LAFTA (Latin American Fun, Travel, Adventure) & BUSINESS at travellog.com

LA FONDA DE LA CALLE REAL

"Comida Tipica" in an elegant surrounding.
The restaurant "where anyone that is anybody in Guatemala goes to meet everybody else"
The original "Fonda"

La Fonda first opened in 1975 and it immediately became the most popular restaurant in town. Because of the crowds it drew, the owners, Leonel and Mercedes, opened the second "Fonda" around the corner from the first.

On Sunday get there early, because of people coming from Guatemala City for lunch. They have space for up to one hundred people in the original Fonda, and for 200 people at La Fonda II. They also do business with many travel agencies.

The restaurants' specialties are typical Guatemalan dishes, deliciously prepared and served in a beautiful setting. One reason that few restaurants prepare typical Guatemalan dishes is that they are complicated and take time because they have to be made from scratch. La Fonda does this very well.

The owners (both speak English) have a background in international cuisine, Leonel as a chef and both he and Mercedes in restaurant administration and management in the United States. Their son has been studying restaurant and hotel management in Florence, Italy the last couple of years.

The quintessential hosts

My family and I first met Leonel and Mercedes a week after moving to Antigua. We were sitting at the restaurant when this charming lady approached us and in impeccable English asked if we enjoyed our meal. Mercedes is a very friendly and talkative person, by the time we left we had met Leonel and established a friendship that lasts to this day (seven years) Since then I have seen both Leonel and Mercedes do the same with innumerable people. They are the quintessential hosts.

Back to the restaurant: the newer "Fonda" is in a Spanish Colonial home with rooms, breezeways and patios full of plants and flowers. Part of the charm of the old "Fonda" is carried over to the newer one in the form of "Graffiti" (pithy sayings on the wall,) very much like a tavern in Madrid.

The most popular dish at "La Fonda" is the "Caldo Real", a broth with chicken breasts and rice served with a tray of spices: oregano, chile powder, coriander (cilantro), fresh sweet onion, and lemon slices. It is served in a "tazón", a rather large bowl/cup and is a complete meal.

La Fonda's "quesos fundidos" or melted cheeses are extremely popular, consisting of 5 ounces of a variety of cheeses, mixed and melted, then eaten with toasted "panitos" (Guatemalan style breads sticks) or in a soft tortilla like a taco. "Quesos fundidos" are offered plain, with garlic, sausage, ham or bell peppers.

Try the delicious grilled specialties: grilled steaks or chicken, the famous antigüeño sausages and the pork ribs in sweet and sour sauce. The chicken Pepián is excellent (this is the fiesta dish of Antigua;) There are also several vegetarian specialties.

The "Fonda's" wine list is the most extensive in town.

A variety of excellent international and regional desserts and pastries complete the menu. World renowned Antigua coffees are served, so when your looking for a good cup of coffee... La fonda is the place. And all this, at prices that will leave you smiling.

Come and see the write-up from the New York Times and several other international magazines and travelogues.

LA FONDA DE LA CALLE REAL

(The original)
5a Avenida Norte No. 5,
Antigua Guatemala
Phone 832-2696

Breakfasts: 7:00am-10:00am
lunch, snacks and dinner: noon till 10:00pm .

LA FONDA DE "A LA VUELTA"

(The newer one)
3a Calle Poniente No. 7,
Antigua Guatemala
Phone 832-0507
Fax 832-0721
lunch, snacks and dinner: noon till 10:00pm

Friday, Saturday Evenings and Sunday afternoons Live Music: Latin guitars, charango (a stringed instrument) and kena (flute) the last two being South American instruments.

Return to LAFTA & BUSINESS Antigua homepage

Return to LAFTA & BUSINESS Guatemala homepage

Return to LAFTA & BUSINESS homepage