Top 8 foods you must try in Sucre, Bolivia
We stayed in Sucre, Bolivia for almost a month renting an apartment and learning Spanish. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that we are experts on the city but in addition to studying, we spent a lot of time (probably too much!) eating foods we discovered. Here, we have narrowed down our top picks of 8 favorite things to eat & where to get them.
Homemade pasta at Cafe Monterosso
Located a bit out of the way, tucked into a quiet, residential area, you will find this unassuming restaurant. It’s slightly difficult to find because the sign is so small and the restaurant looks more like a house. Well, that’s because it kind of is. The owner, Roberto, is from Italy and he decided to turn his house into an Italian restaurant. When you ring the bell, he will give you a warm greeting and seat you in what was once a living room but is now converted to the dining room. A peek into the kitchen, which is just a simple house kitchen, reveals grandma cooking over her small stove simmering a huge pot of gravy. Homemade pastas with imported Italian products are not to be missed at this gem! And the tiramisu- oh my god! Truly to die for! Worth the extra walk.
What to eat: Homemade pasta, lasagna (only on Thurs/Fri) and do NOT miss the tiramisu
Why you should go: For intimate atmosphere and some of the best pasta you will find in Bolivia; out of this world tiramisu
Details: Cafe Monterosso, Calle Padilla 70 Sucre, Bolivia Tel: 591 64-35397
Price: Set menu including starter, pasta & dessert: 65 Bs (between $9-10US/6.50 Euros) pasta only: 35 Bs
Hours: Closed Sunday, Monday Open: Tues-Sat from 7:30 pm-9:30 pm-Reservations strongly suggested
Steak at La Taverne
A popular place and rightly so, the selection of meats here is top quality. The steaks are easily the best thing on the menu. Here, they cook it properly with your choice of sauces. It’s located inside the French Alliance building and they claim to have French cuisine but I’d beg to differ-it’s more French inspired. It doesn’t really matter because however you want to label it, the food is delicious, The atmosphere: romantic and cozy with a fancy flair. There is seating indoors or in the covered courtyard. Service is better than your usual Bolivian “I’ll pretend I can’t see you sitting there waiting for a menu or asking for the check”. Highly recommended.
What to eat: any of their steaks with wine (decent wine choices for Sucre)
Why you should go: For steaks with a French finesse. Good service and a romantic setting; a true bang for your buck
Details: La Taverne, Aniceto Arce No 35 Sucre, Bolivia (located inside the French Alliance). Tel: 591-4-646340
Price: Average price for steak is 65 Bs (worth it) US $9/6.50 Euros
Hours: open for breakfast, lunch and dinner contact for more information on their website by clicking here
Mondongo with salad at El Huerto
El Huerto is not in the central part of Sucre but for a mere 10 Bs, a taxi will take you there. It’s a small price to pay in order to taste some of Sucre’s best eats. This place specializes in Bolivian main dishes such as Picante de Pollo or the exceptional Mondongo. The sunny courtyard provides the perfect backdrop to relax and enjoy your meal. They even have a salad bar, which normally I would strongly advise against, however, this one is outstanding. Fresh options all washed in filtered water (I asked) so no fear of getting sick. Great quality and variety. If you thought Bolivian food was boring or too greasy, come here and change your mind for the better. But wait, what the hell is mondongo?! Ah, I almost forgot-it’s pork ribs cooked in an aji rojo sauce (not spicy just very red). I warn you now, it’s addictive.
What to eat: Mondongo and for the first time in my life, I recommend the salad bar!
Why you should go: For local Bolivian specialties in a beautiful outdoor setting
Details: El Huerto, Ladislao Cabrera Nº 86 zona San Matías, Sucre Bolivia Taxi recommended Tel: (+591) 4-64 51538 Website (including menu and prices): Click here
Price: Mondongo costs 67 Bs (about US$10/7 Euros) and includes salad bar
Hours: 7 days a week from 12:00-4:00 pm; Wed-Sat 7:00 pm-10:00 pm
Cheese empanadas at Condor Cafe
Condor Cafe is more than just a place to grab a bite to eat. It’s a non-profit organization that gives the money directly back to the community through its various projects. Inside the cafe, there is a travel agency devoted to NGO trekking around the area. That’s all very admirable but it honestly wouldn’t have made this list if it weren’t for its stellar eats. The cheese empanadas and tucamanas are stand-outs but almost on par, is their set menu del dia offering a 3 course hearty, fresh vegetarian meal for 35 Bs. Just as worthwhile are the cakes and above-average coffee drinks. The menu is small but satisfying. We ate here several times throughout our stay in the city and everything we ordered, we loved. The service is genuinely sweet too.
What to eat: My favorite was the cheese empanada washed down with a cappuccino
Why you should go: For a break from meat-centric, standard Bolivian fare with a side of “good-cause”. Bonus: if you are vegetarian, you will rejoice at the veggie options
Details: Condor Cafe, Calvo 102, Sucre, Bolivia
Price: Cheese empanada 7 Bs ($1 US/.75 Euro); menu del dia-3 courses 35 Bs ($5 US/3.50 Euros)
Hours: Mon-Sun 8:00 am-8:00 pm
Salteñas at Salteñeria Flores
Just next door is the ever-popular El Patio. The salteñas there are good but just not superior like the ones here at Flores. Plus, if you are vegetarian, you won’t find any options over at El Patio. For the uninitiated, a salteña is a small pocket of goodness. It’s kind of like a miniature pot pie. You get your choice of fillings but I prefer the more traditional pollo & carne flavors. It’s served with a spoon and I’ve learned the best way to eat it is to crack it gently, then eat up the juicy insides first. The pastry around the salteña is mildly sweet and the filling is very wet, so prepare yourself with napkins if you intend to just dig in!
What to eat: salteñas! Choose the flavor you like best, you can’t go wrong. I love their fresh fruit juices too
Why you should go: There are no lines here (unlike their neighbor) and they truly have the best salteñas in town
Details: Salteñeria Flores, San Alberto 26, Sucre Bolivia (next to El Patio)
Price: one salteña is 8 Bs (about $1 Us/.75 Euro)
Hours: Salteñas are eaten as a mid-morning snack in Bolivia and so it’s only open from 9 am-12:30 pm
Freshly squeezed juice or fruit salad at Central market of Sucre
True, you can get freshly squeezed orange juice on every street corner in Sucre but where to go when you want a larger variety of flavors? Head right over to Sucre’s central market. It’s a destination in itself, as all markets are, and downstairs you will find a bevy of women blending up some fresh juices all for less than a US dollar! From chiramoya to pineapple-every fruit is covered. You have your choice of with milk or water (ask if it’s bottled or purified for safety’s sake) and for fresh squeezed juice like carrot, ask for a zumo. If you prefer to have your fruit whole, don’t miss the fresh fruit salad. Be sure to ask for it sans the pink whipped cream (unless that is your thing). Bolivians have a strange habit of topping many things with pink-tinged cream. Fruit this fresh does not need a rosy pink adornment.
What to eat: In this case, drink the fresh fruit juice in any flavor you like or eat the fruit salad
Why you should go: For freshly squeezed juice that you would pay triple for back home. It’s also a perfect opportunity to try out some fruits you never heard of!
Details: Mercado Central, Aniceto Arce (Two blocks up from the plaza de mayo); fruit stands are downstairs
Price: 7 Bs or less (less than $1 US/.75 Euro)
Hours: The market is open til about 5 pm every day
Choripan at Las 7 Lunares
The choripan here is legendary. If you ask anyone where to go and try the chorizo that this area is famous for, the chuquisaqueño, it is here they will send you. If quality, greasy meat bursting with porky goodness is your thing, then this will surely sate your appetite. 7 Lunares is an informal place with friendly service. The menu is primarily limited to these special chorizos. What makes them so special, you might ask? Well, they are slightly spicy and fried up in a big vat of grease and served on a bun dipped right in that greasy goodness. Oh yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. Not exactly health food but damn, is it tasty!
What to eat: Well, there is not a heck of a lot of choice-the simple, the double or the sandwich. I went with the simple. You can’t go wrong.
Why you should go: It truly is the best place in Sucre to try these special sausages
Details: Las 7 Lunares located close to the Mercado Central at Av. Manco Kapac, 247, Sucre, Bolivia
Price: A simple will cost you 20 Bs (just under $3 US/2 Euros); a double is 35 Bs ($5 US/3.50 Euros)
Hours: Open daily in the daytime until about 5:00 pm
Papa rellenos at the no-name little stand selling THE best
This one may be a little tough to find, since there is no specific name for the place. But I guarantee you, if you make the effort to find it, your efforts will be rewarded!!! We found this place thanks to our teacher at the Fenix school (where we studied our Spanish). If you are attending classes there, you are in luck because it’s located around the corner. If not, I urge you to go a little out of your way to find it! It’s only about a 10 minute walk from the main square. Papa rellenos are mashed potatoes stuffed with cheese and then deep fried. Okay, another not-so-healthy food but surely a must-try! The cheese gets perfectly melty and the entire thing is topped with a house made salsa of tomatoes and onions. For those that like the spice, llajua (Bolivian’s answer to hot sauce) is available.
What to eat: Well, the only option is the papa relleno and I highly recommend it with the salsa and the llajua
Why you should go: For an inexpensive, authentic, homemade, delicious Bolivian snack made with love
Details: Around the corner from the Fenix school at Junin 148 (near the corner of Miguel Angel Valda)
Price: 3 Bs each (but you will want like 2 or 3 or even 4)
Hours: It’s open M-F; get there before noon-she closes up after that