On the road to Cobán from Guatemala City, Hotel y Restaurante la Lupa di Roma (Km. 200 on the road to Cobán, tel. 7951-4444, www.otupactours.com) serves authentic Italian cuisine in an attractive country setting.
Arguably the best food in town, Casa D’Acuña’s peaceful courtyard restaurant, El Bistro (4a Calle 3-11 Zona 2, tel. 7951-0482 or 7951-0484, 6:30 a.m.–10 p.m. daily), serves a variety of excellent international dishes, including great pasta ($5–6), pizzas, meat dishes, homemade breads and pastries, salads, and sandwiches.
Another excellent place to eat is the café inside Hostal de Doña Victoria (3a Calle 2-38 Zona 3, tel. 7951-4213/14), though the menu is not as intricate as that at El Bistro and leans more toward Guatemalan dishes. It’s always a good bet for breakfast.
A good option for fine dining can be found at Café and Restaurant La Posada (1a Calle 4-12 Zona 2, tel. 7952-1495, www.laposadacoban.com), inside the Hotel La Posada. The café (1–8:30 p.m. Wed.–Mon.) is at the far end of the building and looks out onto the plaza. The fancier restaurant (7 a.m.–9:30 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 7–11 a.m. Sun.) is set in an attractive dining room with a fireplace and two terraces facing a garden. The food at both is excellent, though the service is notoriously slow. It’s a good place to relax and unwind if you have a few hours to kill or aren’t in a hurry. The menu includes Guatemalan and international dishes.
For paella and other Spanish/Mediterranean specialties, head to Bok’atas (4a Calle 3-34 Zona 2, tel. 5204-1353, www.bokatas.net, 4 p.m.–1 a.m. Mon.–Fri., noon–1 a.m. Fri. and Sat.). There’s also a lively bar playing good tunes.
There are a variety of decent cafés in Cobán, among them the café at Casa Duranta (3a Calle 4-46 Zona 3, tel. 7951-4188, www.casaduranta.com, 7–10 a.m. and 3–8 p.m. daily), where the specialty is crepes (sweet and salty) as well as sandwiches and pastas.
West of the plaza, Café El Tirol (1a Calle 3-13 Zona 1, tel. 7951-4042, 7:30 a.m.–9 p.m.Mon.–Sat.) is a great place for breakfast or a light meal and coffee enjoyed in a pleasant terrace. The smoothies and sandwiches are particularly tasty.
On the south side of the plaza, Cafeto (tel. 7951-2850, 9 a.m.–9 p.m. daily) is a pleasant wine and coffee shop serving an affordable daily set lunch menu, including soup, half a sandwich, and salad, as well as European dishes such as bratwurst with mustard and sauerkraut.
Xkape Kob’an (Diagonal 4, 5-13 Zona 2, tel. 7951-4152) does a variety of coffee drinks but specializes in local dishes such as chicken stew, tamales, and kaq-ik in addition to pastries in a pleasant atmosphere with rustic wooden tables in a garden setting. There is artwork for sale and the café is managed by the Artisans’ Association of Verapaz.
For Asian food, try the clean and tidy Restaurante Kam Mun (1a Calle 8-12 Zona 2), where heaping portions of Chinese dishes ($5–10) are served in a pleasant atmosphere.
Another alternative is Restaurante Cantonés (behind Hotel La Posada at Diagonal 4, 4-24 Zona 2, tel. 7952-1592, 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m. daily), where a tasty large plate of fried rice can be had for $4.
There are several cheap eats lining the central plaza, the best (and safest) of which is Empanadas Argentinas, on the north end next to Telgua, where you can savor a tasty chicken empanada for just $0.85.
© Al Argueta from Moon Guatemala, 3rd Edition. Photos © Al Argueta www.alargueta.com