A Foodies’ Guide to La Paz, Bolivia

La Paz
La Paz | © Gary A. Valenzuela/Flickr
Harry Stewart

La Paz is chock-full of top quality restaurants that serve up a variety of delectable international cuisine. Better yet, prices here are lower than anywhere else on the continent, with lunchtime specials being particularly easy on the wallet. Culture Trip has done a lot of painstaking culinary research to bring you the ultimate foodies’ guide to this incredible mountainous city.

1. Fine dining: Gustu

Restaurant, South American

© Gustu

Claus Meyer, the brainchild behind one of the world’s best restaurants in Denmark, brought his creative vision to Bolivia in 2012 by founding an innovative new restaurant which uses relatively unknown native ingredients to create exquisite new flavors. Head chef, Kamilla Seidler, has succeeded in bringing his vision to life, earning the title of Best Female Chef in South America in 2016. If a foodie were to try just one restaurant in La Paz, this should be it.

2. Vegan gourmet: Ali Pacha

Restaurant, South American, Vegan

Courtesy of Ali Pacha

Gustu alumni Sebastián Quiroga Quintanilla is the man behind this relative newcomer, which has already built a strong reputation in La Paz and is earning serious recognition overseas. Meaning ‘universe of plants’ in Aymara, this gourmet establishment offers exactly that – a myriad of unique vegan ingredients that combine effortlessly to form a truly delectable tasting menu.

3. Japanese: Ken Chan

Restaurant, Japanese, Sushi, Asian

© Meditations/pixabay

There are a surprising number of Japanese restaurants in La Paz, but the best of the lot has to be Ken Chan. A hit with the local Japanese community crowd for their no-nonsense authentic cuisine, Ken Chan whips up excellent sushi, ramen, and a variety of soups.

4. Vietnamese: Vinapho

Restaurant, Vietnamese, Vegetarian, Asian, Thai

© Free-Photos / Pixabay

As far as Asian food in South America goes, Vinapho is a cut above the rest. Its expert Vietnamese chefs tirelessly work the kitchen with high quality imported ingredients, dishing out divine pho and some awesome rice and noodle dishes to boot. Best of all, their four-course lunchtime special is only 35 Boliviano (US$5).

5. Austrian: Restaurant Vienna

Restaurant, Austrian, European, German, Vegan, Vegetarian

Hotel Vienna
© Courtesy of Vienna

A longtime favorite that has been wooing locals and tourists for years, Restaurant Vienna serves up your typical selection of Austrian goodies in an elegant 1920s-inspired setting. Come in the evening to dine to the smooth sounds of a live piano show.

6. Brazilian: Paladar Cozinha Brasileira

Restaurant, Brazilian

Feijoada, a typical Brazilian dish
© Fotos GOVBA/Flickr

Brazilians love this place for its homestyle food that tastes just like what grandma would make. Famous for dishing out ridiculously large portions, no one ever leaves hungry after a visit to Paladar Cozinha Brasileira. They have a great value lunch special at just 50 BOB (US$7), too.

7. German: Reineke Fuchs

Bar, Restaurant, German

© Courtesy of Reineke Fuchs

Reineke Fuchs has a wide selection of traditional German food including all the sauerkraut you could possibly handle. The currywurst is particularly good, as is the excellent range of locally-brewed German-style beer. Better yet, this taste of Bavaria in downtown La Paz serves a super-cheap 50 BOB (US$7) lunch special.

8. Mexican: La Cueva

Bar, Restaurant, Mexican

Noche de mariachis en la cueva
© Courtesy of La Cueva

Of the few reputable Mexican places in town, La Cueva takes the cake, so to speak. Run by a talented Belgian chef who has mastered a number of different cuisines, La Cueva’s tacos, burritos, and enchiladas always hit the spot.

9. Tex Mex: Highlanders

Restaurant, Mexican, American

© jeffreyw/Flickr

For the very best in Tex Mex, look no further than Highlanders. Popular with the rich folk in Zona Sur, their chimichanga really is something to die for.

10. Pizza: Caffè Italia

Restaurant, Italian

© tcameliastoian/pixabay

After careful deliberation, we’ve deduced that Caffè Italia does the best pie in town. Wood-fired and deliciously crisp, it’s the closest thing you’ll get to an authentic Italian pizza in La Paz. An honorable mention goes to Mozzarella, whose quality product, convenient location, and incredible value for money make it a hit with the backpacker crowd.

11. Pasta: Propiedad Pública

Restaurant, Italian, European, Vegetarian

© congerdesign/pixabay

Zona Sur’s Propiedad Pública are La Paz’ pasta masters, pumping out fresh, handmade classics day after day. A shout-out goes to Berlusca, an exquisite newly-opened pasta place in the center that offers an unbeatable 35 BOB (US$5) lunch special.

12. Cuban: Sabor Cubano

Bar, Restaurant, Cuban, Caribbean, Central American

© paulsteuber/pixabay

Those hankering some rice, beans, and yucca need look no further than Sabor Cubano, La Paz’ premier Cuban restaurant. On weekends, it’s also a great place to sink mojitos and listen to some groovy live Caribbean tunes.

13. American: Factory

Bar, Bistro, American, Fast Food, Pub Grub

© dolvita108/pixabay

With a mind-boggling number of TVs, plus wings and ribs galore, Factory is about as American as it gets. A popular place for after-work drinks, they also serve all your favorite unhealthy delicacies from the good ol’ U.S. of A. Spin-off chain Factory Express dish out amazing burgers for a fraction of the cost in most of the city’s shopping malls.

14. Korean: Corea Town

Restaurant, Korean

© bluewind_J/pixabay

La Paz only has one Korean restaurant and it’s actually pretty good. Serving up freshly-cooked favorites such as bibimbap and kimchi, it’s the (only) place to go for those with a hankering for some Korean.

15. French: Rendezvous

Hostel, Hotel

© melomary22/pixabay

French cuisine is a hotly-contested industry in La Paz thanks to a large contingent of French descendants who call the city home. It’s a tough choice, but Rendezvous gets our pick for its delicious duck delicacies.

16. Argentinian: Sabor Gaucho

Restaurant, Argentina

© WerbeFabrik/pixabay

Sabor Gaucho is one of the best steakhouses this side of Buenos Aires. The lunch special is particularly good value, with a juicy steak, succulent chorizo, and unlimited salad bar for just 50 BOB (US$7). There are several locations across the city and they’re all as good as each other.

17. Bolivian: Luciernagas

Bakery, Restaurant, South American

© Courtesy of Luciernagas Restaurant

Sampling the local flavors is an essential part of traveling. Although many Bolivian restaurants leave a lot to be desired, Luciernagas is on a whole other level. With a friendly Dutch expat manning the tables and his Bolivian wife taking care of the cooking, the duo dish out the best Bolivian fare in La Paz.

18. English: The English Pub

Bar, Bistro, Restaurant, European, Vegetarian

© Courtesy of the English Pub

A welcome respite for the homesick English traveler, here you can find all your favorites from home, such as shepherd’s pie, and bangers and mash. It’s a lively place to hang out in the evening and meet other travelers, too.

19. Fusion: Pronto Dalicatessen

Restaurant, Fusion

© Couresty of Pronto Dalicatessen

Pronto is a rather eccentric restaurant with an obvious obsession with surrealist master, Salvador Dali. The unconventional décor matches the menu, which includes some interesting creations such as curry pasta to tempt the palate. It shouldn’t work, but it really does!

20. Vegetarian: Namas Té

Restaurant, Healthy, Vegan, Vegetarian

Namas Té
© Courtesy of Namas Té

A hippie oasis in a downtown, working class neighborhood, Namas Té is a godsend for those looking for a high-quality, low-cost vegetarian feast. The extensive menu has a number of mouthwatering offerings, but our pick has to be the quinoa and couscous falafel.

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