Traditional Salvadorian Streetfood in San Pedro La Laguna

published feb 3rd, 2015

Aaron Owlex

If you’re heading to San Pedro La Laguna on Lake Atitlan, you’ll be happy to hear there’s a wide range of culinary delights available all around town. From sushi restaurants to pizza parlours, bakeries and Mexican joints, there’s something for everyone in this happening spot.

Traditional Salvadorian Streetfood in San Pedro la Laguna, Guatemala

Sonia's Salvadorian streetfood kiosk in San Pedro la Laguna, Sololá.

But if you’re looking for some late night bites, you can head down for some local street food in the center of lower San Pedro. Every night a handful of locals congregate and the roads turn from jewelry and macramé vendors into barbecue stalls and sandwich makers.

A local favorite is the Pupusa family from El Salvador. Sonia and her crew have been selling the traditional Salvadorian dish on the streets of San Pedro for years and have established a bit of a cult following with the locals and expats who live there.

Sonia makes her pupusas by making a fresh tortilla, layering beans and meat on top, and pressing another tortilla on top to make a thick, stuffed snack. She has a variety of pupusas on offer and will custom make them to your order. You can fill them with frijoles (beans), queso (cheese), chicharrón (pork rinds), or pollo (chicken), or any combination of them. A popular favorite is the mixta, which combines all the ingredients for a pupusa that almost bursts at the edges. No matter what filling you choose to get, all pupusas cost a mere 7 Quetzals each.

Fresh tortillas from a streetfood kiosk, San Pedro La Laguna.

Fresh tortillas for fresh papusas

After you receive your pupusas hot off the pan, you can throw on some condiments. You have your choice of cole slaw, a thin tomato sauce, and a spicy pickled mixture of onions, carrots, beets, hot peppers and green beans. Some patrons like to ask for a plastic fork to help them tackle the Salvadorian dish, while others go at it with their hands.

Salsas, coleslaw and other condiments for papusas

Load up papusas with tomato salsa, coleslaw or other condiments

Sonia’s sister Carmen also sets up her stall selling papas fritas, or handcut French fries. For 5 Quetzals you get a small bowl and she offers ketchup, mayonnaise, and a spicy green sauce. If fries are too close to home, you can try the deep fried plantain, also for 5 Quetzals.

Fresh cut potato fries or deep fried plantain.

Don't quit before trying fresh cut potato fries (papas fritas) or deep fried plantain (platanos).

The two sisters can be found on the main road in the tourist side of San Pedro, just steps away from the Mayan Travel Centre where most buses into San Pedro will let you off, in front of the Corazon Maya Spanish School, and across from Tienda Astrid. They can be found cooking up fresh pupusas and fries from 6pm to 11pm every day.

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Area Lodging

Hotel San Antonio ground level rooms

Hotel San Antonio is a locally owned, quiet, clean and well furnished hotel just a short walk from the San Pedro central dock. From Q 80.00.

Outdoor seating at Posada las Cristalinas

Posada las Cristalinas is a well kept, full service inn that offers generous, lakeside accommodations just five minutes’ walk from San Pedro’s central dock. From Q 40.00.

Yo Mama's Casa garden seating

Yo Mama’s Casa is a locally owned, well managed economy hostel just ten minute’s walk from San Pedro’s central dock. From Q 30.00.

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