Top Things to See and Do in Guatemala City’s Trendy Zone

Guatemala City
Guatemala City | © Rigostar / WikiCommoms
Jack Guy

Guatemala City is undergoing something of a renaissance, and Zone 4 is at the forefront of the movement. While the area used to be known for high crime rates and disused factories, it is now home to a growing number of trendy cafés, bars and restaurants, as well as cultural centres and art galleries. Here are some of the best places to visit.

Karma

Pool bars are few and far between in Guatemala, but Karma is home to a rare table. It’s a light and airy bar that also does food, but the pool table makes it great for a rainy day. The drinks are slightly pricier than elsewhere, but the table is free to play on as long as you are consuming from the bar.

El Principe Gris

If craft beer is your thing, El Principe Gris is the place to be. Craft beer lovers aren’t exactly spoilt for choice in Guatemala City, but this little place is the epicentre of the movement. There are artisanal lagers, coffee stouts, and IPAs served up in a welcoming environment. Plus there are sausages for when you get peckish.

La Erre

This cultural centre is housed in a cavernous building in the centre of Zone 4, and has forged a reputation for hosting innovative art shows, musical events, and other cultural happenings. Check out the programme at laerre.org.

Paradigma Café

Guatemala has long been known for exporting top quality coffee, but only recently has the national market enjoyed the beans. These days Guatemalans, and visitors, come from far and wide to sample the coffee at Paradigma Café, run by former barista champion Raúl Rodas. Geek out over the beans and brews, or simply enjoy an excellent array of coffees.

Mercado 24

Guatemala City is home to 23 public markets from which Mercado 24 buys its ingredients. In addition to this commitment to using local ingredients, the restaurant is known for its innovative menu. There aren’t many places in the capital where you will find calamari and snook tostadas on the menu.

Trova Jazz

Check out the events programme at the Trova Jazz music venue for the chance to see local acts in an intimate atmosphere. The drinks are cheap, the sound is good, and there are a variety of musical styles on show that go far beyond the eponymous jazz.

2E5P3EX Musician Christopher Funn performs on the bass at the Tbilisi International Jazz Festival October 27, 2010. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili (GEORGIA – Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)

Gula

It might be small, but Gula packs a punch when it comes to comfort food. There are mac-and-cheese burgers, gnocchi in tomato sauce, and other dishes that can’t fail to make you feel fuzzy inside. It’s great for a hungover Sunday.

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