Bolivia is a country with many tasty and tantalizing culinary delights. Unlike otherplaces in the world, the Bolivian people consume just about every part of theanimal! That’s right, the head, heart, lungs, and literally everything else. If this makes you squeamish I’d suggest asking the waiter to explain the origin of the meat that is featured in any particular dish-before eating it.
Bolivia is also a place that without taking proper precautions could leave an unsuspecting traveler with E-Coli or another painful digestive disease. Even in a major city like La Paz, precautions should still be taken. After all, how can a meal be enjoyable when it is accompanied by that sinking feeling of knowing that you’ll be regretting that meal all night long?
So you ask, “Where is the best restaurant in and around La Paz to enjoy a tasty meal without getting food poisoning?” As per my experience, I have complied a list of the top 5 restaurants in and around La Paz that will fill your belly without the painful 3rd world aftermath.
Top 5 Restaurants in and around La Paz:
- Jardin De Asia – Jardin De Asia was by far the nicest most luxuriousAsian restaurant that I experienced in La Paz (located in La Paz andSanta Cruz). It is a delightfully designed restaurant with 5 star ambiance, 5 star foods, and 5 star services. Most notably you can look forward to your meal, which is prepared and cooked, at your table right in front of your eyes!
Pablo, our chef, was not only a 1st class chef, but is also a very friendly and entertaining person. He not only cooked our meals in front of us, but he also artfully juggled his cooking utensils, and even tried to teach us a trick or two. We enjoyed him so much that we reserved him as our chef for all of our return visits.
Everything on the menu was delicious, but my personal favorite was the sweet and sour chicken with vegetables with the fried rice.
- Chalet Le Suisse– Chalet Le Suisse is a delightful and romantic restaurant located in La Paz as well as Santa Cruz. According to Bolivian standards this is a 5 star restaurant, but according to US standards, I’d give it 3 stars. Although the food and ambiance is great, the courses overlapped too quickly, service was slow and part of our order was forgotten.
Be sure to book a table in advance, as the staff will only accept guests that have reservations.Although it’s outer appearance is quite unimpressive, the inside of the restaurant is sweetly decorated with wooden furniture, curtains, charming pictures, candlelight, and relaxing background music. More than anything it resembles the inside of a Swiss chalet. Our food was clean, nicely prepared, and tasty. The cost of a three course meal for two was roughly around $60.00 USD.
- Factory Grill & Bar– The Factory Grill and Bar is a popular American style sports bar (located in La Paz), serving a large range of food including wings, burgers, steaks, and much more. As far as sports bars go the Factory Grill & Bar features a 3 star menu and 2 star service. Although the food is very delicious and clean, the service was very slow. There were numerous occasions where we had to wait 30 minutes for our meals, and when we finally received them they were cold. Despite the poor service I would return to the Factory Grill & Bar for it’s fun atmosphere, good food, and low prices. An average meal for two would cost around $20.00 – $30.00.
- The Steak House– The Steak House is a scrumptious steak house that boasts the best steak in La Paz. True to its name, a large variety of steaks and other culinary treats are served to satisfy any serious carnivore. This restaurant hosts an all around 3 star experience, and at just $6.00-$15.00 a meal, a very affordable price. The food is fresh and sanitary as well as delicious.
Please keep in mind that if you are having trouble adjusting to the high altitude of La Paz, it is not advisable to eat red meat late at night since late night meat / heavy food can hurt your stomach.
- Alexander Coffee – Alexander Coffee is a very nice, warm and low priced coffee shop franchise. It is located throughout Bolivia, and can be a great place to get a bite to eat on the go. It’s pleasant menu will serve almost anything that would satisfy a leisurely brunch. I highly recommend their hot chocolate chip muffin, and omelets. The food is very clean, though the vegetables are cleaned with lemon juice and not DG6 antibacterial solution. Nevertheless, I never experienced stomach complications after eating at any of their locations.
In conclusion, Bolivia is a country with a wide range of culinary delights. As long as proper precautions are taken, anyone can enjoy the unique Bolivian food culture. As per my experience, I highly recommend the 5 restaurants that I have listed in this blog. Just remember, in order to combat life at Bolivian altitudes, be sure to avoid red meat, and heavy meals late at night. Drink allot of coca tea, and enjoy your trip! 🙂