If you’ve decided on Bolivia for an upcoming vacation, you're in for a real treat.
Bolivia is the kind of magical place that somehow stands out from anywhere else you’ve ever been or may someday visit. Maybe it’s the down-to-earth vibe or the omnipresent feeling of hard work and humility… whatever intangible presence you feel in the air in the heights of Bolivia’s mountains, plains, and lakes, there’s no confusing it with neighboring countries like Argentina or Uruguay. And to top it off, the food is tasty, filling, and affordable–all key points for any budget-conscious vacationer. Here are 6 top picks for a great meal in La Paz, Bolivia’s capital city:
1. Namas Te
Calle Zoilo Flores #1334, esquina Almirante Grau (San Pedro)
Simple dishes prepared with fresh ingredients make up the signature cuisine at Namas Te. After eating lots of potatoes, meats, and other heavy dishes as you travel through Bolivia, don’t miss your chance for lighter, vegetarian-friendly fare at this sweet, relaxed, cafe-style eatery.
4 locations, including Calle Heroes del Pacifico #1162, cerca Plaza Uyuni
Many would argue that the one food you simply must eat while traveling in Bolivia is the salteña. Don’t fool yourself into thinking it’s just another name for “empanada” because of its doughy outer shell. The juices of a good salteña are unlike any empanada you’ve ever had, and the crews at Paceña La Salteña’s four locations throughout the capital have a reputation for consistently serving up some of the city’s best hand-held meals.
3. El Patio
Calle Murillo #826
For a mere $5 you can enjoy a wonderful meal in a bright, cheery environment at El Patio. You’ll appreciate the elegant touches, like linen table clothes, color-coordinated decor, and a modest wine menu while people-watching from the restaurant’s outdoor seating area.
4. Restaurante El Consulado
Calle Carlos Bravo #299, esquina Tiwanaku
When the occasion calls for a touch of elegance, head on over to Restaurante El Consulado. This charming old building also serves as a guest house, so you can even consider staying for a few nights while visiting the area. Located just a few blocks over from all the noise and congestion of downtown La Paz, it’s the perfect spot to give your legs a rest, grab a cup of coffee, and flip through your guide book as you come up with a plan of attack for that afternoon’s adventures.
Calle 10 #300, casi Costanera (Calacoto)
Abandon your budget for an evening if you are a looking for what may be La Paz’s most uniquely upscale dining experience, and make reservations at Gustu. The innovative menu features ingredients that are indigenous to Bolivia, yet it’s unlikely you’ll see dishes prepared and presented quite like this anywhere else. Come eager for a whole different type of culinary treat.
Calle Sagarnaga #324
You’re sure to stumble upon the welcoming Cafe del Mundo while walking around the downtown tourist district of La Paz. They serve up plenty of lunch fare, but the real attraction here tends to be the breakfast menu, which is conveniently served all day long. Belgian waffles at 3pm? Sounds like a winner to me! Take advantage of the free WiFi to check in on emails or take care of other important business online.
Many Latin American travelers agree that Bolivia has a more untouched, authentic feel to it than other destinations in the area. Your Spanish skills will really take you far as you navigate La Paz and travel into more remote areas, so make sure they’re up to par before you make the trip. Need some help? Contact us and we’ll get you set up with one-on-one or small group instruction right away. And if you already have insider knowledge on some of La Paz’s best dining options, we invite you to share them in the comments section below.