Guatemala arguably offers the most flavoursome and varied cuisine in all of Central America, and Antigua is the best place to sample it. Whether you’re after a healthy salad, some traditional treats or just a cup of freshly roasted local coffee, Antigua has it all.
Samsara is a charming, slightly hippie cafe (think pan-pipe music and celestial posters) that is excellent for healthy lunches and light meals. The brunches here are also good, in particularly the kale scrambled eggs with turmeric, garlic and onion, hummus and pita bread, and the local breakfast of scrambled eggs, avocado slices and stewed plantains. The vegetarian tacos on black corn tortillas are especially mouthwatering.
Known mostly for its heavenly desserts, Ganache is a sweet French-style cafe with simple decor and various food products available to buy. There’s a good selection of salads, soups and sandwiches, so it makes a good lunch spot, but it would be a shame to come here and not try any of the cakes. Choose from tiramisu, pecan pie, lemon meringue, chocolate mousse, cheesecake, truffles and more, and accompany it with one of their delicious speciality coffees.
Part café, part bookstore, Rainbow Café has been thriving since 1992 and is well worth a visit. The menu is extensive and affordable, with tasty breakfasts, nachos, sandwiches, salads and soups, and plenty of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. As well as having its own independent bookstore, the café hosts regular lectures about Guatemalan social issues and has live music every night.
Situated in an attractive colonial building in the centre of town, Café Condesa is one of Antigua’s most popular eateries. It has a farm-to-table ethos and uses only fresh, locally sourced ingredients. You can enjoy a range of delicious sandwiches, pies, cakes, salads and soups here, as well as wonderful organic coffee, but the quiches are particularly good.
Café La Parada
Directly across from the lovely La Merced Church is Café La Parada, a tiny no-frills coffee house. With only six seats available, this is a place for a drink and a break rather than a proper meal, but the quality of the coffee means it’s always busy with travellers. On a warm day, try their exceptional iced coffee.
Y tu Piña Tambien
Because of its great all-day breakfasts, Y tu Piña Tambien is one of the most popular spots for late-risers and travellers nursing a hangover – but this fun, quirky cafe also has a range of good food that you can enjoy throughout the day. The staff are friendly and chatty, the music is loud (but good) and the lunch options are tasty and plentiful.
Not to be confused with Bohemia Cafe, Café Boheme is larger than it appears, with cool decor and a cosy space to relax on the second floor. The fresh croissants with goat cheese and vegetables are divine, and the cakes and sweet treats are just as good. There are also plenty of gluten-free options available. The vibe is chilled, so if you need to work it’s a good place to come.
El Viejo is a restaurant, cafe and bakery in the heart of the old town where you can easily spend all day. There’s fine coffee and breakfasts in the morning, and an extensive lunch menu with a variety of of traditional and international dishes. In the evening, you can choose from pasta, steak, salads, burgers and soups, but you can also head here just for some fabulous cocktails in a great environment.
Fernando’s Kaffee is focused on Guatemalan chocolate and coffee, so if you have a passion for either, you should definitely pop in. For lighter bites, freshly roasted coffee from one of Guatemala’s best plantations and a chocolate brownie will do the job, but there are plenty of proper meals available here, too. Choose from salads, tortillas, empanadas and crepes, or come in the morning for a hearty breakfast.