20 Popular Street Foods In Guatemala You Must Try
Guatemala is well-known for its food for many reasons, but mainly because it is so flavorful, and it’s such a big variety, and it’s very cheap, and Guatemalan street food is no different, yes, it can be a little bit dirty too, but that’s what goes with street food. Anywhere, you got to take your chances. Take your chances. Today we’re going to be talking about the most popular street food in Guatemala and its fairs!
Where is the best place to eat street food in Guatemala?
The markets. The markets are just filled with street food-like settings, right? But there they have a little bit heartier dishes. So if you go and listen to my Guatemala Food podcast, you’ll learn more about the Guatemalan dishes and you can find a lot more of those in the actual markets. But it’s still a very street fair kind of place.
Here are some of the top favorites you have to try when you are visiting Guatemala.
Guatemala Street Food
Shukos are literally hot dogs, and you can find them everywhere. We’re talking you can get them for like a dollar a hot dog, and they come with all these different toppings of cabbage, avocados, red sauces, and more. The word shuko itself is a very traditional hot dog you can find anywhere. Actually, literally means dirty. And it’s just known like that. It’s street food. It’s going to be a little bit dirty, but I really recommend it.
Paches, what are paches? Paches are literally like a tamale. However, tamales normally are made with corn flour. Paches are very similar; they’re also in banana leaves, but they actually are made from potatoes. Potatoes are the main starch of it. And they could be filled with meats and veggies and usually have a spicier sauce than tamales. And the reason for the word paches, when you get a flat tire and when your car is pushing down on your flat tire, that’s where the actual meaning of paches is, that area of that flat part of the tire. And that’s how they came up with that cool name.
When you go to the street foods, you are going to find obviously always tortillas. You can have tortillas with beans and eggs or even avocado.
You can also find tostadas. Tostadas are really large nachos, literally. And they put different things on top of the tostadas. Usually, it comes with beans, red sauce, avocado, and homemade fresh cheese. Like the super fresh cheese that you will find on any farm. A majority of the time it is dry cheese.
The enchiladas in Guatemala are not the same as the enchiladas that you are used to in Mexico. On the contrary, Enchiladas are literally a tostada, and you put meat and beets on it. Like a beet salad. It is just filled with beets, and it has red sauce and that fresh cheese. And sometimes it could be eggs, sometimes it could be ground meat. It will really depend on what you’re asking and what they are offering at that time as well.
Tamalito de Chiplin
Another really popular street dishin Guatemala is tamalito de chiplin. Tamalito is like a little tamale. It’s a little tamale with chiplin. And the interesting part. Chiplin is a leaf. It’s an actual leaf that is known in villages to be toxic. And the legend has it, if you eat too much of it, you can fall asleep and never wake up. But the reality is you don’t. It’s not that toxic. And they do use it in these tamales. It is a very local dish, it’s very common, and I really recommend you try it out.
Tamalitos de Loroco
Another thing is tamalitos de loroco is a really popular plant that is eaten and put into a lot of other dishes. So again, it is like the tamale with the loroco. However, you can find loroco in many dishes as well. So whenever you hear that word, you’ll know that it’s a plant that people use here as well for dishes. It’s an edible plant.
Guatemala is known for its ferias, and local fairs, and usually, whenever you visit little towns, or villages, they will have some sort of a mini festival going on. And there are some foods that are only offered during these fairs. Garnaches are that particular kind of food because at every fair you ever go to, there will always be deep-fried things. Deep-fried things are just yummy stuff no matter where you are in the world.
Garnache is a deep fried tortilla that is given to you literally taken out of the deep fryer. And then on top of that you will have mayonnaise and then ground meat on top of it. Yeah, not the healthiest version of food, but you know what, you will enjoy it. You got to try it.
So another really popular street food in Guatemala is those chili rellenos, what it is, is that chilies are red peppers. They’re not the spicy ones, the spicier ones actually have different names. So whenever you hear chilies, it’s usually a sweet pepper, and they’re filled, relleno literally means fillings, so they’re usually filled with meat and tomato and veggies and you can find that everywhere. And you put those on tortillas as well.
Atol de Elote
Also, many of the street food places, they always have something to drink. Usually atol de Elote. I mentioned that in the Guatemala drinks podcast. It is a very hearty soup-like drink that is made from corn. It is really flavorful and super filling, and it’s usually miraculously hot even when you are buying it from street vendors without ovens.
Guatemala Street Food in Fairs
Visiting the Kite Festival in Sumpango on Day of the Dead, November 1, in Guatemala is a super rare treat. Guatemala fairs are also a supreme time to get a glimpse into the world of Guatemalan street food vendors. But the most surprising part – how incredibly cheap and tasty it is.
The one dish that is only served on Day of the Dead – Fiambre – isn’t served here. This, you have to go to restaurants or be invited for homemade Fiambre. You can find in this country some of the best street food in the world, it’s really diverse and delicious. But like in most Latin and Central American countries you should be aware of food poisoning and avoid it.
Corn – the staple food of Guatemala
And the equally important staple of Guatemalans – Tortillas – made of corn flour
Cotton Candy – to me this usually brings memories of circuses. But my kids were begging for it and for 50 cents a bag, how can I say no.
Corbatas – which literally means tie (as in a tie for a man). They are sweet fried dough. But honestly, taste as boring as this guy is bored.
Typical Guatemalan Street food – in typical Guatemalan style. A little bit dirty.
A closer look at what is being sold from the ground up.
Ice Cream galore. There were over 20 of these guys. This was before the major rush, they were preparing themselves.
Roasted pig – this is actually not too common. And if it is, I haven’t been invited to these gatherings and am quite proud of it! Maybe if I was living in Argentina or Uruguay, but in Guatemala, this just seems a bit excessive.
Tacos, tacos, tacos. This is a fun food to eat and is the typical fair food as we have fried dough in the States. Literally, you can find this in every corner of Guatemala. It’s one of the most famous street food in Guatemala.
And meat. What is anything without Carne, chorizo, longanizas and more meat.
Traditional Guatemalan Soup. And how do you like the plastic cooking with the pot?
Pop Corn – the international kid friend favorite and almost always a safe call.
Tortillas – of course
Chicharrones – pork grinds as we know it. I actually have never seen the process of this fatty, fat dish.
Step one – get the pork skins and throw them into tons of grease.
Step 2 – cook them until they become small pieces, cooking in their own pork fat.
Step 3 – friend pork grinds.
And surprisingly they are quite tasty. If you like bacon, chances are you will get hooked on this dish as well.
Fresh Fruit – this was my chosen food of the day. And for 60 cents a cup, I splurged and splurged!
Let’s just say there is never a shortage of food at any of Guatemala’s festivities. And they are so fun to try and taste. And for most dishes that don’t cost more than $3, it’s worth giving most a taste.
So those are really popular dishes. All of the dishes that I am mentioning to you guys, you can literally get for less than one dollar. That’s why they’re so popular.
You’ll always find refried beans, avocado, and ground beef with tortillas or tortillas, but you want to go and just give a little bit more variety to your street food adventures. Guatemala is the perfect place for a gastronomical food event just from the street foods alone. And usually, it comes from the home cooking that the grandmothers and the mothers have for their families.
How to subscribe?
If you subscribe to my podcast you’ll be the first one to know when a new podcast is up!
Did you enjoy the podcast? Leave a Review!
Leave a review on Apple Podcast! They are one of THE most important factors for podcasts, and it’s super easy to do:
- Click on “View in iTunes” on the left-hand side under the picture.
- Leave an honest review.
- Thanks, you’re super!