Guatemala City RECOMMENDATIONS See all

Food Lover's Guide to Guatemala

By Viator, February 2018

5 8 Reviews | Add your review

The cuisine of Guatemala is similar to its Central American neighbors with its heavy reliance on ingredients like corn, rice, and beans. Historically, the Mayan and Spanish cultures shaped the traditional cuisine and flavors of Guatemala, however today, look for additional influences from the influx of expats like Chinese and Americans.

Guatemalan cuisine includes familiar Mexican specialties like tamales and nachos. Hearty dishes like stews and soups are popular in the country as well. And much like its Central American neighbors, don’t be surprised if you order chicken and it arrives with the feet still attached.

When it comes to snacks in Guatemala, you may recognize some dishes served in neighboring countries like Belize’s salpicon. In Guatemala, it is typically made with chopped meat, radish, and mint, all served in lemon juice. Guatemala also has its own version of ceviche made with shrimp, clams, snails, fish, or a combination of these.

The typical flavors of Guatemala include rich spices, recados, chiles, and other ingredients to stand up to the hearty stews and soups. Don’t expect lots of heat spice, but more bold flavors.

Meat and Seafood
Stews, known as caldos, and soups, called sopas, are staples in Guatemalan cuisine. Be sure to seek out specialties like Kaq-ik, also spelled Kak’ik, a traditional Mayan turkey soup, complete with a drumstick. The broth includes ingredients like tomatoes, tomatillos, garlic, cilantro, onions, and even mint.  Another stew to try is Pepian, made with chicken, potatoes, green beans, and carrots. Its dense and spicy recado sauce is similar to a Mexican mole and includes ingredients like tomatoes and pumpkin seeds. And like a mole, you can find Pepian in different varieties ranging from red to black.

Be sure to try chile rellenos as you will find them quite different than the Mexican version you are likely more familiar with. Rellenos in Guatemala are not made with spicy poblano chiles, but sweet bell peppers and filled with meat and vegetables, covered with egg whites and then fried.

Guatemalan Desserts
Guatemalan desserts closely resemble those of some of the country’s neighbors, but watch out as many of these are much sweeter than you find elsewhere. Don’t be surprised to see a much smaller portion, which is mainly due to how sweet traditional desserts may be. Popular options include Tres Leches Cake, milk candies, tamarind balls, and sweets made with coconut. Other specialties include mole de platanos, friend plantain slices in chocolate sauce, arroz con leche, rice pudding, atol de elote, sweet corn atole, and more.

Beverages in Guatemala
Look for ample fresh juices like banana, mango, watermelon, and even guanabana, a rather tart custard apple that is prevalent in the area. Try the fruits in a shake made with either water or milk. Limonada con soda is a popular beverage to cool off, made with freshly squeezed lemonade and soda water.

Guatemala is known for its impressive rum and coffee production. The most well-known and exported rum is Ron Zacapa. There are a number of variations available based on the number of years aged. These premium and very smooth rums are aged five years at a minimum—skip the mixers and make this your sipping rum. Not a drinker? Have a cup of locally grown Guatemala coffee, one of the top producers of coffee in all of Central America.

Tours & Tickets

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Hands-on Cooking Class in Antigua, Antigua, null
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Hands-on Cooking Class in Antigua

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

Founded in 2007, the school specializes in teaching Guatemalan cuisine in a fun and engaging way. The classes are small and they are taught in either English ...  Read more

Location: Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $49.00
Small-Group Cooking Class in Antigua from Guatemala City, Guatemala City, Cooking Classes
TVRM_SORTED : false ESSENTIAL : ADMISSION :

Small-Group Cooking Class in Antigua from Guatemala City

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 4 Reviews

Take a cooking class in Antigua and learn how to prepare some of Guatemala’s favorite dishes. Taste the unique flavors of Guatemalan cuisine as you create your ...  Read more

Location: Guatemala City, Guatemala
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $90.00
Antigua Market, Cooking Class and Choco Museum from Guatemala City, Guatemala City, Cooking Classes
TVRM_SORTED : false ESSENTIAL : ADMISSION :

Antigua Market, Cooking Class and Choco Museum from Guatemala City

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

Take a tour of the Antigua Market and learn about the traditional ingredients in Guatemalan cuisine. You will continue your day by taking a cooking class and ...  Read more

Location: Guatemala City, Guatemala
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $169.00
Antigua Market Cooking Class and Choco Museum in Antigua, Antigua, Cooking Classes
TVRM_SORTED : false ESSENTIAL : ADMISSION :

Antigua Market Cooking Class and Choco Museum in Antigua

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

Take a tour of the Antigua Market and learn about the traditional ingredients in Guatemalan cuisine. You will continue your day by taking a cooking class and ...  Read more

Location: Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $150.00
Small-Group Coffee Tour in Antigua, Antigua, Cooking Classes
TVRM_SORTED : false ESSENTIAL : ADMISSION :

Small-Group Coffee Tour in Antigua

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

Get buzzed and brewed on this caffeine-fueled coffee adventure! You will be heading beyond the city to explore local coffee plantations and learn the history ...  Read more

Location: Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala
Duration: 6 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $76.00
Sip n' Cycle Coffee and Mountain Bike Tour, Antigua, Cultural Tours
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Sip n' Cycle Coffee and Mountain Bike Tour

This is a beginner to intermediate mountain bike ride combined with a very unique experience to visit a local Guatemalan family. These families are members a ...  Read more

Location: Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $100.00
Maya Cooking Class from Panajachel, Panajachel, Coffee & Tea Tours
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Maya Cooking Class from Panajachel

Experience the flavors of Guatemala during a cooking lesson at the Santa Cruz Cooking Class. Learn to cook authentic Guatemalan dishes like Pepian and ...  Read more

Location: Panajachel, Guatemala
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $49.99
Santa Cruz City Tour: Beading and Cooking with Locals, Western Highlands, Cooking Classes
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Santa Cruz City Tour: Beading and Cooking with Locals

Amigos de Santa Cruz believes education is the key to long-term community empowerment and works in the seven communities of Santa Cruz in public schools, with ...  Read more

Location: Santa Cruz la Laguna, Guatemala
Duration: 3 to 4 hrs

From USD $62.00
Quetzaltenango Street Food Tour, Quetzaltenango, Cooking Classes
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Quetzaltenango Street Food Tour

Discover our delicious street food in a comprehensive tour in which we will visit various stands. Learn how to prepare some of the more traditional dishes and ...  Read more

Location: Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)

From USD $33.00

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