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LA FONDA DE LA CALLE REAL
"Comida Tipica" in an elegant surrounding.
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 restaurant "where anyone that is anybody in Guatemala goes to
meet everybody else"
The original "Fonda"
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
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
5a Avenida Norte No. 5,
lunch, snacks and dinner: noon till 10:00pm .
LA FONDA DE "A LA VUELTA"
(The newer one)
3a Calle Poniente No. 7,
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
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