Dos Lunas Bed & Breakfast

Address: 21 Calle 10-92 zona 13 Aurora II    Reservation Line: +(502) 2261-4248

Food

Guatemala City Restaurants

Food Service

(Guatemalan food)

Where is the best place to eat Guatemalan food?  There are a few very nice restaurants in Guatemala City where you can enjoy delicious meals from the national kitchen:  Guatemalan food is a fusion of Maya, Hispanic, Sephardi, and Caribbean cultures, with German and Mexican influences. Guatemalan´s favorite food in general is the grilled steak, which is why you will find a large amount of steak houses all over the city.  Another favorite is ceviche; Guatemalans love ceviche but we recommend you not to eat this food on the street, as it is seafood.

A favorite snack is “chicharrones”.  (pork skin) with corn tortilla and “chojin”, that is a chopped radish salad served as topping to the chicharrones. Tortillas with chicharrones are accompanied by fried onions and fried jalapeño chillies, guacamole, etc.

GUATEMALAN RESTAURANTES IN HISTORIC DOWNTOWN

ZONE 1

PAN AMERICAN HOTEL

Pan American Hotel is located in the heart of the historic downtown, near the Plaza Mayor, between 5th and 6th. avenue and 9th. Street of zone 1.

The building was, until 1942, the Hotel Astoria and this beautiful hotel is one of the many witnesses of the changes that have occurred in Guatemala City. The elegance of the Pan American Hotel is reflected in the structure of the hotel with the geometric beauty of art deco. Inside is decorated with indigenous motifs, textiles and handicrafts, furniture that evoke the colonial era and photos of the place across more than a century of existence, witnessing the cultural evolution of Guatemala. The setting is harmonized with piano and marimba music in special events, and the entire hotel is decorated with candles and flowers. Its midday buffet makes available the flavors of Guatemalan cuisine.

Photo: Pan-American Hotel

The purpose of this place is to provide the visitor with a historic atmosphere and a nostalgic sense of the old times, when the city was called the “Silver cup”. Its staff wear beautiful regional costumes and at the entrance of the restaurant, you will find a young woman who prepares corn tortillas in a traditional way. There is a variety of Guatemalan native dishes that its menu offers, from appetizers, main courses, desserts to natural soft drinks and the great coffee that has made the country famous throughout the world.

CENTRAL MARKET

In the heart of the Historic Center of Guatemala City is the Central Market, which since the end of the 19th century is “The place” where traditional Guatemalan cuisine is prepared at very affordable prices, dishes like chopped radish with pork rind served in hot corn tortillas; rolled pork head and vinaigrette legs accompanied by corn tortillas, special dressings, desserts and drinks. Some dishes are only prepared on special occasions, but others are available all the time.

The theme of these places is that they offer food on foot since they follow the concept of fast food for consumption and not a restaurant experience. However, you can sit in the “comedores” at the market and enjoy a nice hot chicken soup, while some musical groups perform near the diners.

Some of the Guatemalan food that you can order in the Central Market are: 

  1. Pepian (chicken mole)
  2. Caldo de Gallina (Chicken soup)
  3. Patitas a la vinaigrette (Pickled pork muscles and lower legs)
  4. Tortillas con chicharron y chojin (Radish with pork rind in a corn tortilla)
  5. Revolcado (rolled pork head)
  6. Tostadas de guacamol (fried tortilla with guacamole)
  7. Tacos de papa (rolled up tacos stuffed with potato)
  8. Dobladas (fried tortillas stuffed with meat)
  9. Caldo de res (Vegetable meat boullon with vegetables)
Photo by Claudia Wood, Canada.

BAR EL PORTAL:

Known as “El portalito”, this is a nostalgic bar located in Pasaje Rubio, inside Portal del Comercio around the Plaza mayor.  This bar is famous for its “chibolas” (tap beer in a large round glass) and for its “mojitos”.

Back in the 50´s Che Guevara used to come to this place for a drink; many intellectuals have also used the “portalito” as headquarters.

This old-fashioned bar with an excellent service will transport you to the past, not just for its old-fashioned decor but for its overall atmosphere.  Live music is available usually at midday.


Photo by: Fresita la Hada, (nomada.gt)

ARRIN CUAN

Arrin Cuan, is recognized by Guatemalans and tourists that enjoy different dishes from the Guatemalan kitchen. One of the goals of this restaurant is to highlight the Guatemalan gastronomic heritage and share with national and foreign tourists, the great multicultural value that Guatemala has.

Since 1995, Arrin Cuan won three awards at the International Gastronomic Festival that is celebrated annually in Guatemala. Currently, Arrin Cuan offers 40 different typical dishes to their visitors.

Photo: Guatemala.com

ARRIN CUAN

Arrin Cuan. is familiar to Guatemalans and tourists that want to enjoy different dishes from the Guatemalan kitchen. The main goal of the restaurant is to highlight Guatemalan gastronomic heritage and share with national and foreign tourists the great multicultural value that Guatemala has.

Since 1995, Arrin Cuan has won three awards in the International Gastronomic Festival that is celebrated annually in Guatemala. Currently, Arrin Cuan offers 40 different typical dishes to their visitors

Photo: Guatemala.com

OTHER GUATEMALAN RESTAURANTS IN HISTORIC DOWNTOWN:

ADOBE

7a. Avenida 9-45 Zona 1

http://www.facebook.com/restauranteeladobe

LA COCINA DE LA SEÑORA PU
6ª. Ave A.  10-16 zona 1
Sunday closed,
http://www. Senorapu.com

GUATEMALAN RESTAURANTS IN ZONA VIVA

ZONE 10

KACAO
2ª ave. 13-44 zona 10.
Website: http://www.kacao.gt

CASA CHAPINA
1a. Avenida 13-42 zona 10
http://www.restaurantecasachapina.com

STEAK HOUSE HACIENDA REAL
5a. avenida 14-67, zona 10
Tel. 23808383
http://www.haciendareal.net/gt/

Useful tip: This steak house has a free shuttle, hotel-restaurant-hotel, if you make your reservation and request this service.


Fiambre

All Saints’ Day and Day of the Dead Celebration

By Lorena Bleker
Reviewed by Dr. Cynthia Moore

A meal we eat during Día de los Muertos, (Day of the Dead), in Guatemala, has a lot of meaning in our culture. Called Fiambre, it creates a magical bond between the living and the ancestors. It is a sacred food that symbolizes this bond. Rituals and sacrifices honoring the dead, were popular in pre-Hispanic times, the symbolic meal offered to the deceased in Mesoamerica were celebrated in the month of July when the Mayan New Year began.

This commemoration was lost but it reappeared in the sixteenth century, already syncretized with the catholic traditions, when the Spanish arrived, back in the colonial Guatemala, they celebrated all Saint´s day with special meals cold meats and vegetables, that were cooked with culinary techniques that they inherited from the time of the Arab occupation of Spain.

With the process of mixing the indigenous culture with that of the Europeans and bringing together cultural and religious elements, the colonial Guatemalan population of the late sixteenth century, created that magical dish, The Fiambre. It is served cold and enjoyed on November 1 and 2 in celebration of the All Saints’ Day, together with the Day of the Dead, to close the cycle of festivities.

This dish is mentioned in conventual recipes of the early seventeenth century and in the chronicles of Tomas Gage between 1625 and 1638. The Fiambre meal is a symbolic and exquisite food for its baroque style and cooking methods. It expresses cultural heritage, the world view and the way of seeing the Guatemalan world made up of Spanish, Mestizo and Maya influences. It is truly a representative element of multi-culturalism in our country.

By preparing Fiambre, we are putting together the multi-ethnic identity of the Guatemalan: The use of local vegetables and seasoning that are Mayan, thus of pre-Hispanic heritage: the use of different types of meats and sausages of Spanish descent and the use of cheeses, capers, artichokes, olives and other spices from the Arab  influence, and as a special touch, it hides the culinary secrets of the Guatemalan cooks  (or Guatemalan kitchen)

This meal is prepared for the Day of the Dead, relatives together with the closest friends of the “finados”, (dead) are taking the fiambre, to the “Campo Santo” (Cemetery) and share between the them. It is tradition to spend the 1st. of November together in the cemetery and bring flowers, offerings and serenades to their death relatives and friends.

Photo by Chef Claudia Artola

During the celebration, all cultural elements are mingled together, such as the use of water, fire and vegetables.  According to pre-Hispanic beliefs, this mingling is expressed as water carried to the deceased, smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol in the “Campo Santo”, preparing meals and use all these elements as offering to the deceased, and presenting it on top of their graves.  In some places the sky becomes filled with color as people fly giant kites as symbol of connection with the deceased, like the famous Sumpango Kites or Santiago Sacatepéquez kites,

Thus, Guatemalan Fiambre begins as an offering and sacrificial food as well as a means of communication with the ancestors. (for the Catholics, the Day of the Dead is a day of prayers, for those who are waiting in the purgatory for redemption)

The preparation of the Fiambre’s cold cuts is an activity that bring families together and this is how the tradition is passing from generation to generation, that occurs during preparation when cutting vegetables, sausages and other ingredients. Guatemala has different types of cold cuts according to the regions or culinary variants of the cooks.

The Fiambre is an ancestral heritage and not an improvisation of some nuns or cooks as was previously speculated. This dish is one of the most important meals the country has brought to the world, probably one of the most exquisite in Latin America for its unique form of creativity, demonstrated by the incorporation of products so different to the palate and of such diverse origins.

The Fiambre is a sort of salad, that has more than 50 ingredients, depending on the region where is prepared.  It has a mix of vegetables, cold meats, artichokes, capers, pickles, cheese, etc. seasoned with vinegar, olive oil and fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano, etc,

Colorful, tasty, unique.  Fiambre is the intangible patrimony of Guatemala.  There is nowhere else in the world where you can taste this dish.