Central America is not known for it’s fine cuisine. You can’t go to a “Guatemalan” restaurant in Australia or anywhere else I know for that matter except in Guatemala.
We really struggled with decent places to eat in Antigua. So the gems we did find I thought I would share with you so, unlike me, you can head straight there and not spend hours scouring the net or walking the streets.
I have to admit I haven’t been as diligent in my photography of the food here, so excuse me if I don’t tempt your palette with delicious pictures I will try my best to describe each place.
We emailed a reservation and lucky we did, this place has become quite popular. They picked us up from Café Condessa in Central Park at 5pm on a chicken bus. We met some really great people and made fast friends on the short ride to the outskirts of town.
The KIDS Restaurant is completely run by kids. This project was developed in order to help kids learn English, work and social skills and learn to work together as a team.
The restaurant is like a small living room of someone’s house with maybe 40 seats set up. Kids seat you, serve you and wait on you.
The menu was a set French three-course meal. This changes regularly. The food was served and tasted like visiting someone’s home. There was no fancy display or rich tastes, but it was good wholesome food and after all we were there to support a cause.
One of the parties was celebrating an upcoming wedding and the kids put on a fake wedding ceremony for them and also did some rap dancing in the courtyard.
It was a fine night and I highly recommend going and supporting the cause.
Dona Louise Bakery
My favourite place for lunch, they had 2 tostadas with beef and salad for AUD$2.75, plus my 50 cent bottle of water and I could sit and type on my laptop and be in heaven.
Located on the same street as Fusion, Choco Museo and Cinq, the front is a bakery and out the back is a café in a beautiful floral courtyard. We hardly ever left without stopping at the bakery for their famous banana bread, the smell was too intoxicating.
I wish we had found this one earlier. This little French bar is more then a bar. We never went in because of the Absinthe sign at the front, but on a recommendation from our neighbours we tried it and it was delicious! They serve the most amazing baguettes as a complimentary dish to begin. Honestly, it has to be the best bread in Central America let alone the world.
The tables were covered in white paper and had pencils so the kids could draw all over it, as I did too.
We had an appetizer of marinated olives and after not having any since the US they were delicious.
The kids had the macaroni and cheese (65Q - AUD$8.10) and sliders the second time we went which came with this bird’s nest of crisp fries – delicious! Josh had a penne dish and then duck breast, both equally delicious. I had a beef bouillon and the last night we were there chicken breast fricassee. I was in heaven. They were amazing. The best food we had in Central America. Both times the bill for 4 of us comes to about $40. That’s expensive for Central America, but this was fine dining, high quality food and super service. Highly recommend.
De Fonda – Fine Guatemalan food, introduced to us by our local tour guide.
McDonalds – Not for the food, but the location. It’s a real beautiful venue with no golden arches. A courtyard, playground and, of course, the café.
Café Condessa – In Central Park you’ll no doubt find this gem as it’s a favourite to many. I wasn’t a fan of most of their food, but the smoothies and cakes were delicious.
Pollo Campero – On arch street again not so much for the food, although seated, serviced fast food is a novelty, but another with a playground.
Ni Fu Ni Fa – Argentinean steak house. Has a playground for the kids and a pool. Serves steak with free salad bar. Steaks are expensive by local prices – but delicious.
Hotel Santa Domingo – We had a Sunday breakfast/brunch here, one of the best I’ve been to. So much variety and also delicious. This restaurant also has a sister restaurant in the hills. You can catch a free shuttle from the hotel every 15 minutes to the most amazing hotels, number 1 in Central America. The view is glorious and the food is reasonably priced. Breakfast for 4 came to a measly $16. It was very unexpected in such a prestigious, million dollar view restaurant.
Epicure – Slightly uppity for me, but the food is good, as is the take home sausages and quiches. They have on every page of the menu to keep children seated and quiet, so not very toddler-friendly.
Mama’s – Opposite the Choco Museo is this tiny place serving excellent salads and burgers. Perfect for lunch.
Mono Loco - The tourist destination for Mexican food. As much as we hate to admit it, the food was great and very well priced. Loved me the taco salad.
Bagel Barn - A slice of New York in Antigua and on certain nights they play movies on a "big" screen.
So don’t despair while in Antigua, rice and beans are not the only alternatives. You just have to know where to look.
Reader Comments..."I respond to every comment by direct private email. I look forward to your feedback" - Josh Bender
Kid's Restaurant? What is the cause? I've never heard of this!
Hi! We're off wheat, D has an allergy, we think, nasty dermatitis, so not many of these will do for us. We're loving the food in El Salvador, beans, tamale, pupusas n'all that. Hope we can find some equally yummy wheat-free things in Guatemala. We arrive tomorrow ( loving that you included the Macas playground, we'll be there for a coffee!)
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