The Ultimate Guide to Guatemalan Cuisine

In Culture & Food, Featured by Gareth10 Comments

Guatemalan Food - Enchilada

Enjoying an Enchilada (fried tortilla topped with lettuce, beets and mixed veggies) for lunch

Strap yourself in for a magical ride through the kitchens and roadside stands of Guatemala, as I take you on a visual tour of all the (edible) things I put in my mouth on a daily basis while living here in Sololá.

Guatemalan food is economic, delicious and made up of many Latin American staples, such as rice, beans, tortillas and fried everythings.

The first few days of living in Guatemala, my diet consisted, almost entirely, of mystery- meat-filled tacos from the street carts in my neighborhood. Since then, I’ve explored the culinary space of this country a bit more and discovered a whole world of cuisine that I’ve never introduced to my tongue before.

Speaking of tongue, I tried what I think was cow tongue for the first time last week, and I will not be adding that dish to this tantalizing taste bud tour. It was the first and last time I’ll ever allow a foreign tongue that far down my throat without buying it a few drinks first.

Aside from that little menu del dia miss, here are a bunch of delectable Guatemalan dishes that you should try on your next trip.

WARNING: Do not try licking your computer screen.

The Ultimate Guide to Guatemalan Cuisine

Pastor Tacos in Panajachel, Guatemala

Pastor Tacos with Jamaica (Hibiscus tea) and Tamarindo Juice in Panajachel, Guatemala

Like many villages in Latin America, the best (and most economic) food come from the markets and street stalls across town. Sololá in particular, has a very limited number of restaurants to choose from and the supermarket doesn’t compare to the variety offered at the central market.

Guatemalan Food - Chile Rellano

The popular Chile Rellano (stuffed sweet chiles), which can be a real hit or miss, depending on where you buy them.

Guatemalan Food - Tostadas con Pollo

Tostadas (fried tortilla) topped with Chicken Salad here (or they can be topped with beans, tuna or veggies)

Guatemalan Food - Tamalito de Elote

Grabbing a Tamalito de Elote (Corn Tamale) on a walk through town

Guatemalan Food - Arroz con Leche y Pan con Pollo

Pan con Pollo (Chicken Salad Sandwich) & warm Arroz con Leche (Milk with rice) special vanilla/chocolate mix

Guatemalan Food - Chuchitos

Chuchitos - wrapped in dried maize husk, with tomato-based sauce, a tiny piece of pork or chicken and chipilí­n, a green plant with a very special flavor and aroma.

Guatemalan Food - Atol Blanco

Atol Blanco - A cornstarch-based thick hot drink/soup that is mixed with lime, salt and these crunchy bits

Guatemalan Food - Ceviche

Juan Carlos ordering some ceviche from our local ceviche cart

Guatemalan Food - Ceviche

Ceviche - Raw seafood salad (everything is fresh except the fake crab meat)

Guatemalan Drinks - Micheladas

Preparing a delightful drink called the Michelada, a Mexican bloody mary with beer instead of vodka

Guatemalan Food - Tapado

Tapado - A traditional Guatemalan fish stew popular in Livingston, Guatemala

Traditional Guatemalan Graduation Cuisine - pork and rice with tomato sauce and tamalitos

Traditional Guatemalan graduation food (guisado de res), pork and rice with tomato sauce and tamalitos

Guatemalan Food - Fiambre

A traditional Guatemalan salad called Fiambre, packed with all sorts of goodies and served on holidays

Guatemalan Food - Torta de Zanahoria

Guatemalans LOVE their sweets. Ice cream, candy and all sorts of cakes (including this little carrot cake)

Guatemalan Food - Fruit

Fresh squeezed orange juice and fruit cups can be found around every turn in Guatemala

Guatemalan Food - Fried Chicken from Pollo Campero

Pollo Campero is the bawse of slinging fried chicken and Guatemalans can't get enough fried chicken!

Okay, that’s enough, go get yourself a snack. In the meantime, here are a few more traditional Guatemalan dishes that you can hunt down on your next trip to the Mayan heartland (if there’s time).

More Guatemalan food… Tamales, Kakic, PepianCaldo de Res/Pollo, Tamales de Pache, Concon, Chicharrones, Chocobananos/Chocofrutas, Pupusa and Mole (my favorite dish on this planet)… all served of course, with corn tortillas!

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  1. Author

    While I like the tomato-base sauce of Guatemalan Ceviche, Peruvian Ceviche is second to none in my book!

    1. Author

      Most definitely Christine… although, they sometimes hide some mystery meat in “veggie dishes”. Haha, they don’t always get the concept of “vegetarian” here.

  2. Gina

    I don’t think I’ve ever really thought about Guatemalan food before, but it looks incredible! Those pastor tacos have my mouth watering.

  3. Pingback: Travel Information About Guatemala - Central America Blogs - Fluent In Frolicking

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