Restaurants in Guatemala City


reviewed by Eve Andersson

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The Very Best

If you're only going to visit two restaurants in Guatemala City, these are the two. They are excellent even by international standards (i.e., if these restaurants were in New York or Paris, I would still choose to go there over nearly any other restaurant).

Tamarindos

Bar at Tamarindos. This restaurant is on Condé Nast's 2001 Hot List of the 100 most exciting new restaurants in the world. Half of the items on the menu are Thai, the other half Italian, but they all have a Guatemalan twist. Usually "fusion" restaurants do one style well but are less skilled at the other. But Tamarindos does both excellently; they have the smoothest, most irresistible four-cheese gnocchi I've ever tasted, but it's difficult to decide whether to choose that or the scrumptious vegetarian Pad Thai that seems to blend a million flavors into one. The decor is interesting and stylish as well; you'd think you were dining in one of New York's hottest places, except that the prices are very low (under $20/pp, including drinks). Open for lunch and dinner Mon-Sat. 11 Calle 2-19A, Zona 10, 360-2815.

Jean François

Jean Francois. This French restaurant, set in a lovely courtyard, will wow you not only with its decor but also with its amazing flavors. I had fettuchini with a mushroom and cream sauce, and every single bite was amazing. The wine list is also quite good. Jean François is very popular, despite the fact that you get to it through an unmarked corridor in an unmarked, small, posh shopping center. Open Tue-Sat. Diagonal 6, 13-63, Zona 10, 333-4785.



Other Excellent Choices

Jake's

Romantic Italian restaurant, complete with fireplace. Though it has a sophisicated decor overall, each table comes with a few crayons for drawing on the paper tablecloth. This restaurant was created by a guy named Jake from New Jersey. The food is wonderful, made with very high-quality ingredients. 17 calle 10-40, Zona 10, 368-0351.

Jake's Tomato Pies

This restaurant, created by the same Jake as above, serves the best pizza in town (and other Italian dishes, too). 4th avenida and 14th calle, Zona 10, 368-0351.

Mezza Luna

Great Italian food with a lovely atmosphere and the best tiramisu I've had yet in Guatemala. 10 avenida 3-28, Zona 14, 367-5470.

Foccacia

Focaccia Restaurant. The food at Foccacia -- mostly Italian -- is great, and they serve foccacia in place of the traditional pre-dinner rolls.

Camille

This beautiful French restaurant is located in what was formerly a large house. It is filled with candles and French posters, and the food is delicious (e.g., baked camembert). It's very expensive by Guatemalan standards (about $30/pp), but worth it. 9a. avenida 15-27, Zona 10.

Also Worth Visiting

Portal del Angel

This restaurant has the best view in all of Guatemala City. Set atop a hill overlooking the entire city, you can see all the lights below through the gigantic windows that run the entire length of the dining room. The food is so-so -- mostly grilled meats, which aren't as good as some of the steak you can get in the city (according to my friends who know), but the view makes the restaurant worth visiting at least once, even if you only go to the parking lot and have your own picnic there. On the Road to El Salvador.

Celeste Imperio

Celeste Imperio Restaurant. Guatemala isn't known for its Chinese food, but if you crave it (like I do), Celeste is the place to go. The only other Chinese restaurant worth going to is Tesoro Imperial (the rest aren't adequately clean), but Celeste has better flavors. You'll also find quite a few Chinese nationals dining here, which is a good sign. 7a Ave. 9-99, Zona 9, 331-0943.






Eve Andersson (eve@eveandersson.com)

Comments

THE Steak House

Altough Eve would never recommend it (being a vegetarian), there's a steak house in Guatemala that belongs to the same category as Jean Francois and Tamarindos. It's called "Hacienda Real" and it's right in Zona Viva, about a block from the Camino Real Hotel. Everybody knows it, and it's said to serve better steak than most restaurants in Argentina. I would say this restaurant is "a must" for tourists.

-- Oscar Bonilla

L'Osteria

Osteria L'Osteria is an italian restaurant in the bohemian Barrio of 4 Grados Norte. Like it's name states, (an osteria in Italy is an informal restuarant where the people go to it) it is really casual with a great ambiance. The tables don't have tablecloths and some of them are made of a solid block of wood. Now to the food. The menu is basically italian, and mostly vegetarian. You can choose from a salad with some iteresting ingredients or a nice light pasta. A must is the Nutella Flan, quite delicious. Give a try to their on site grinded coffes. It really is a must if you like italian food in a relaxing atmosphere!



-- Jose Lucero

Jean Francois

This is by far, the best restaurant in Guatemala. The chefs aproach to food is a no nonsense attitude, using only the best. I recomend The steaks with his classic sauces, berneaise, Au Poivre, balsamic, and save room for dessert, the Mousses are to die for. After you've eaten here it's ok to die...

-- El Viajero

Los Antojitos

If anyone craves food that is native to Guatemala with awesome flavor, go to a restaurant called: "Los Antojitos" (I'm pretty sure that's the name). Be careful not to eat food from street vendors.

-- Luis Argueta

Portal del Angel is Excellent!

In our view, Portal del Angel is an excellent restaurant--beyond just having a wonderful location and view of Guatemala City. You get top quality meats, possibly among the best that a meat-lover can get in Guatemala. They also have a truly outstanding grilled lobster--my wife's favourite. The overall dining experience is unique, arguably one of the best in the world. Highly recommended.

-- Mario Cuevas

Jake´s

We ate at Jake´s last night, which was disastrous. Your comments stated it was Italian, but even though it has a couple of Italian dishes, it´s mostly eclectic. Wine by the glass was reasonably priced, and my wife and I ordered soups as our ¨appetizers¨, and she ordered her main course with the wine and soup request. I told the waiter - in Spanish - to give me 5 more minutes, which turned out he came back after we ate the soup and she was served her main course. Eventually I was served the Zarzuela de Mariscos, delicious, but she had to send hers back to keep warm until I got mine. At these prices, they should have cooked hers over. We ordered mousse, which turned out to be a week old, and had the consistency of fudge. I complained to the owner, Jake, who made a looney comment that at first he ¨thought I must be drunk¨ since I was complaining about a waiter who has been with him the longest. ?? I think Jake should visit Tamarindos or Camille, or Jean Francois, who are priced about the same, but put Jake´s to absolute shame.

-- jim thomas

Tres Fratellis

I haven't been to Guatemala since 2002, but when I was there Tres Fratellis in Guatemala City was a fantastic Italian place. Friendly and efficient waiters, great menu and delicious food!

-- Laine Cardarella

Mircini?

I have been told that a chef by the name of Mircini is the best chef in Guatemala. I am looking for a chef that serves novo Guatemalan cuisine or novo mesoamerican cuisine, something more authenticly Guatemalan than the ones listed on this website.

-- Mary Ann Albright

Media Cancha

This restaurant has the best steaks in Guatemala If you go to Guatemala City you have to go eat there. it is Wonderful

-- Dora Orellana

ALL ARE EXCELLENT

And prove that Guatemala is growing up and developing itself as a second world country, I live here in Guatemala and get very pleased to see the success of restaurants, hotels and other tourists facilities.

Eve s photos simply OUTSTANDING, they motivated me to re start shooting like in the past when I made more than 5 thounsand pictures.

I direct a folkloric Group in my country the name of the group is NAN NIKTE which means from Maya to English : Mother Flower of the jungle, we have showed our traditional and folkloric etno dances in many places : patron saint festivities of many municipalities and depts, conventions, travel agencies but quite a few restaurants, we would like to show to foreigners at restaurants, managers can call us we will be pleased to answer calls, and also if you visit Guatemala you can also ask for a show with group NAN NIKTE, can write to us thru e mail : danzatradicion@gmail.com We have 28 different shows related with traditions of all Guatemala, accompanied with alive marimba music, Mayan musical instruments and selected songs, we narrate in English and Spanish our shows could be 30 minutes to 1 hours long, sometimes we provide a descriptive programme. Whatever you would want to know of our country please write too. We need support to continue rescuing the traditions endangered. Our group is formed by dancers from the different etnic groups in Guatemala, Maya and Ladinos. Dont hesitate to ask we will answer you promptly, alsa can call from Guatemala attention to Professor Dario Moran, phone number 22889098, I am the founder and director of the group. Thanks and I wish you the best.

-- Dario Moran


Le Rendez Vous

Located in Zone 10, at 13 Calle 2-75, this restaurant has service, atmosphere, a patio area with a pond. The steaks are choice and melt in your mouth. A great place for fine dining.

-- Madeleine Schmitt

El Rincon de Alex, Tapas Bar

If you are looking for authentic Spanish tapas and cusine, You should give this place a try. Located in a residential neighborhood with no signage in zone 10. Great find and very reasonably price. The waitters are attentive and the owner greats you at the door. Very pleased based on my travels throughout Spain, I highly recomend this one.

Cheers,

Lucas

-- Lucas Pina


no esta

Hola soy fiel fanatica del Restaurante 7 caldos de los 4 creo que la comida ahi es espectacular y muy rica y variada sobre todo que uno come excelente, no es muy caro y la antecion es de primera, asi que no se porque no sale en su pagina, espero poder verlo en futuras ocaciones gracias

-- Heidi Aifan

Donde Michel

Don't miss out on the sizzling seafoods in this quaint little restaurant.

They prepare everything right in front of you, and with the father and son passing down the tradition, you can be sure the quality of the food will stay top notch.

But beware. They will only serve you when the recipes are fresh. Call ahead to make sure that they have what you wanted to sink your teeth into.

-- Eung Ji KIM


inFusion - Fusion Cuisine

If you're interested in fusion cuisine and trying something different check out inFusion located in zone 10.

http://www.infusiongt.com/eatdifferent/



-- Manuel Noriega


This restaurant have a buffet of salads, and the steaks argentinian style are awesome ,perfect to do with a budget in mind specially families is locate in la zona VIVA .MI FAVORITE EVERYTIME I GO TO GUATEMALA.

-- cesar ramos

www.one.com.gt
Image: image001.jpg

-- March Muñoz

Jakes/Jean Francois

Hello, I live in Guatemala City, so I know all the places pretty well, also know the owners. Actually Jean Francois is a pretty good friend of mine, we've cooked together on ocasions. Yes, he is the best chef in central america if not latin america. However, he recently sold his restaurant to Jake (whom I also know and befriend) Anyway, its really gone down lately, nothing against Jake, its still good, just not "Jean Francois good", the main reason is because JF INSISTS on cookin all the meals himself, while Jake hires chefs. Anyway, both are OK, although don't order the deserts, they're really, really atrocious. And if you go to Antigua you may be lucky enough to find JF's new bed and breakfast/restaurant, although he's relocating right now. And Hacienda Real (owner also known) is REALLY good, best meat you can get in guatemala. Although I recomend going to the one in Carretera al Salvador, it;s much newer, and has a better ambiance than the one in Z.10 (zona viva) also, the Z.10 one is ALSO relocating. Tamarindos is pretty good, not my personal taste, but pretty good, but try to pay in cash there, there have been some waiters with bogus card readers and greed there in the past. Another great italian place, probably has the best Pizza in guate (Oh, Jake's Tomato Pies closed eons ago) is called Pecorino, they have really good pizza and pastas.

Good Eating!

-- Marcos Aguirre


L'Osteria Redux

I have eaten at many places in Guatemala City over the past few years from Zona 1 to Zona 10. I second the comment on L'Osteria in the yuppie pedestrian destrict of 4� del Norte in Zona 4. This is a great place for casual ambiance and a relaxing meal of well-prepared Italian standards while sitting under the arbor and watching the people strolling by. Price to experience ratio very good. And there are some excellent local musicians (usually jazz) a few evenings a week (I can't be specific about which evenings, given that I am in my 60s and memory-impaired ;-))

-- Lon Hall

Jean Francois / Jakes

I second a previous comment. Jen Francois Restaurant was bought by Jakes, which now has 3 different restaurants: Jake's, Jean Francois & an oriental restaurant i Z 10. Jakes doesnᄡt spend much time in the kitchen, and seems overstretched, so ever since Jean Francois left, the quality of that restaurant is sub-par, which is also true for the other restaurants. If you want to get food cooked by Jean Francois, you now have to go to Antigua to get Jean Francois's cooking.

-- Raul de Brigard

POR-PIZZA has to be the BEST restaurant in Guatemala city for Italian food, pizzas, pastas and Argentine empanadas. Its run by an Argentine family who are really friendly and they have great desserts too (ask for the homemade Flan) Really great value for money and good portions in a really safe nieghbourhood in Zone 2 opposite the University Mario Galves. We became regulars there as I could resist going back every time for the yummy pizza!! NOT TO BE MISSED ON A TRIP TO GUATEMALA CITY
Image: DSC02111.JPG

-- Gemma Jones

Chez Fabrice

Hi everyone, I've read almost every comment, and nobody has mentioned Chez Fabrice Restaurant... You haven't tasted the best french cooking in Guatemala, if you haven't gone there...

It's just perfect, sorry but Jean Francois is half-the way from Chez Fabrice. Every dish is carefully prepared, evertything feels fresh and tasty, and delicious!!

Cheers!

-- Laura LR



I also have a great suggestion... Pecorino, a BEAUTIFUL italian restaurant, with increadible food, and one large selction of wine, I think the Maitre d said it was over 900 different wines, plus a great osso bucco for Fred Flinstone! The best option for Italian in Guatemala: the number is 23603035 it's on 11 calle 3-36 zone 10, area known as zona viva

-- Jorge Ramazzini

Best food in Guatemala

We have enjoyed Jakes for several years and Jean Francois, Voila! magnifique!! I personally do not eat beef, but La Media Cancha is very popular for those who enjoy beef. Portal del Angel has great steaks (family's opinion) Los 7 caldos is completely another modality, is a popular type of restaurant, a lot of people choose this setting to have an excuse to drink ( a popular say chelitas! although some people take a chance and come along with family/children) and definetely is no included next to Jakes or Jean Francois, or Tamarindos (is really good too) Mezza Luna I do agree with your appreciation for their Tiramisu! I had it and is good. I strongly recommend Jean Francois for those who love an amazing combination of flavors. Good place to discover Guatemalan Traditional Cuisine KAKAO in zona Viva. (Food is traditional and for those who have antojitos! that's the place to visit and for those who would like to explore traditional Guatemalan food, you won't regret) I do live outside from my beloved Guatemala, but when I come to visit I always go back to some of these restaurants to enjoy my family and have a great meal. Best regards,

Castaneda

-- Cleo Castaneda


Delicious

The ambiance is perfect, the food is great, I recommend the eggplant parm. Its great

-- Roberto Rodriguez

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