Where the Local Expats Eat Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Antigua has an endless list of restaurants (the Trip Advisor restaurant listing for Antigua is a nightmare) which make it difficult to truly suss out which establishments are worth eating at and spending money. Often times the most popular spots on certain sites are the ones most frequented by tourists, serving below average food at high tourist prices. Expats who have lived in Antigua for a while know the town well and have their favorite haunts. Here are a select few of those expat favorites.


This quaint, laid back spot is located right next to a hostel so it receives a good amount of tourism traffic, but rest assured that Y Tu Pina is a go to spot for expats. It is connected to the hip/rowdy Café No Se Mezcal bar across the street, and Y Tu Pina prides themselves on whipping up breakfasts to cure any hangover. Your typical fare of a tipico breakfast, pancakes, and American eggs are standard here, with show stoppers making an appearance on the weekend. Their version of an Egg McMuffin has a English muffin/egg sandwich speared on top of a Bloody Mary cocktail. While Y Tu Pina is also open for lunch, their main performance is at breakfast, with the menu varying from weekday to weekend. 

Website: http://www.ytupinatambien.com/

Where to eat in antigua


A favorite in Antigua, Cerro San Cristobal boasts of dishes made from fresh organic ingredients (grown on the property’s own farm) and stunning views of Antigua and its surrounding valley. Technically a meat free establishment, the restaurant does offer a variety of shrimp and fish dishes at extremely reasonable prices. What really makes this place special are its stunning views. While sitting at a table outside, high above town, you can sip your Michelada and eat ceviche soaking up Antigua’s monuments far below.

Website: http://www.restcerrosancristobal.com/



Porque No is always hopping, which is a testament to its funky vibe and tasty food. Filling up quickly on the weekends, this 6 table establishment surrounds diners with graffitied walls and antique knick knacks. Their small, but widely varied menu gives both vegetarian and meat options. From a beef tenderloin to shrimp curry, or pizzas and burritos, it's guaranteed that you will leave full and satisfied. Beware, 5 out of 6 tables are located upstairs via an extremely steep staircase.

Website: http://porquenocafe.com/

Where to eat in antigua


Don Lipe - The Butcher

Article featured in Que Pasa Magazine's September 2015 Edition

Written by Sofia Letona

Depending on how accustomed you are to life in La Antigua, you may have stopped buying meat from a particular distributor or specialty shop and may have begun to visit the municipal market and buy from the butchers’ stalls there. For the families who’ve lived in the center of town (and some of them still do), it’s not necessary to go all the way to the mercado, because – for what seems like forever – Don Lipe’s butcher shop has been located just a block from Parque Central.

Felipe de Jesús Grave – better known as Don Lipe – is a singular character. He never misses an opportunity to talk and joke with those who pass by his shop, which is located directly opposite the main entrance of the Cooperación Española. Qué Pasa spoke with him there for a few minutes.

Why did you decide to become a butcher?

When I was 14, my attention was caught by the world of buying and selling, the world of commerce. I liked seeing people buying as well as everything that had to do with the different kinds and cuts of meat.

How much did meat cost back then?

When I started, a pound of beef cost twenty cents of a quetzal (Q0.20) and then, because of the price, people bought more meat than they buy today. Just imagine: I used to sell 600 pounds of meat per month, and now it’s maybe 200 pounds.

How can a person know which cuts of meat are best?

Usually the meat from bull calves is good, but the meat from female calves is a little bit tougher. After that, it’s all about what dishes you’re going to prepare, in order to choose which cuts will be the best.

This is the last remaining butcher shop that can be found in La Antigua’s historic downtown area. Why did you decide to have your shop here and not in the market?

Here there’s no competition, but in the mercado there are so many butchers that it becomes complicated. Here I’m near many houses, and my customers even call and ask me to have it delivered by the “kid” [pointing to the person who has been his assistant and colleague for almost 15 years].

How many years have you been located here?

I’ve been in this location for 34 years, but I’ve been a butcher for 50 years.

It’s at this point that Don Lipe turns and says to his assistant: “Tell ‘em what you always say when I tell people how long I’ve been a butcher.”

The assistant laughingly replies, “I tell Don Lipe that, because he’s been doing this for so long, he’s become one of La Antigua’s monuments. I think the Council [the National Council for the Protection of La Antigua] should protect him, too [like it does with historic monuments].” Don Lipe – with his characteristic patience – laughs.

Then, a little bit excited, he says, “You know something? This week several people from the media have stopped by to interview me. Just look at how things are going!”

Then it’s time to take a photo for this article, and Don Lipe decides to tidy up the meat (because for him it’s obvious that the photo can only be taken with him among hanging cuts of meat while he uses one of his huge knives to clean up another piece). In a cheery mood, he has a request when it’s time to take the photo: “Make me look nice and handsome.”

Aside from the jokes, his dedication to serving the many Antigüeños and curious tourists who’ve found his shop is obvious: they keep coming back for the great cuts of meat… and some pleasant conversation.

Find the original Que Pasa article here.

A Trip to Antigua's Market

Antigua can often seem like a Disneyworld themed attraction. The ruins, shops, bars/restaurants, and the tourists can make it feel as if you are not actually in Guatemala. But head to the edge of town and you are quickly immersed in the everyday hustle and bustle of life in a typical Latin American city.


My bi-weekly market trips are something of a mix between excitement and apprehension. Walking into the market can be overwhelming at times. It is either a treat or a thorough overload of your senses, which is completely dependent on your mood that day. From the noise of vendors hawking their wares and yelling their prices, to weaving through the gauntlet of crowds in the small isles, the market is its own microcosm of teaming organisms.

With that said, I try and go early in the morning when the vendors have just started uncovering their goods for the buyers’ eyes. The mornings are the best. I can easily navigate the narrow alleyways and can casually browse each vendor's offerings without the hollering and pestering.

Like with anything in life, you acquire your favorite vendors and develop a tight bond of loyalty. I head inside the market’s fruit and vegetable section and dart straight to my senorita to whom I have pledged my patronage. I know I am most likely getting Gringa prices, but at least they are not entirely blatant about nickel and diming me. I buy as much as my bag (and shoulders) can manage, then set my sights on marking off the lingering items left on my grocery list. I usually get a bundle of flowers at the market. For 20 Q ($ 2.50) it would be blasphemy to not have fresh flowers in my house.

I then navigate my way out of the market’s maze until I find some sunlight to guide my way home.

A trip to the market is a must do when visiting Antigua. One gets the opportunity to see where Guatemalans do their shopping of all sorts. It is a unique experience to observe the way a transaction is made between buyer and seller. And it is a beautiful sight to see the colorfully displayed fruits and vegetables.

Meet Arianna, the Owner-Operator of Taste Antigua

Having an intense fondness for Latin America, this born and raised Texan took a gamble after Graduate School and moved my life down to Guatemala in the summer of 2013.

Growing up, I was always in the kitchen with my Dad, and from an early age I was transfixed by the creativity and freedom one has in the kitchen. My love affair with food started early, and continued to follow me around the globe. From Latin America to Asia, through Europe and into Africa, I sought out the food of each region. Street food dazzled me; it appealed to my adventurous side while captivating my cravings. My first food tour was in Hanoi Vietnam. I ended that tour with a deeper appreciation and understanding of the Vietnamese culture. It opened my eyes in such a way that I could no longer separate a country from its food.

After moving down to Guatemala, I immediately dove into the food scene. I ate street food for 6 months, relishing in dishes I had never heard of before. I delved into extensive food research and was hooked. Here were dishes that were simple but complex, and bursting with flavors.

It quickly became apparent that the world was missing out on the opportunity to become intimate with Guatemalan food. Even tourists who arrived in droves to Antigua, had no means to try typical dishes. Their only hope was eating at a scattering of higher-end Guatemalan restaurants and blindly picking from the menu. Something had to change, and I was just the girl to do it.

Originally called Antigua Street Food Tour, I designed a food tour that allowed tourists to get into the nitty-gritty details of Guatemalan dishes, their ingredients, and preparation methods. The concept quickly developed and has now called for a make over. Taste Antigua was born and now features more food tour offerings for our clients. We are continuing to evolve in hopes of providing fun and unforgettably yummy experiences to anyone who enjoys food.