Cafés and Cheap Eats
Flores has no shortage of coffee shops and cafés, most of which offer something different and equally pleasing, depending on what you’re in the mood for.
The Mayan Sunset Café (Calle 30 de Junio, tel. 7926-4726, 11 a.m.–11 p.m.) has a varied menu, including Thai chicken or beef, pasta, sandwiches, and quesadillas served on an airy deck overlooking the lake’s western shore. There are a full bar and good music to chill out to. It also shows movies. Check the daily program to find out what’s playing.
Café-Bar Las Puertas (corner of Calle Central and Avenida Santa Ana, tel. 7926-1061, 11 a.m.–midnight Mon.–Sat.) serves good espresso beverages and is a popular place, partially on account of its lively atmosphere as a bar with funky decor involving paint-splattered walls. Try one of the many pasta dishes, or if just here for a drink, go with a margarita.
El Café Chilero (Cool Beans Café) (Calle 15 de Septiembre, tel. 5571-9240, 8 a.m.–10 p.m. daily except Tues.) has a wide assortment of hot and cold coffee beverages using gourmet beans from a very well-known coffee farm in Alta Verapaz. It also serves smoothies and light meals in a relaxing jungle garden atmosphere and makes a great place for breakfast.
If you’re looking for inspiration before an adventure to one of Petén’s numerous archaeological sites, head to Café Arqueológico Yaxhá (Calle 15 de Septiembre, tel. 7926-0367, www.cafeyaxha.com, 7 a.m.–10 p.m. daily), where you can dine in a pleasant atmosphere featuring colorful Guatemalan tablecloths and photo montages of various Mayan sites, including Tikal, Yaxhá, and Nakum. Although it does a variety of dishes, including steak, chicken, seafood, pasta, and even curry, it specializes in what it calls “pre-Columbian” fare (a variety of Petén-Yucatec dishes), which come highly recommended. It is also the local representative for La Casa del Jade, a jade shop based in Antigua, and has a small assortment of jade jewelry on display. A separate dock on the island’s western shore is open 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and is a great place to go for an evening swim or watch the sunset from a hammock while enjoying your favorite drink.
Also on Calle 15 de Septiembre, La Galería del Zot’z (tel. 7926-1257, 6 a.m.–10 p.m. daily) serves decent sandwiches, pizzas, and pastas as well as good coffee and espresso drinks in a quaint atmosphere next to the quiet street.
On the street facing Playa Sur (South Beach), across from the Gran Hotel de la Isla, is Inka Ti Jesh Maâch (tel. 7926-3259, all meals daily), serving quality deli sandwiches and smoothies. It opens early and closes late.
Also on Playa Sur and a safe bet for cheap eats is Los Peches (5 a.m.–midnight daily), just off the causeway as you enter town, where you can eat from a set menu of chicken, fried fish, burgers, and steaks for about $3.50. It’s open early for those crack-of-dawn bus rides to Belize and Tikal.
Next door is Restaurante La Canoa (tel. 7926-0853) in the hotel of the same name. There are cheap eats here and a decent bar where it is purportedly always happy hour.
Flores has a small supermarket. La Colmena (corner Calle 30 de Junio and Avenida 10 de Septiembre, tel. 7926-1268) has a variety of your local and imported favorites. It also takes credit cards.
© Al Argueta from Moon Guatemala, 3rd Edition. Photos © Al Argueta www.alargueta.com