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Restaurants of Central America

Central America is a thin strip of land located between North and South America formed by 7 countries, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. When it comes to food these, counties have been strongly influenced by the ancient Mayan culture and the Caribbean. This means that the traditional dishes of most of the countries are based on corn and tropical ingredients.

As you may already know one of the best things you can do while traveling is to visit the restaurants that offer traditional food of the country you visit. Central America is no exception. These counties all have restaurants of all types, for all budgets but, how to choose?

Here are names of restaurants in some of the Central American countries, where to find them and what they offer, Take a look!

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is the most visited country of Central America by travelers. It is because of its incredible Bio-Diversity, countless beaches, national parks and reserves and great touristic infrastructure. Ticos (Costa Ricans) are known for always having in their homes a dish called Casado, a mixture of beans, meat, rice and plantains that will blow your mind!

For a luxurious, romantic and delicious meal Grano de Oro Restaurant is the place you want to go to. It is located in a luxurious hotel of San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital city. If you prefer something more traditional and not so formal visit one of the many Sodas (local eateries) distributed along the country. For a better taste of their take on tropical food visit the Caribbean coast. It is a good idea to try this kind of food in actual restaurants or to buy it from your hotel. Small stands in front of the beach aren’t always the best.

Guatemala

This country is the heart of the Mayan Culture, it is where you will find the largest amount of Mayan ruins and two the most important Mayan archaeological sites ever found. Guatemalan diet is mostly based in spicy stews, corn derivates and beans.

The places where you will find the best restaurants are in Guatemala City’s zone 10 where you will find upscale restaurants offering food of all types and in Antigua.

Antigua Guatemala is the last true colonial city of Central America, it might be tiny but it’s packed with restaurants of all types. Here you can visit Cueva de los Urquizu if you are looking for traditional food; El Tenedor if you are looking for an open-air restaurant with great views; Panza Verde or Santo Domingo for romantic, fine dining; or one of the many tinier coffee shops like Café Condesa for a relaxed afternoon.

El Salvador

Then there is the smaller country of El Salvador. It is famous for two things, the amazing surf breaks that attract tons of travelers and its traditional dish, Pupusas. These are corn tortillas stuffed with cheese, beans, beef or a mixture of all complemented with a delicious fermented cabbage.

If you want to spend some time in a small, cowboy town where you can relax and enjoy the natural beauties in El Salvador and try the traditional pupusas, the best place to do it is in Suchitoto. The place is filled with small local eateries that offer the most authentic and delicious pupusas you will ever try. If on the other hand you want to taste what the food from the Pacific coast is like and spend some time on the beach go to Balsamo Coast, here you will find a luxurious, beachfront, open air restaurant called Hola Beto’s. It offers some of the best seafood dishes of the region.

Belize

This is Central America’s smallest country, the only one where English is the official language. It was once part of Guatemala and is now a tiny but beautiful country. Because it only has access to the Caribbean Sea the most traditional dishes involve mainly plantains, coconut and seafood.

There are a few great beachfront restaurants in Belize that offer seafood and international dishes, one worth trying out is called Beaches and dreams in Hopkins village. The food and service are amazing. However if you are exploring the jungles of the country and are near San Ignacio visit Chaa Creek, it is an eco lodge with a good restaurant.

Along the coast and in the Cayes (islands) you will find tons of small eateries where you can taste the true flavors of the Belizean food.

When it comes to restaurants it is definitely a fun experience to explore the different options, flavors and ambiences being offered.

Kelly Watson is a professional blogger that writes on a variety of topics including NYC restaurants. She writes for Restaurants.com, a leading directory of restaurants.

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