While the bugs may have impacted our sleep, they certainly didn’t affect our appetite. Thankfully, San Pedro proved to be a hotplate (hi-yo!) of surprisingly good food. If you are ever planning a trip to Lake Atitlan, here are a few of our favorites:
– Alfredo’s Pizza: By far the best dining experience we had in Guatemala. There are 4 tables set up under the tin roof on Alfredo’s front porch, each with a view inside the kitchen where the magic happens. We watched as Alfredo chopped the fresh ingredients for both our bruschetta and large mixta pizza (in English – the works). It may be the best pizza I’ve ever had (sorry Chicago…and Roma).* It was spectacular. In addition, Alfredo took time out of the kitchen to have a beer with us and shared his very interesting cooking career, which included cooking on the yachts of a member of the al Fayed family (as was the guy killed with Princess Diana who was apparently her boyfriend at the time), the King of Spain, and for land-bound drunk gringos. If you are ever in San Pedro, you must go there. It was that good!
* This opinion belongs to Anna and in no way represents the opinion of Mike, who heartily concurs with the remainder of this opinion, but thinks that pizza reached its zenith in Chicago.
– Nick’s: Immediately after docking in San Pedro, Nick’s welcoming sign and wonderful views prompted us to stop and get much-needed drinks. While the location screams tourist trap, it is far from it! Relatively cheap beer and food is available and we recently found out it was locally owned by Guatemalans, which is pretty cool. Highly recommend for sunset beers!
– The Clover: Think Irish pub in a tropical garden. Add a pretty broad range of delicious food (we ate here for both dinner & breakfast) and you’ve got The Clover. It looks like a chill place to hang out, seems to have live music most nights, and they boast a 60Q steak night every Thursday. For approximately $7 you get a steak that you can’t see through, unlike the steaks served at Ronny’s in downtown Chicago. The breakfast selection more than met our needs; I had an amazingly good ‘volcanic fruit pancake’ while Mike had a breakfast sandwich that could cure most Finley Dunne’s hangovers.
– Cafe La Puerta: Winner of the best non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated, non-carbonated drink Mike has ever tasted – a strawberry lemonade “slushy”. Located inside of the San Pedro Spanish Language school, Cafe La Puerta has plenty of outdoor seating and provides fun people watching opportunities. Their liquados are definitely the highlight of the menu, although their food is also very good (and different) making this a good lunchtime spot.
– TacoMex: It seems like there is a TacoMex on every corner, all of them offering 3 tacos for 12Q ($1.50) and all of them are filled with both tourists and locals throughout the day. While you probably won’t find the best ambiance, the price is right and the tacos are pretty tasty.
– The Buddha: It was a Friday night and we were expecting to walk into a Tim’s-like atmosphere, complete with sticky floors and beer pong tables. When we arrived, it was quite the opposite: quiet, clean, very nice staff, and sporting an Asian/Guatemalan fusion menu. The Goma Dang was unbelievable (think philly roll, but instead of salmon there was mushroom). Plus there was an indigenous grandmother killing it in pool (and raking in the dough after betting with some college kids) which provided great entertainment.
After all of this, I am hungry again but we are now in Lima to try out the ceviches, soups, and Chinese food (right…weird) of Peru!