◊∇ ◊◊ ◊ LOCATION: ASUNCIÓN, PY
You don’t often hear about Paraguayan cuisine but while there I was pleasantly surprised to find some amazing food. A different array of cuisine influenced by other cultures and a lot from their own. If you are ever visiting Asunción, I guarantee you some great food. These were my favorite places and my suggestions for you.
Where to Eat:
Breakfast: If you are looking for a great breakfast place with no fuss and amazing food, look no further than El Café de Acá. A cozy atmosphere with an outside patio full of greenery that has you feeling happy. Enjoy a tomato on toast or try out the well known mbejú. A starch cake made with cheese, but be careful with the calories in this one.
Street Food: If you are looking for a quick bite try out the Empanadas Sante Fé. Here you find flavors beyond the usual cheese and chicken. From egg, caprese and my favorite, heart of palm, each empanada is warm and tasty. It is perfectly paired with a jugo de durazno (peach juice,) very popular there.
While in Asunción you HAVE to try out the Lomilito. A Paraguayan style burger where the patty is substituted with filet mignon. Proceeded by cheese, lettuce and tomato and then topped with a fried egg. It’s an indulgence that won’t leave you feeling overly full.
For the Health Inclined: If you are looking for a lighter fair or a vegetarian option than Be Okay is what you are looking for. With fresh juices of all kind, there you can get your green juice kick or a wheatgrass shot. With a large menu there is something for everyone. Go by in the late afternoon to enjoy some freshly baked cinnamon buns. Trust me, it’s worth it.
Financial District: I found Las Margaritas Hotel to be one of my favorite hotels in Asunción. Colorful and vibrant, this hotel offers a wonderful fare of international and Paraguayan cuisine. Enjoy some great seafood here like the rich cazuela de mariscos made with coconut milk or the orange salmon that are beautifully presented and taste even better.
*Bonus Tip: After lunch make sure to sneak up to the art deco inspired pool area. Just as vibrant as the rest of the hotel it offers up a beautiful view of the whole city.
Il Pagliaccio is one of the restaurants in the Excelsior Hotel, a five star place with an old school charm. Go there to enjoy a full lunch or sit down with a full bodied expresso with warm chipas, the Paraguayan version of cheese bread. Definitely sit by the windows to enjoy the beautiful pool view.
In the hustle and bustle of downtown Asunción it can be hard to find a seat in the many restaurants there during lunch. I would suggest making reservations specially when going to Bolsi. It’s one of the best known restaurants in the city and happens to be a historical site. They offer a great selection of meats, especially their lomo.
Dinner: If you are in the mood for Italian, Gambini is a great spot where you can find a good selection of wine and a decadent meal. This is a spot that can be for the lovers just as well as a family affair. Try out the rack of lamb in wine sauce and enjoy the great ambiance.
For Every Occasion: You don’t have to be a member of Yacht y Golf Club Paraguayo to enjoy one of their many restaurants, although it does help when as a member you get discounts in the restaurants and can enjoy the other amazing amenities they have to offer. The Veranda is a great place for dinner. It offers a cool design concept that is slick and modern and makes you want to go back. There you can find some elegantly placed seafood dishes that is delightful to the taste. For a great selection of meats and pasta go to the Salón Verde, a restaurant with great drinks and a beautiful view of the Paraguay River. Enjoy a exquisite dessert while watching the jet skis go by.
Photos by Adriana Abrantes