I learned to LOVE rice in Nicaragua! I ate it just about everyday and also learned to use the rice maker that came with our house to perfect my favorite version – boil it with chicken broth and then add a little lime juice, chopped cilantro, and pepper before serving.
One of the jobs I shared with my fellow volunteer in the office was to compile a list of the best bargain restaurants so we could give the list to new volunteers once they arrived. The restaurant selection isn’t too wide in Granada but we did have some favorite spots for a great, very cheap, lunch. Here is our list of recommendations for eating out on a budget in Granada (p.s. I’ve included some non-budget suggestions too if you scroll all the way to the end):
Tele Pizza – 25 cords per small slice, 60 cords for mega slice and drink
Asados Chilito – just before Atraveseda – pollo, carne, gallo pinto (black beans mixed with white rice), ensalada – 90 cords for full meal
Chepapo – further down Libertad after Quick Stop, burgers and fries starting at 80 cords
Burro Loco (Next door to Chepapo) – Burritos, quesadillas, tacos – snack size tacos start at 20 cords
Calle Atravesada (between Libertad and Xalteva)
Siembras and Cosechas – smoothies for 60 to 80 cords
Los Bocaditos – comedor with very large menu, also plate of the day for 70 cords with a drink
On the corner of Atravesada and Xalteva
food court with various restaurant options ranging between 80-200 cordobas
Pass Xalteva and continue on Atravesada towards the mercado for two buffet restaurants – La Favorita Center and Querubes. Plates usually run 80 to 100 cords. La Favorita has a bright pink store front. You´ll need to walk past the clothes to find the restaurant in the back. Querubes is a few doors down past La Favorita.
Cafetin Yoli – between Avenue Guzman and Atravesada , plate of the day for 70 cords, usually about four choices – large bowl of soup OR beef, chicken, pork served with salad, rice, beans with drink
Across from Lucy´s hostel is the bus station that heads to Managua. Behind the area where the buses park is a great little buffet lunch spot. Meals start at 60, add 10 more cords for a drink.
Comedors in the Mercado – little bit of searching required to find these hidden gems, but typically cheaper than any restaurant. Lunch of the day starting at 50 cords. There are many dotted all over the market.
When walking towards the Mercado on Atravesada, just after Pali supermarket, take the first left into the market and then turn left again. Almost immediately and you´ll see about 2 to 3 stalls, selling food (there won´t be any signs)
Also, before you get to the large covered area in the center of the market selling fish and meat there is a row of extremely cheap comedors
If you aren’t on a budget or necessarily looking for a “plate of the day” or Nicaraguan food, the restaurants Bo and I enjoyed the most were the following:
El Camello – our favorite place in Granada, mostly Mediterranean but they also had curries and each week they do a grilled ribs night.
Cafe de las Sonrisas – a restaurant with a cause, this coffee/breakfast/lunch spot is also a nonprofit that provides jobs for the deaf community of Granada – the deaf employees either work at the restaurant or next door creating beautiful handmade hammocks which are for sale. We actualy had one from the café in our rental house and it was so comfortable.
Pasteleria Maria Elena – this cute bakery/coffee shop was just around the corner from our house and we loved it. It made for a fun date night in the evenings to get some tiramisu to share and sit out on the patio tables or just grab a café con leche before our Sunday morning walk to church
Monna Lisa – yummy Italian restaurant with great pizza
Cuidad Lounge – this place has very high prices for Granada, but it’s on my list for one main reason – their Friday night wine special. Every Friday from 6 to 8pm they offer 5 wine tastings with 3 tapas/appetizers for 200 cords (which is about 6 bucks)
El Garage – husband and wife team creating excellent international dishes- she cooks and he’s the server/buser; odd hours and small dining area (it’s inside the front of a house) so check hours and availability first.
Garden Café – one of the main destinations for tourists because it’s so central, but I highly recommend it for three main reasons – the dining area is open and breezy with the view of an outdoor garden area, they have a large gift shop where they sell art, clothing, food and other items made my local artists, and their brownies and chocolate chip cookies are by far the best way to satisfy your sweet tooth in Granada