Two large totem-like statues representing ancient Indian figures welcome the hungry to Tegucigalpa‘s El Patio. Established in 1977, El Patio is one of the best-known restaurants in Honduras, noted for the great food and lively atmosphere. Delicious appetizers are served on top of the traditional anafres, clay pots containing hot coal. But El Patio’s claim to fame comes in the form of lip-smacking meat skewers and steaks, grilled on coal, as per local Honduran traditions.
Hacienda Real, in Tegucigalpa, housed in a splendid, rural establishment with stone walls, wood furnishings and terracotta floors, is a renowned restaurant where some of Honduras’ best steaks and seafood can be tasted. Hacienda Real’s brand is so successful that the restaurant has branches in Guatemala, El Salvador and Panama as well.
Rojo, Verde y Ajo
Rojo, Verde y Ajo (Red, Green and Garlic) is an Italian-influenced restaurant in Tegucigalpa. The kitchen serves many Italian specialties, most notably a range of pastas, but the tropical soul of Honduras haunts the menu as well, in the avocado, pear and pinenut carpaccio; the beef medallions with jalapeño sauce; or the yucca-stuffed breaded shrimp. As if the great food weren’t enough, Rojo, Verde y Ajo often hosts live music events, and generally has a cool vibe which attracts Honduras’ most glamorous clientele.
Rojo, Verde y Ajo, 5 Calle, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, +504 2232 3398
Hacienda San Lucas
Not far away from the Maya Ruins of Copan, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is Hacienda San Lucas, a property sprawling over 300 acres of land in a striking natural setting. Hacienda San Lucas has been pioneering sustainable ecotourism in Honduras since 2000. In addition to offering lodging, the hacienda takes pride in its miracle-making kitchen, expertly run by Doña Flavia, where courses inspired by traditional Maya cuisine are lovingly prepared. Maize, squash and beans, the founding elements of Mayan gastronomy, are used as the base for most dishes. Many preparations involve a wood fire hearth as the Maya believed that smoke carries the spirit of what is burnt to the gods.
Hacienda San Lucas, Copan Ruinas, Copan, Honduras, +504 2651 4495
Twisted Tanya’s is a quirky and colorful restaurant located on the first floor of a Copan building, and overlooks part of the city’s Mayan ruins from the outdoor terrace. One of the things that attract customers to Twisted Tanya’s is the fresh and seasonal produce used in the kitchen. These give rise to a number of favorites, including roasted chicken quesadillas (a corn tortilla), filet mignon in jalapeño sauce, and cheese ravioli served with sautéed vegetables. But Twisted Tanya’s is also a great bar serving drinks and cocktails, boasting a friendly and lively atmosphere that make it a fail-safe choice for a fun night out in Copan.
Twisted Tanya’s, Calle Independencia, Copán, Honduras, +504 2651 4182
Sundowner’s is what you’d hope for from a bar in a tropical location, Honduras’ beautiful island of Roatan. The bar is situated right on the fine beach, in a structure that is half-way between a hut and a gazebo, surrounded by lush palm trees and only a few meters away from the crystal-clear sea. It comes as no surprise that this beach bar is a favorite among young tourists and locals alike, and the ideal place to enjoy the Honduran sunset, as the name aptly suggests. But Sundowner’s is also an excellent choice to spend the night on the beach, maybe around a bonfire, while enjoying a cocktail. Tip for the hungry: the burgers here are delicious.
Sundowner’s, Half Moon Bay, Roatán, Honduras, +504 2445 4158
Vintage Pearl is a fine-dining restaurant with a dimly lit, wood-dominated interior and incredibly intimate, sophisticated atmosphere. On the menu are exquisite delicacies such as baked brie topped with guava sauce; cream of tomato with ginger; and filet with gorgonzola cheese sauce, which offer a refined break from traditional Honduran cuisine. But the restaurant’s pride is its wine cellar; Vintage Pearl boasts the largest selection of international bottles on the island, and invites its customers to enjoy a glass before even taking a seat.
Vintage Pearl, West Bay Beach 504, Roatán, Honduras, +504 9610 8734
La Sirena de Camp Bay
La Sirena de Camp Bay‘s striking venue, literally surrounded by the island’s turquoise sea, provides a postcard location which alone would be a good enough reason to stop by. But, as it turns out, La Sirena de Camp Bay also surprises with a fantastic fish-based cuisine, complementing the tropical ambiance with a meal just as delightful and superlative. The restaurant’s specialties include fresh lobster, lion fish and prawns. Customers should not leave this treasure trove before having a go at the strong local rum.
La Sirena de Camp Bay, Camp Bay, Roatán, Honduras, +504 9564 6866
Reaching Earth Mama’s in western Honduras’ feels like stepping into a parallel dimension. This little gem of a restaurant is surrounded by rich vegetation in a secluded garden area, a refreshing, charming location. Earth Mama’s is the ideal place to have the hearty breakfasts so beloved by Hondurans, with burritos, for instance, or some huevos rancheros, a traditional Mexican recipe in which the eggs are served with corn tortilla and tomato sauce. The food is best accompanied by freshly squeezed orange juice or one of the fruit smoothies which are popular with the locals. A local musician with a guitar will play tropical tunes while customers take in the slow rhythms typical of island life.
Earth Mama’s, Westend, Roatán, Honduras, +504 9607 0704
Frangipani Boutique Restaurant
For a palate-pleasing meal after hours spent bathing in the sun on the sandy beaches of Roatan, head to the island’s northern coast and take a table at the Frangipani Boutique Restaurant, part of the Mayoka Lodge hotel. Frangipani delights its customers with wonderful local and international dishes; the restaurant boasts a rich range of sushi plates, rolls in particular. Frangipani’s location, moreover, is jaw-dropping, with breath-taking views over Roatan’s pristine vegetation below and, in the distance, its splendid sea.
Frangipani Boutique Restaurant, Sandy Bay, Roatan, Honduras, +504 9796 1760