The Hacienda San Lucas  (tel. 504/651-4106, www.haciendasanlucas.com ), in the hills across the river from town, offers an outstanding set five-course menu for US$20 per person. Made from local produce, the meal might include a fruit, green papaya and fresh cheese appetizer, cream of corn soup, tamales, chicken with the house adobo sauce or tilapia fish, and rum cake for dessert. Reservations are required for dinner, although lighter lunches and breakfasts are served for drop-in visitors.
The hands-down favorite spot in town is
Comedor & Pupusería Mary (7 a.m.–9 p.m. daily), half a block from the municipal market, its wooden tables usually crowded with locals. Soups (US$3) are popular with the regulars, and there are also well-prepared fish, beef, and chicken meals, almuerzos for US$3, and licuados (US$1.50), as well as pupusas (US$0.50–0.80).
The real budget-pinchers can eat at the stands located outside the market building in the afternoons and evenings daily.
Carnitas N’ia Lola (7 a.m.–10 p.m. daily), popular with the traveler and expat crowd, has very tasty and filling nachos, quesadillas, huge baleadas, and, of course, the namesake carnitas (US$10), as well as other pricier cuts of meat (steaks run about US$15). In the evening, the grill (fragua) is cranked up. This place is invariably packed and fun for the 6:30–8 p.m. happy hour.
If you’re looking for a steak but hoping to spend a little less, the beef dishes at Momo’s run US$5–7, although the atmosphere is rather more ordinary.
Right on the square is Restaurante Yaragua (7 a.m.–10 p.m. daily), next to the hotel of the same name, with well-prepared Honduran meals like a hearty plato típico (US$6), fish fillet (US$6), or the ever-popular anafre bean-and-cheese dip (US$3). A block and a half west of the park, Llama del Bosque (tel. 504/651-4431) is a similar standby, going strong for over 30 years, with an extensive menu including pastas (US$4–5), beef dishes (US$6), and breakfasts (US$3).