary experience, a good one. I never knew there were so many ways of serving beans and corn.

Refried beans and guacamole will certainly be featuring on our menu back home in Australia after this experience and we’re all a lot slenderer and healthier after our junk food fest on our USA road trip. But I could murder a Sri Lankan breakfast,  a Thai curry  or some great southern Indian food !

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Elesha

Saturday 21st of February 2015

Great post! I was in Antigua a few weeks ago and absoloutely LOVED the fresh food market near the bus station. We ate some delicious meals there, all very cheap. I like the range of options you have outlined in the post - very helpful for anyone visiting the lovely Antigua!

Renee - RambleCrunch

Saturday 29th of March 2014

We got really tired of all that same stuff in Costa Rica, but it sounds like you've got a lot more food options there in Antigua. I miss Asia where it's so easy to eat out al the time. I enjoy cooking, but it's much more fun when it's a choice.

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Saturday 29th of March 2014

There are plenty of options Renee but they mostly cater for the very well off tourists that you find here. It's really interesting how different the travel scene is to Asia. Americans who cut their teeth on travel here must find Asia really surprising in the same way that we do here. If you know what I mean. It's a totally different experience.

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Alyson is the creator of World Travel Family travel blog and is a full-time traveller, blogger and travel writer. A lifetime of wanderlust and now over 7 years on the road, 50+ countries allowed the creation of this website, for you. She has a BSc and worked in pathology before entering the travel arena and creating this website. World Travel Family Travel Blog has been helping you travel more, better and further since 2012, when Alyson and James first had this life changing idea. On this site you can find endless travel information, tips and guides plus how to travel, how to fund travel and how to start your own travel blog.

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