Antigua Guatemala is known for its cobblestone streets and looming volcanos. This UNESCO Cultural Heritage site is one of the best places to visit in Central America. For a small town, Antigua seems to have an unlimited amount of places to eat making it feel like you are in the epicenter of international cuisines. There are all types of food from delicious Guatemalan restaurants to Tex-Mex to Indian. If you can’t find something to eat here then you are in trouble! After 3 weeks in the country taking Spanish classes, we kept dreaming of some of the best restaurants in Antigua Guatemala.
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Best Restaurants in Antigua Guatemala
El Porton – A Simple, No Frills Guatemalan Restaurant for Desayuno
Breakfast was supposed to be the one meal that we ate at the apartment in order to save money. Unfortunately we discovered El Porton on our first day and couldn’t resist breakfast here multiple times during our stay.
With only two options on the menu, desayuno chapin (the typical Guatemalan breakfast) and a ham and cheese omelet you have to like one or the other!
We come for the desayuno chapin which consists of a milky, cinnamon sweet oatmeal starter followed by eggs, creamy black beans, cheese, plantains and tortillas. It’s the typical Guatemalan breakfast and the best meal of the day!
El Porton is a no fuss mostly locals joint, but the food is excellent and cheap making this one of the best restaurants in Antigua Guatemala in our view. In our few visits we didn’t see another tourist. For Q15, you can’t beat it! It has become the pinnacle in which all other desayuno Chapin is judged against in our book.
Frida’s – A Favorite Antigua Restaurant for Tex-Mex
As is my MO, I always seek out Tex-Mex when traveling. This started on my first trip to Europe in 2000 and has continued not on purpose for the last 18 years! I just love Tex-Mex and am willing to have a horrible meal just with the chance of tasting some of my favorite flavors!
Frida’s was the stand out recommendation from people for Antigua’s best Tex-Mex. And it delivered. The three salsas provided to accompany each meal are perfect. The cheese quesadillas are delish as are the breaded shrimp tacos. The chicken fajitas were a little pricey but almost exactly like they are at home. If it wasn’t a little out of our backpacker budget I would have eaten there several times! It is a must visit for families who are craving a little bit of comfort food from home. I hear the margaritas are insanely good as well!
Vivero y Cafe de la Escalonia – Nature Meets Deliciousness in Antigua
Vivero y Cafe de la Escalonia is on most people’s must do lists for Antigua, and for good reason. This part nursery, part cafe, part shop is a super chill place to visit after a morning of Spanish lessons or a day of sightseeing. The all outdoor seating is in a lush garden full of butterflies and little birds flying around. It was a perfectly peaceful place to rejuvenate.
For small kids there is also a small playground at the back of the property as well as rows of nursery plants to explore.
The food is a mix of healthy basic foods like soups, salads and sandwiches. Breakfast has the regular suspects with granola and yogurts too.
It’s a bit out of the way, but worth exploring if you have the time.
Rincon Tipico – A Must Visit Guatemalan Restaurant for Local Food
Rincon Tipico is another locals only place that only a few brave foreigners will find their way into. Located just by our breakfast favorite, we had to give it a shot.
A large open courtyard of a restaurant welcomes you when you walk through the doors. With daily specials each day and a set menu, there is something here for most people. Rincon Tipico is definitely one of the best restaurants in Antigua Guatemala to sample your way through the local food. We had the pepian which is a traditional dish as well as roasted chicken with rice and slaw.
The best part of the meal however is the all you can drink lemonade. It’s made with Agua pura, so load up. It was our favorite lemonade in town. And we tried quite a few!
La Sarten – Great At Home Cooking in Antigua
La Sarten is a cute plant filled little cafe for a quick local bite to eat. The only review on TripAdvisor is in Spanish which gives you a sense of who it caters to – locals! We happened across this place after our epic overnight adventure on Pacaya Volcano. We enjoyed their breakfast, where they have a few options – desayuno tipico as well as pancakes and fruit.
For lunch they offer a set plate for 20Q. If you are in the neighborhood and need some food, it’s a cute place to stop into. The owners are very friendly and willing to customize as needed for children. I really love to support local places like this, so if you are in the neighborhood, definitely give it a try.
Toko Baru – Backpacker’s Favorite Restaurant in Antigua Guatemala
Antigua is a backpackers favorite destination, which means there are plenty of backpacker type establishments catering to a variety of tastes. The local travelers favorite Toko Baru is a quick, yummy and not too expensive place to grab a bite to eat. From falafel to Indian curries Toko Baru has all the favorites.
Each table is set with three bowls of dips – a creamy garlic dip, salsa and a chili sauce. The garlic dip is so good!
It is cash only, so come prepared!
Caoba Farms – A Real Farm-to-Table Antigua Restaurant
One of our favorite places to visit and eat at in Antigua is Caoba Farms Restaurant. We initially came to this restaurant/farm for the farm aspect. I had heard you could volunteer here which sounded like a fun way to hang out with some locals and learn more about what is grown here.
What we found was an amazing restaurant, farm and local community meeting place. Set in the midst of the working farm, this farm to table restaurant has something for everyone. Delicious breakfast options, salads, pizzas and even a rincon tipico set in the farm with delicious pots of bean and tipico food.
Daily specials include Taco Tuesday, Avocado Toast Wednesday’s and more. You can pick up loads of sourdough bread to snack on back at the hotel too! This is not so much a backpacker hangout, rather a place where expats go to chill, eat great food and do a little shopping in their small market.
Once my son got comfortable with the tiny paths leading around the farm I barely saw him!
And, it is true, you can volunteer here in the morning picking veggies. As payment you will be sent home with some produce of your own. You can make a day of it and have lunch after your hard work, learning what it really means to be farm to table!
There are so many amazing restaurants in Antigua Guatemala that we could have spent weeks eating our way through the city and still wouldn’t have tried it all. There are several Indian places we had on our list to try, but we never made it. Also I heard that there is a great Greek place near the church that is delish.
Our top restaurants in Antigua Guatemala provides a good starter list, but don’t be scared to just pop in to any little restaurant for a try. We really enjoyed the local Guatemalan places with no other tourists. In our experience almost of all of them used aqua pura and were quite conscientious about being water safe for foreigners.
My suggestion is to pick one meal a day that you just wing it and find something in the neighborhood where you are visiting. Overall, the food in Antigua is of high quality so you will find something delicious no matter where you choose. Let us know if you find any amazing gems that we need to update on this list!
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