Central American cuisine rarely gets the love it deserves. Whilst Instagram is full of sushi snaps, Asian street treats and fancy French food, you rarely spot anyone raving about the food from this particular region. Having recently backpacked around Central America, I found that whilst there isn’t a huge variation of dishes, given they nearly always consist of tortillas, rice, sour cream and fried meat, you can actually seek out some real foodie treats. Here’s a roundup of some of the best dishes and drinks I tried on my travels around Central America.
Traditional Guatemalan Breakfast
Forget your English fry up. This breakfast is an unusual but delightful and colourful combination of kidney beans, egg, tortillas and plantain. Prepare to eat a lot of plantain in Central America, it will be added to everything. This hearty breakfast will set you up for your day of exploring good and proper like.
Baleadas is a local Honduran dish, if you can speak a bit of rudimentary Spanish, you can create your own weird and wonderful combination of meat, egg, beans, hot sauce and pickled vegetables inside a soft corn tortilla. It can be eaten anytime of the day and is often super cheap, making it a go-to staple of travelling.
This is essentially a Costa Rican ‘plate of the day’, often you can choose your own elements. In some cases, it’s very much a ‘have what you are given’. Typically, this dish includes meat, rice, a selection of vegetables, tortilla, beans and of course, plantain. A very filling and low cost meal, it can be found in most restaurants, cafes and bars across Costa Rica.
Costa Rica’s famous spicy shot is a Chiliguaro, this fiery little number involves mixing Cacique Guaro liquor to tomato juice, tabasco and citrus juice. This signature drink is guaranteed to give you a proper spice kick to your senses with it’s hot and distinctive flavour.
Possibly the best soup I have ever tasted. This soup combines smoky spicy flavours of chipotle and chilli with Mexican melting cheese, crunch tortilla strips, avocado and topped with cooling sour cream. It is a heavenly combination of flavours and warms the soul of any weary backpacker. I highly recommend you give this gorgeous soup a whirl.
Each Central American country has their own variation of this famous food and you can have lots of foodie fun sampling tacos from each region. I personally enjoy a Nicaraguan taco; a deep fried, crunchy taco stuffed with shredded meat and smothered in cabbage and sour cream.
I am the voice of Pip and the City, a lifestyle and travel blog I have created to share travel, food, lifestyle and adventures. The name is a nod to my childhood obsession Pippy Longstockings, I grew up wanting to have my own amazing adventures and so the nickname of Pip has stayed with me.
Much like Miss Longstockings I love an adventure and have travelled extensively over the years. I’ve hiked through Australian outback, scuba dived off Thai islands, backpacked across Canada, road tripped in America, got lost in rural Bosnia and sipped cocktails on a rooftop bar in Palestine. There have been various mishaps, missed trains and encounters with Cambodian border control, but I have managed to stay in one piece somehow and I now document my adventures in my distinctive style of ‘delightful whimsy’.
I am normally based in Cardiff with my husband and favourite human Luke, but we travel as much as possible as we are extremely passionate about seeing new places and experiencing new things.
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