Eat Like a Local in Granada, Nicaragua | A Day of Dining

There are lots of great restaurants to choose from in Nicaragua’s central colonial city. But if you want to get off the beaten path, where should you go out to eat like a local in Granada?

Whether you’re a foodie, a shoestring budget backpacker, or just want to fully experience the Nicaraguan culture, spend a day trying these restaurant recommendations to eat like a local in Granada, Nicaragua:

Morning Coffee

We’ll admit it: this isn’t the most local coffee shop in town. There are several excellent Granada cafés that can brew you a smooth americano. But if you want to start your day right, kick it off at the popular Nicaraguan chain Café Las Flores.

Right across from the Granada Cathedral, Café Las Flores lets you sip your morning coffee looking out over Parque Central. You can’t get much closer to the center of the action, making it a top choice for local coffee in Granada.

HN Hint: If you visit in the afternoon, don’t skip their incredible tres leches.

Breakfast / Desayuno

After your coffee, head just one block to the right of Café Las Flores to really eat like a local for breakfast in Granada. You’ll have to look twice to find this spot: it’s technically inside the Granada-Managua Bus Terminal.

Located in the far back left corner of the parking lot, there’s a tiny buffet counter that quietly has one of the best breakfasts in Granada. Take your pick of the daily offerings–you can usually expect some variation of fried eggs, cheese, gallo pinto, and sweet plantains–and sit down at a picnic table to top it off with chilero. It’s a cheap, generous Nicaraguan desayuno típico.

Lunch / Almuerzo

After a morning of exploring the city, eat lunch like a local in Granada at Cafetín Claudia.

This favorite neighborhood spot sits on a side street near Convento San Francisco. Cafetín Claudia has fantastic lunch deals listed on a small menu–drink included! The friendly owner will make you feel right at home as you dine on a delicious local lunch in Granada. It’s impossible to go wrong here.

Sweet Treat

If you’re looking for an afternoon pick-me-up, then you’ll want to make your way to Pastelería María Elena for an espresso and sweet treat. This adorable bakery is marked by its pink facade and the flowers that adorn the side wall.

María Elena‘s rotating menu features favorite Nicaraguan desserts and more. You can also preorder custom cakes for special occasions. Order an espresso (or make it a double, if you’re like us) and step outside with your pastry to sit at the Parisian-style table and chairs to watch the world go by. Find it two blocks north of Iglesia La Merced, on the curve to Calle El Hormiguero.

Street Food

No sweet tooth? No problem. If you’re looking for a snack before dinner, track down vigorón to eat like a local in Granada.

This street food is famous in Granada, Nicaragua. It’s a messy, flavorful mix of vinegar cabbage slaw, chicharrones (or fried pork rinds), and boiled yuca, all wrapped up in a banana leaf. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a fork, but be prepared to dive in with your fingers!

Find the best vigorón in El Mercado at a stall called La Abuela, or circle back to Parque Central.

Dinner / Cena

Even if you want to eat like a local in Granada, Nicaragua, you don’t want to miss out on Calle La Calzada. The best place for a local dinner on the lively main street is Restaurante Comidas Típicas y Más.

One of the first restaurants on the right side if you’re coming from Parque Central, it serves authentic Nicaraguan dishes like Indio Viejo and traditional drinks like grama–a refreshing tea you’ll mainly find in Granada. Grab a big Nicaraguan dinner and drinks to round out your full day of eating like a local!


This is only a small sample of the many authentic spots in Granada. Follow it to experience a full day of eating like a local in Nicaragua, or explore the small hole-in-the-wall restaurants, tiny side street cafés, and Mercado food vendors to discover hidden gems of your own!

What is your favorite local place to eat in Granada, Nicaragua? Share it in the comments!

Pin this post to help you find your next traditional meal in Granada.

Meet your Tour Guides

Hola! We’re Gail & Luis, a team of two with a deep love for Nicaragua. Luis, a professional tour guide, is the knowledgeable source behind the blog. Gail, an American writer, is the voice. 

We started this blog as a way to stay connected from afar and support Nicaragua in our own small way.

Today, our mission is to open hearts and minds to the wonders of Nicaragua and make it easier than ever to start planning your trip.


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Robert Campbell
Robert Campbell
1 month ago

I loved your article and used it to find Pasteleria Maria Elena which was awesome! Now do you happen to know where I can eat a nacatamal? 😋

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