It’s hard to sum up a whole entire country in just a short list of food, but we’re going to give it our best shot! Guatemala is a country with a rich culture and even richer foods. Always (95% of the time) served with a side of white rice, fresh tortillas, and beans, Guatemalan food is best enjoyed with a strong margarita or a nice cold beer. Not too spicy, their food is rich and flavorful, with a completely unique yet delicious blend of spices. Is your mouth watering yet?
Read on to find out more about our favorite local dishes to try in Guatemala. And of course, don’t forget to ask for your side of guac!
While maybe not “officially” the national dish of Guatemala, chicken pepian still fills the stomachs of locals and tourists every day. You should be able to find this dish served up hot and fresh on the street, in the market, and in the home. Chicken Pepian is considered one of the oldest Guatemalan dishes, and the flavor of the dish stems from a combination of their Spanish and Mayan culture. A traditional and meaty stew, Chicken Pepian should be tried not just because it tastes so incredibly good, but because it gives travelers a good taste of Guatemala’s history of Spanish and Mayan culture– literally!
Kak’ik: A Turkey Soup
Another Guatemalan staple, kak’ik is a spiced turkey stew/ soup made with fresh turkey and loads and loads of spices. Some spices that come to the forefront of the palate when eating kak’ik include achiote, coriander, and lots of chiles! If you don’t think chicken pepian deserves to be Guatemala’s national dish, then kak’ik is definitely up next to be #1!
Chiles Rellenos is a dish that has been duplicated or attempted to be replicated many times around the world. The process of making chiles rellenos includes stuffing a chile pepper with a mixture of rice, meat, and vegetables, then coating the pepper with a thick egg batter and fried until golden brown. Smothered with a delicious tomato sauce and served alongside a fresh corn tortilla, chiles rellenos is something you (or your stomach!) will never forget.
Empanadas are like the original Pizza Pockets. Wonderfully warm and filled with a delcious mix of either meat and potato or vegetables and potatoes, empanadas are perfect for those that need an on- the- go meal or a quick, yet filling snack. Empanadas are usually served with fresh guacamole, tomatoes, cilantro, or onion. Yum!