There’s more to Bolivian food than salteñas and quinoa. The La Paz food scene is ascending new heights, and high-quality, interesting and sustainable restaurants continue to pop up across the city. Our local insiders have eaten their way around La Paz’s neighborhoods to bring you the best restaurants in for top-notch eats.
When food critics found out that Claus Meyer, co-founder of the current second-best restaurant in the world (Noma, in Copenhagen), was to open a new restaurant, no one expected it to be in Bolivia – least of all the residents of La Paz. But, that is exactly what this Scandinavian marvel did. He has brought Cordon Bleu to the Andes, incorporating local colors into the cushions, as well as exotic local produce and meats into the menu. For the full works, opt for the tasting menu (five, seven or 15 courses). À la carte offerings have been carefully picked to reflect Bolivia’s biodiversity and tradition and to tempt hungry visitors, with options such as the silky palm marrow with charque and egg yolk, or the llama fillet with chuño glazed in apple and banana syrup.
Over the past few years, Bolivia has experienced a surge in fine-dining experiences, and the young chefs behind Ahijada Ajiceria Boliviana are at the top of their game. In this magical corner of Sopocachi, you will experience Bolivian cuisine unlike anything you’ve had before. The house speciality of trout with chili is a must, and the hand-picked, natural wines will cement this as your new favorite restaurant. Recommended by local insider Shaina Brassard
A creative spin on Bolivian classics is what makes Manq’a Restaurante a place you want to return to again and again. The team supports a social project helping young people from the area with employment, so simply by visiting you’re doing good. Spacious and light, it’s a lush place to spend a couple of hours over lunch. The fixed-price menu is affordable and means you can feast guilt-free on several dishes. Happy eating. Recommended by local insider Andrea Puente Mancilla
When the clientele of a restaurant is made up of chefs looking for a meal, you know you’ve hit the jackpot. French owner Ludo brings a slice of his homeland to La Paz with finesse, flavor and great vibes. The laid-back decor and demeanor of the chef and staff mean this is a cosy spot to enjoy authentic French cuisine in Bolivia. Recommended by local insider Andrea Puente Mancilla
When should you keep an eye on your cheese? When it is up to no Gouda. That is the kind of joke you can get away with when visiting Chalet Flor de Leche. A haven for dairy-lovers, and where La Paz’s finest cheese is created, this is farm to table at its best. After feasting on raclette, fondue and four-cheese pizza, with a glass of wine, of course, you can tour the dairy where the good stuff is produced. Just a short drive from the city center and you’ll be grilled to arrive in cheesy paradise. Recommended by local insider Andrea Puente Mancilla
A parilla is a traditional Argentinian BBQ fired with wood or coals, and meats are cooked slowly with attention and love. The team behind Parrilla Casa Argentina are all about the prime cuts, and they cook up a feast however you like it . The restaurant itself is super-spacious, so it’s a great place to gather the family or a group and share good food and good wine. Recommended by local insider Lucas Cosentino
Take a trip to Spain in this tiny gem just off Plaza Avaroa. Dark wooden beams and Spanish flags flying around the bar add to the ambience of this traditional eatery. The paella valenciana, traditionally cooked with rabbit, chicken and butter beans, comes highly recommended for its authentic flavors. Recommended by local insider Lucas Cosentino
Doña Remedios serves up Bolivia’s well-known national dishes and is a great place to try the La Paz dish of chicharrón: cubed pork spiced with pepper, cumin, salt and garlic, braised in beer before being crisped up in a hot pan. Moist on the inside and crispy on the outside, it’s popular for good reason. The fricassé is pretty good, too; this meat, potato and aji pepper soup is said to relieve the symptoms of a hangover. Recommended by local insider Lucas Cosentino
Gather a group of your favorite people, or just invite everyone for dinner at Paladar Cozinha Brasileira. Dishes are designed to be shared here, and the portions are big, so more people means more sampling, right? Brazilian fare is the order of the day, and the feijoada is the best in the city. On the weekend, folks line up for one of their caipirinhas, so it’s best to book ahead. Recommended by local insider Lucas Cosentino
The Vinapho crew bring fresh Vietnamese and Thai flavors to Sopocachi. A rarity in the neighborhood, so if you’re in the mood for some southeast Asian dishes, this is your spot. Fragrant noodle soups, rich Thai green curries and colorful salads delight the taste buds, and attentive waiters provide service that’s second-to-none. If you have ever been to Vietnam, you will be thrilled to know they also serve the hallowed Vietnamese coffee made with condensed milk. Recommended by local insider Lucas Cosentino
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