El Salvador may be the smallest country in Central America but it punches above its weight when it comes to food. Nowhere more so than in San Salvador, the capital, where art cafés and high end restaurants stand shoulder to shoulder with top-notch burger joints and neighborhood canteens serving Salvadoran classics. These top ten restaurants show the city’s cuisine at its very best.
Not only does Los Tacos de Paco serve some of the best and most authentic Mexican food in San Salvador, but it also doubles as a bookshop and art gallery, holding poetry readings on Wednesday nights. Popular with members of the city’s arts scene, these literary gatherings celebrated their 10th anniversary in 2012 and are a great place to meet like-minded locals. Meanwhile you can tuck into plates piled high with Mexican street food staples, such as crisp tacos and golden quesadillas oozing with melted cheese, which all go perfectly with a cold beer.
Those looking for a crash course in Salvadoran cuisine would do well to visit Panaderia Latino, one of the best spots for a bite in San Salvador’s historic center. Like in many of the city’s comedores (neighborhood restaurants), service is buffet style, so queue up with the regulars and choose from the huge range of options. These include pollo encebollado (chicken with sticky sweet onions), flash-fried cuts of beef in tomato salsa, and crisp yucca (cassava root). Quench your thirst with glass of agua fresca, such as homemade lemonade or horchata, a milky drink made with ground morro seeds sweetened with sugar and cinnamon.