Not only does Bolivia’s constitutional capital, Sucre, have one of the most beautiful, best-preserved historical centres I’ve ever cast eyes upon, but it’s also home to some of the country’s best restaurants.
I spent three weeks in the city, taking Spanish lessons every weekday morning at one of the local language schools, so not only did this mean that I had ample time in which to explore Sucre’s interesting array of sights and attractions, but it also afforded me numerous opportunities to sample the city’s culinary offerings.
Breakfast was provided free of charge at my hostel, but lunchtimes and dinnertimes were open plan for me to spend wherever and however I chose.
From ridiculously cheap plates of food served up at the Mercado Central to the Bolivian equivalent of a Michelin-starred restaurant experience, here are my top picks for places to grab a bite to eat (and drink) in Sucre.
Best Restaurants in Sucre, Bolivia
On the corner of Calvo y España, Metro Café has a stylish relaxed atmosphere with large windows overlooking Plaza 25 de Mayo (Sucre’s main square).
They have a large selection of speciality coffees as well as a good choice of salads, snacks, hot meals and desserts.
The staff here are friendly and helpful, and don’t make you feel rushed even when it’s busy. And because the wifi here works so well, it’s a great place to get some work done.
Best for: Coffee, lunch
Address: Plaza 25 de Mayo, Esquina Calvo y España
A couple of blocks from Plaza 25 de Mayo, Cafe Condor is an entirely vegetarian café run by Condor Trekkers (office attached), a non-profit tour company who organise a variety of hikes into the surrounding areas.
Granted, the café is frequented more by other travellers than residents of Sucre but it’s a lovely, relaxed place to mingle, share travel tips and find information about activities in the local area (I booked my trek to the Maragua Crater here)
The food here is also delicious and ridiculously cheap, and the café is – depending on what they’ve got on (the menú del día changes daily) – one of the best spots in the city for a healthy, tasty and filling lunch.
I loved the tucumanas and papas rellenas stuffed with cheese, both of which are served with a colourful salad and choice of sauces and relishes.
Best for: Lunch
Address: Calvo 102
There are two establishments in the city. One of them is located on right on the Plaza 25 de Mayo, but personally I prefer their other offering – a few blocks away on Calle Perez.
The service is impeccable and the quality of the food is equally good, so it comes as no surprise that Abis Patio has been voted the number one restaurant in Sucre on Trip Advisor. There’s a lovely enclosed garden and covered terrace, making Abis Patio the perfect spot to enjoy Sucre’s reliably warm climate and all-year-round sunshine.
Come here for: lunch, afternoon drinks
Address: Calle Perez 366
Dutch-owned Florin was one of my favourite places to head to for an early-evening meal. The flickering candles on the tables of this dimly-lit restaurant give it a cosy, intimate atmosphere. Get here around 6pm to snag a table at one of Sucre’s most popular nighttime hangouts.
They’ve got a tasty selection of local and international dishes available but two of the best are their Ensalada Titicaca and Pad Thai, washed down with a craft ale or two (some of which are laced with coca!)
The WiFi also works well here but they switch it off between 7-8pm for some unknown reason.
Best for: dinner, craft ales
Address: 567 Calle Bolivar
Joy Ride Café
Joy Ride Cafe is THE tourist hangout in Sucre, which can be good or bad depending on what you’re after. It’s a fantastic place to meet other travellers but don’t come her wanting an authentic Bolivian experience – or any traditional local dishes.
That said they serve some pretty tasty food at very reasonable prices, the music’s good, and the WiFi is some of the fastest in town (can you tell I’m a travel blogger? Working WiFi is important to us!)
If you want to find the freshest vegetables, fruits, herbs, spices, pulses, breads, and meats at the cheapest prices, then head straight for Mercado Central, the largest market in Sucre.
Due to having an enormous complimentary breakfast at my hostel every morning (supplemented with fresh avocados bought here at the market), I was never hungry enough at lunchtime to sample any of the traditional Bolivian cuisine from the restaurants upstairs.
However I took full advantage of the fact that I could purchase fresh fruit (on its own, chopped up into a salad or blended into a juice) here for a fraction of the price that I’d pay at the local supermarket.
Come here for: cheap, filling breakfast or lunch, or ingredients with which to cook your own meal in the evening.
Address: Calle Ravelo, two blocks from Plaza 25 de Mayo
Café Gourmet Mirador
Of all the cafés in Sucre, Café Gourmet Mirador undoubtedly offers the best view. Perched up on the edge of Plaza Recoleta (a 15-minute walk uphill from the centre of town), Café Gourmet Mirador offers indoor and outdoor seating in beautiful surroundings.
The food can be a bit hit and miss (so I’d probably eat once you’re back in town; the prices are less inflated down there too), but grab a drink here to allow yourself time to marvel at the wonderful panorama of white-washed buildings and terracotta-tiled rooftops below you.
Come here for: drinks with a view
Address: Plaza Pedro de Anzurez, La Recoleta
I also ate at the wonderful El Tapado, which served up some delicious Bolivian dishes with an imaginative twist (I loved their yummy quinoa black bean salad). However I’ve since discovered, whilst researching Sucre’s restaurant addresses online, that the establishment has unfortunately closed down.
Have you visited Sucre before? What were your favourite places to eat and drink in the city?
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