One of the best things about living in Antigua Guatemala is the exciting number of dining options are available. Due to the huge influx of tourists, you can find good, quality restaurants representing almost any type of cuisine. Do you want French food? Plenty of options. Thai? Japanese? Mediterranean? Italian? All covered. Getting your fix of the food you enjoyed back home is pretty easy.
Unfortunately, dining out all the time is not a budget-friendly option. An easy way to control your budget (and eat healthier to boot!) is to take advantage of Antigua’s local farmer’s market. For fresh fruits and veggies at great prices, El Mercado (The Market) in Antigua Guatemala is hard to beat. Here’s a typical haul I brought from the market:
My weekly shopping haul
How much did this spread set me back? Exactly Q165.50 – about $22.00USD!
Here’s the cost breakdown:
Strawberries (2Lbs): Q8.00
Blackberries (1Lb): Q3.50
Young Coconuts (4 @ Q5 each): Q20.00
Tomatoes (2Lbs): Q6.00
White Onions (1Lb): Q3.00
Broccoli head (2Q each): Q4.00
Carrot (2 @ 1Q each): Q2.00
Lettuce head: Q3.00
Radish (bush): Q2.00
Eggplant (1): Q3.00
Local Avocados (2): Q5.00
Cilantro bunch: Q1.00
Green Bananas (6): Q4.00
Sweet Corn (4-Pack): Q6.00
Sweet Plantain (6): Q10.00
Smoked Pork Chops (1Lb): Q25.00
Fresh Chicken – Cut Up (4Lbs): Q36.00
El Mercado itself is a pleasure to shop in. It is kept very clean and police continuously patrol the market on the lookout for miscreants. While I always exercise caution and try to be aware of my surroundings, I can say it is not rare to see tourists walking around with fancy camera equipment happily snapping pics.
The easiest way to adapt to the culture, minimize homesickness and protect your budget is to eat like the locals do. One can eat very well here by sticking to a healthy diet of in-season fruits and veggies.