Edible Antigua: 3 Tasty Tours
The city of Antigua is Guatemala’s colonial hub and, for many, its culinary capital. Along its cobblestone streets, you’ll find señoras selling traditional, homemade eats out of well-worn wicker baskets, a global mix of smart restaurants with good wine lists, and a handful of great spots for baked goods, pastries, and traditional sweets. Corner cafés brew strong cups of excellent coffee that’s often not only sourced in Guatemala, but right outside of Antigua. It’s easy to find delicious eats in the city, though getting input from a local will ensure you try the best of the best. To that end, Viaventure has developed three culinary tours (all of which are featured in the foodie itinerary here) that’ll provide insight into the local food landscape—and ensure you leave Antigua very well fed.
Classic Street Food
On this tour, a local guide will take you to Antigua’s street food hot spots, where you’ll get to try some of Guatemala’s most traditional fare. These are the places where long lines of locals are a fixture—and for good reason: The food served is delicious and well-prepared. Items you might taste include chuchitos (the Guatemalan take on a tamale), pupusas (cheese-filled corn tortillas), rellenitas (plantain dough that’s filled with beans and then fried), and even pigs’ feet. You’ll learn about the cultural and historic significance of the eats on offer and (if open) visit Antigua’s bustling market to explore the vibrant array of ingredients used in Guatemalan cuisine.
As Green As It Gets Coffee
As Green as it Gets (AGAIG) is a non-profit organization based just outside of Antigua that helps support independent coffee producers and that also promotes environmentally responsible agriculture. On this tour, an AGAIG guide will take you to meet some of the organization’s members and to tour the local coffee fields. You’ll have the opportunity to work alongside a farmer as you learn how coffee is picked, processed, and roasted, before sampling a freshly brewed cup yourself. You’ll also eat a traditional lunch in the home of a local family and get a bag of coffee to take with you, too; “full city” and “dark” are the most popular picks.
Cook Dinner with a Local Chef
Want to learn how to cook Guatemalan food like a local? Then spend an evening making dinner with chef Hector Castro, whose eponymous French restaurant is one of Antigua’s best. As you chop, dice, and peel ingredients for your four-course meal—which may included shrimp ceviche or pollo en jocón (chicken in a tomatillo-cilantro sauce)—you’ll learn about Guatemala’s food culture and discover some of the secrets to its cuisine. A variety of native herbs, spices, chilies, and vegetables—as well as local meat and/or seafood—will be used to create traditional Guatemalan dishes with a gourmet flair.