Claiming to be unique in the city, this food delivery service boasts that it provides a wide choice of not only vegetarian, but healthy dishes, drinks and botanas (nibbles). Ser Sano is a good place to consider for a night in, if only for the names of the dishes, which inspire pun-induced awe and appetite. The highlights include Papicar bien (translating as either ‘to nibble healthily’ or ‘to make love well’), Atún romántico (‘romantic tuna’, in case there is any doubt) and the natural juice Fuera toxinas (‘get out, toxins’).
Manna Ser Sano, +591 243 2634 From 8am to 6pm
Here is another one to titillate the linguists or fans of rhymes, whilst also satiating those looking for an authentic street food outlet in central La Paz. A salteña is a traditional Bolivian empanada (a small pie, similar in form to a Cornish pasty), which was supposedly brought to Bolivia by an Argentinean woman from the province of Salta, hence the name for this filling little delicacy. A paceña, on the other hand, is a female resident of La Paz, showing that the salteña is an institution as Bolivian as the salt flats. Pick from a selection of meat, chicken or vegetarian salteñas sure to please any fast-food lover. This award-winning mini-chain of outlets is more than a quarter of a century old, and resides in four locations around the city.
Miraflores: Avenida heroes del pacifico Number 1162, La Paz, Bolivia +591 222 5931
Zona Sur: Avenida Montenegro Number 1560, La Paz, Bolivia +591 277 2937
Centre: Calle Loayza Number 233 edificio Mcal. De Ayacucho, La Paz, Bolivia +591 220 2347
Sopocachi: Avenida 20 de octubre edificio Guadalquivir, La Paz, Bolivia +591 241 9936
For guaranteed good eats in Latin America, the local market is almost always the safest bet. In La Paz, foodies are spoilt for choice with the most famed and popular food market in the country. A stroll around the outdoor food paradise will reveal fresh fruit with shapes and tastes beyond belief, or sizzling, mouth-watering dishes from one of the small restaurants within the market. The produce in the salteñas, broths or meat dishes is bound to be as fresh as possible, and the atmosphere will be lively. For the brave traveller, the bull’s penis soup at Mercado Rodriguez is reportedly the best soup available in the best market in Bolivia.
Mercado Rodriguez, Calle Rodriguez, La Paz, Bolivia
Bolivian lunchtime comes rather late in the day, midday is the time when Bolivians finish off their mid-morning snacks, as opposed to settling down to a full meal. And so a visit to Coroico In Sur at 2 or 3pm is a genuine insight what a true Bolivian lunch consists of. Spicy meat dishes, beans, rice, corn-based deliciousness and tongue, all smothered in delicately sweet and spicy sauces. Locals love this little restaurant and rightly so, with excellent value for money and value for full stomach.
Coroico in Sur, Calle Julio Patino Number 1526, La Paz, Bolivia +591 277 0575
This local favourite sits in a converted family house, and retains some of the family-run atmosphere that seems to keep the residents of the surrounding Zona Sur area coming back for more. With its attention to ingredients and the desire to spice up most of the dishes, El Vagon del Sur cooks up traditional and hearty Bolivian fare. Beef, chicken and fish dishes are coupled with fresh and local vegetables, then stirred up with flavoursome spicy notes.
El Vagon del Sur, Avenida Julio C Patiño Number 1295, La Paz, Bolivia +591 2279 3700
The name, Villa Serena, is the first hint of the restaurant’s ambiance, as tranquil and serene as Bolivia’s nature. The food very much underlines this feeling, even if the cultural evenings and music nights get a bit lively. Here, visitors can encounter contemporary Bolivian cuisine in an atmosphere, which conjures up the perfect image of the ‘petite bourgeoisie’, with white tablecloths and slightly uncomfortable chairs. What makes this a truly cultural restaurant is the aptly-named ‘centro cultural’ on the floor above. Sit, order, eat, peruse, and come back for pudding.
Villa Serena, Avenida Ecuador Number 2582, Sopocachi, La Paz, Bolivia +591 2241 8151