For gourmet Guatemalan cuisine served in a classy atmosphere accented by a high-roofed thatch ceiling, head to Kacao (2a Avenida between 13 and 14 Calle, Zona 10, tel. 2337-4188/89, lunch and dinner daily). You can try a variety of traditional Guatemalan dishes, including spicy beef and chicken dishes in pepián and jocón sauces as well as corn-based delicacies such as chuchitos and tamales.
In the downtown area, another popular place for Guatemalan cuisine is Arrin Cuan (5a Avenida 3-27 Zona 1, tel. 2238-0242, or 16 Calle 4-32 Zona 10, tel. 2366-2660, www.arrincuan.com, lunch and dinner daily, $5–10), with many dishes from the Cobán region, including kakik stew, but also some tasty less adventurous recipes such as chicken in apple sauce. The atmosphere is charmingly simple.
Another good place for hearty Guatemalan fare is Casa Chapina (1a Avenida 13-42 Zona 10, tel. 2337-0143), serving well-presented Guatemalan dishes such as pollo en salsa de loroco accompanied by fresh avocado and corn on the cob.
© Al Argueta from Moon Guatemala, 3rd Edition. Photos © Al Argueta www.alargueta.com