Guatemala City is the largest city in Central America, with a great deal to offer the foodie traveler. Check out the array of tantalizing options all the way from traditional Guatemalan cuisine to the flavors of Italy
, gastronomy of France
and spices of Asia
. You’re bound to find something to tempt you on our list of 10 of the best restaurants here.
Once featured on Condé Nast’s Hot List of the 100 Most Exciting New Restaurants in the World, the menu at Tamarindos boasts an incredible mixture of Thai and Italian food with a sprinkle of Guatemalan flavor. Located in the trendy region of Zona Viva (Zona 10), Tamarindos boasts an amazing chef with an eclectic array of food choices. Don’t miss the incredible four-cheese gnocchi or sumptuous blend of flavor in vegetarian Pad Thai, which both come almost as highly acclaimed as French-trained chef Milly Bruderer himself. He also serves more unique offerings such as duck in tamarind sauce or Thai-style curries. With post-modern whimsical décor, Tamarindos has a welcoming ambiance to enjoy your food along with an extensive international wine list and pleasantly low prices.
Calle 2-19A, Zona 10, Guatemala City, Guatemala 502/2360-2815
Bar, Restaurant, French
Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Guatemala City, Jean Francois is one of the most relaxing and peaceful restaurants around. After following an unmarked corridor in the maze of a small, up-scale shopping center, you will find this Antigua-style hacienda with a stunning array of food complemented by a beautiful courtyard rich with arcades and adorned tables. For inside seating, Jean Francois also has an elegant yet inviting dining room with panoramic windows and a crackling fireplace. Amongst its decadent French offerings is an incredible beef with béarnaise sauce with top-notch French fries; grilled Robalo fish with fresh tomato and basil; great pastas (try the fettuccini in mushroom and cream sauce); and incredible mousses.
Diagonal 6 13–63, Guatemala City,Guatemala, 502/2333–4785
Located in the center of Zona Viva, Kacao infuses traditional Guatemalan cuisine from around the country with an aspect of refinement in its service, ambiance, and presentation of its Chapin cuisine. Open for lunch and dinner, the roof becomes luminous at night with the glow of candles giving it a romantic ambience, yet Kacoa has an island feel of tropical plants surrounding a huge palapa during the day. It features a menu replete with meats fishes, and national house specialties such as jocón and pepián. Make sure to ask for the excellent Guatemalan tamales as you sway to the lively marimba music.
2Av. 13-44, Zona 10, Guatemala City, Guatemala, 502/2377-4189
This incredible Western-themed steak house situated a block from Camino Real Hotel in Zona Viva, is said to serve better steak than Argentina. Tile floors and wooden furniture give way to a lovely central fountain and patio with umbrellas as well as a play area for kids. ‘A must’ for tourists, Hacienda Real serves delicious filet, great appetizers and wine selection, complete with an attentive and courteous staff to complement the great ambiance. Among recommended foods are the garlic bread, Guatemala sausage, Lomito Perez, ribs, or Plato Tipico (which comes with steak PUASO, fried black beans, and guacamole), not to mention endless baskets of warm tortillas.
5 Av. 14–67, Zona 10, Guatemala City,Guatemala, 520/2380–8383
Restaurant, Italian, Central American
Created by New Jersey native Jake Denburg (painter turned restaurateur), Jake’s boasts a romantic Italian ambiance with sophisticated décor in a beautiful farmhouse-turned-restaurant with hardwood ceilings and tile floors and a fire place. The chef’s creative talents are evident in his extravagant dishes, from vaquer chino (a tenderloin steak served with sweet soy, espresso, and star anise sauce) to crab cakes with avocado wasabi cream sauce. Save room for the dessert, the pudín de chocolate and cheesecake with crème brule also come highly recommended. Jake’s is also great for kids (it offers crayons for drawing on the table clothes) that being said it has what some have called one of the best wine lists in Central America.
17 Calle 10–40, Zona 10, Guatemala City, Guatemala, 520/2385–4615
Follow the scent of fresh rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano and other onsite herbs growing in the courtyard of L’Osteria for immediate cooking. In the center of the bohemian Bario of 4 Grados Norte, this spot has a laid-back causal vibe, with old timey yet artsy feel, including solid blocks of wood as tables. It offers Italian food with plenty of vegetarian options including salads, pastas, and pizzas such as the Queso de Cabra (Goats Cheese) Pizza baked with thin crust California style. They also serve ground-on-site coffees to go with an incredible Nutella Flan for dessert.
4A Avenida, 10-14, Zona 10, Guatemala City,Guatemala, 502/2278 9914
Portal del Angel
Imagine a hill overlooking the entire city filled with twinkling lights from a panoramic window running the length of the dining room. Now add top quality meats, grilled lobster, and an extremely unique dining experience. That’s Port del Angel, a site lauded as one of the best views in the city, or a stop on the road to El Salvador.
Carretera El Salvador km11. 2, Guatemala,Guatemala City, 520/2369 6013
Camille Cooking School Restaurant
A beautiful French restaurant located in a large former home, Camille is filled with candles, French posters, and other French paraphernalia. For an avid foodie, this place is a must-visit. The food by Chef Jorge artfully blends local ingredients with traditional French techniques. Camille offers baked Camembert, Tartar de Atuna, Lomita de Cebol, and paparadelle. However it is somewhat expensive for Guatemala. It also doubles as a cooking school, be sure to sign up for a class or even just chat with the chef and hear about his vast culinary background.
9a. Avenida15-27, Zona 10, Guatemala City, Guatemala, 520/2368 0048
A blend of old school charm and culinary experience, Altuna sports a covered courtyard over the main dining room (historically the home of the Guatemala City’s German Club). Founded in 1948, Altuna serves classic Spanish and Basque dishes such as paella, calamares en su tinta (shrimp in their own ink) and delicious torrjeas (bread soaked in whole, evaporated, and condensed milk with a sprinkle of anise) for dessert. Incredible wine, charming ambiance, and professional wait staff, the portions are sure not to leave you hungry.
Avenida 5,Zona 1, 10 Calle Zona 10, Guatemala City, Guatemala, 520/2201 2423
Restaurant, Fusion, Asian, $$$
Slightly out of the way, Ambia is a fusion restaurant. Heavily influenced by a range of Asian styles, it offers artfully presented hearty steaks, well-seasoned lamb, and excellent carpaccio in either the open-air or outdoor-indoor chic ambiance. Prices are a bit high but the atmosphere, flavor, and composition of the food make up for it.
10 A Av, 5-49, Zona 14, Guatemala City Guatemala, 502/2366-6890