Food Lover's Guide to Guatemala

Guatemala’s culinary heritage is rich and varied, infused with ancient Maya and Spanish traditions, and a history of recipe swapping with its Central America and Caribbean neighbors. Here are your options for food tours in Guatemala.

Must-Try Dishes 
Stews, known as caldos, and soups, called sopas, are staples in Guatemalan cuisine, most notably kaq-ik or kak’ik (a traditional Maya turkey soup, served with a drumstick) or pepian (a stew of chicken, potatoes, green beans, and carrots, in a spicy recado sauce). Look out for familiar Mexico specialties like tamales and nachos, but be aware that dishes such as chile rellenos have a Guatemalan twist, with a bold but less spicy flavor. 

Guatemalan street food also puts its own spin on specialties from different countries, with versions of Belize’s salpicon and Peru’s ceviche both being popular. For dessert, indulge in tres leches cake (a moist spongecake soaked in milk), arroz con leche (rice pudding), or mole de platanos (fried plantain in chocolate sauce). 

Guatemala is also renowned for its great coffee, Ron Zacapa rum, and delicious juices, made from fresh fruits such as banana, mango, and guanabana (custard apple).

Must-Do Experiences 
  • Visit a typical Guatemalan food market, then learn to make classic local dishes during a cooking class in Antigua or Santa Cruz.
  • Tour a local coffee plantation and discover the secrets of good coffee on a small-group coffee tour from Antigua.
  • Explore the Antigua valley by mountain bike and stop to visit with a family that works with a coffee farming co-op.
  • Sample tasty rellenitos, chuchitos, and atolito de elote on a street food walking tour of Quetzaltenango.
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