Top 5 Places to Eat without Stepping Inside a Restaurant
Doña Isabel's Juice Stand
Enjoy some fresh squeezed orange juice every single morning! Irma sets up her cute little stand right in front of the main bus stop (La Parada) each day and is used to accommodating the morning hustle. Offering to stay (para tomar aqui) or para llevar, Isabel will gladly package your juice up in a plastic bag and straw if you’re on the go. And, if you didn’t have time for a hearty breakfast, she will even stir in a raw egg for some added protein (for those adventurous enough). Using juicy oranges from the local market, and pressing carefully by hand, you can definitely taste the freshness in her creations. Her manual citrus juicer is traditional to Guatemala and needs a lot of force to extract the proper amount of liquid. Isabel's OJ stand is located on the Calle Principal right by the corner entrance of the Calle Santander.
Open daily 6am.
Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice: Q6 // $0.75
"Fish" Ceviche Family
Famous amongst Pana locals, this ceviche stand is run by three siblings from San Antonio Palopó. They are so well-known that the main chef even received the nickname "Fish", which is how everyone around town refers to him. Since they travel in from out-of-town, they are only open a few days a week, therefore their stand is always jam-packed when in operation. Don’t let that discourage you, they have a great system down to move the line along quickly. Offering plastic chairs for those waiting and taking all orders by memory, they even allow you to customize your ceviche. Just let Don Fish know how much lime, to add a splash of salsa dulce, or even to make it spicier with extra picante. Choose between types of mixed seafood or those shy of ocean grub can even get the fake crab. Offering by far the freshest ingredients and cleanest work station, this stand is located directly outside of Colua/MiCoope on the Calle Principal across from the entrance to Calle Navidad.
Only operating during lunch hours on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Customizable Ceviche: Q15 - Q30 // $2.00 - $4.00
Olga The Tostada Boss-Lady
With a wonderful spread of authentic Guatemalan cuisine with a central location, Olga makes sure rain or shine her stand is always up and running. She offers homemade hot drinks such as arroz con chocolate, atol and even coffee alongside her traditional tostadas and snacks. For someone new to town, you might not know exactly what to order. She has rellenitos (plantains stuffed with beans topped with sugar), taquitos de res (mini meat tacos) and tostadas (flat corn chips) with various toppings. You can choose as many tostada toppings as you’d like from the following ingredients: Refried Beans, Guacamole, Beets, Radish, Chicken Salad. All are then additionally garnished with: raw onion, hardboiled egg, queso fresco, parsley and salsa roja. Be sure to tell her quickly if you don’t want something because she tops them off pretty quickly. Still not sure what you would order, just order a “Tostada Enchilada” and you won’t be disappointed. Olga can make a killer vegetarian tostada! Just ask. Located in the middle of the Calle Santander right next to the callejoncito between Calle 14 de Febrero and Calle 15 de Febrero.
Open daily at 4pm.
Homemade Tostadas: Q7 // $0.90
Rellenitos: Q3 // $0.40
Taquitos: Q3 // $0.40
Atol: Q3 // $0.40
Denis The Michelada Master
Denis sets up his granizada (slushie) stand every afternoon down by the shores of Lake Atitlan. While there are many stalls to choose from - all offering essentially the same menu - Denis is patient and happy to accommodate your preferences. He offers granizadas in every flavor for the kids (including piña, mango, strawberry, and chocolate) and Micheladas with any beer selection for the adults. Like a true mixologist, Denis carefully tastes his creations prior to serving and offers to adjust the spice level for each customer's preference. With amazing menu names such as “la dinomita”, “vaca negra” and of course the very special “el osito”, making his stand even more desirable. Grab any one right before the sunset and enjoy the flavors as evening falls. Denis is located just above the Kayak rentals on the corner leading down to the horse photobooth (only in Pana can you say that and it actually makes sense). Located near La Porta Hotel lakeside entrance.
Open Daily at 4pm.
Michelada with Cerveza: Q15 - Q25 // $2.00 - $3.25
The Chorizo Cart
While I might not be the best judge of street meat, I have to recommend this super cool chorizo cart! Now, before they moved, I would have 100% suggested churrascos by Chef Alex. But now he has a proper restaurant and doesn’t fit onto this list. While many other people might suggest the Shuko Guys on the top of the Santander, or “Taco Bell” (yes, there is a street meat cart called Taco Bell here in Pana) or even Humo en Tus Ojos - I recommend trying La Parrillada. They always have the best looking chorizo and regularly stock grape soda. What a killer combination! But be sure to try their carne adobado, in which the marinade is traditionally homemade from an achiote and orange base. Another central location on the middle of the Calle Santander (corner of 14 de Febrero) and open every afternoon, I truly love the authentic feel of this stand.
Open Daily at 4pm.
Plato Fuerte: Q25 // $3.25
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