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Guatemala Food and Drink


Black and red tamales from Guatemala
Luisfi/CC-BY-SA-3.0/Wikimedia Commons

All about Guatemala food and drink, from beverages to breakfasts:

Guatemala food and drink is primarily influenced by the country's Mayan and Spanish cultures. Nowadays, international influences are found in Guatemala food as well, such as Chinese, American, and the vegetarian movement.

Ready for a taste of Guatemala food? Be sure to follow the links for Guatemala recipes and other information about Guatemala food and drink.

Breakfast in Guatemala:

Guatemala breakfasts are simple, typically including an assortment of eggs, tortillas, beans and plantains. Many breakfasts in Guatemala take advantage of the country's abundant tropical fruits, like bananas, papaya, mangoes, and avocado. And of course, no Guatemala breakfast is complete without a mug of world-class Guatemalan coffee.

Guatemala Meals:

Corn, beans, rice, cheese and tortillas form the backbone of most Guatemalan cuisine. Meat stews (caldos) and soups (sopas) are also popular dishes. If you order roast chicken, don't be startled if your Guatemala meal comes with the feet still attached (rare, but not unknown).

Many meals in Guatemalan have similarities to those of Mexico, Guatemala's neighbor to the north. Guatemala food such as nachos, tamales and enchiladas are just as delicious as you'll find in your favorite Mexican restaurant – and much cheaper. Chinese food restaurants and fried chicken stands are also quite common in Guatemala cities.

Other Guatemala meals:

Chiles rellenos: Chile peppers stuffed with rice, cheese, meat and vegetables.

Chicken Pepian: Chicken in spicy pumpkin and sesame sauce.

Kak’ik: A traditional Mayan turkey soup, with spices like coriander, achiote, and chile peppers. A must-try.

Snacks & Sides in Guatemala:

Guacamole: Mashed avocados, mixed with lemon or lime juice and diced veggies like onion, tomato and garlic. Serves with chips, or as a topping to other Guatemalan food.

Spiced mango: Sliced green mango, seasoned with chili and lime. Sold from street carts.

Tortillas: Thin, flat corn cakes, a staple in Guatemala food. As cheap as five cents on the street.

Nachos: the best nachos I've ever had have been in Guatemala. They include toppings like cheese, refried beans, avocado and peppers, and almost always include fresh hot chips. Delicious!

Elotes: Roast ears of corn with cheese, lime, chili and butter or mayonnaise.

Guatemala Desserts:

Tres Leches Cake (Pasel de Tres Leches): A cake soaked in three kinds of milk, including evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and cream.

Flan: A wobbly, golden-colored caramel custard.

Beverages in Guatemala:

Check out our article on Guatemala drinks.

Where to Eat & What You'll Pay:

Guatemala is once of the most inexpensive Central America countries, and accordingly, Guatemala food is cheap. You'll only find U.S. prices in the most touristy destinations like Flores and Antigua Guatemala; and even there, less pricey options are broad.

International restaurants, cafes and coffee shops are common in well-trod areas. However, local eateries and street vendors are the best places to try authentic Guatemala food (and less authentic, like fried chicken and french fries). Just remember the traveler's mantra: wash it, peel it, cook it or forget it.

Try Guatemala food in Guatemala:

Compare rates on flights to Guatemala City, Guatemala

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