There are many similarities between Guatemalan and Mexican cuisine. Most meals are served with corn tortillas and Guatemalan nachos and enchiladas, different to those served in Mexico though equally as tasty and very inexpensive. Kak’ik is a very tasty, traditional Mayan turkey soup with spices and chilli peppers.
As with most Latin American countries, rice and beans form a staple in the Guatemalan diet. In the highlands, where the weather is a little colder, a thick stew consisting of meat and vegetables, called pepian, is a popular dish. Tostadas and tamales - cornmeal pockets filled with meats, cheese and vegetables, make popular snacks and are sold from street vendors. You'll also find shucos - Latin American-style hot dogs - sold on street corners. Pork and beef sausages are sandwiched in a light and airy bread and then grilled.
In tourist areas there are usually numerous international restaurants and cafes so it is not unusual to eat food from Italy, China, Japan or France whilst in Guatemala as the national cuisine can become a little monotonous. Whilst on the go, chicarrones makes a great snack and consists of small pieces of fried pork rind.
Safe eating while travelling in Guatemala
Generally, people have very few problems with food in Guatemala. In traveller hotspots there are usually numerous restaurants, which will have good quality food and high hygiene standards. Off the beaten track you are more likely to eat in traditional Guatemalan comedores, local eateries serving cheap food. The standard of hygiene is normally fine but exercise a sensible amount of caution especially when eating fish and meat. Street vendors, again, are safe but avoid anything that looks like it has been sitting there for a while.