Long dismissed as the poor relation of South American cuisine, Bolivia is emerging as a foodie destination, with a string of highly-rated restaurants attracting acclaim. Variety adds to the appeal: Bolivia’s culinary scene is as diverse as its peoples and landscapes. Many traditional recipes used today have been passed down over generations, and fresh market produce, free-range livestock and local grains have long been in fashion here.

The Basics

Bolivia's cities are home to some excellent eating options. In remote, rural areas, restaurant choices are often limited. It's not usually necessary (and often impossible) to book ahead.

  • Markets The cheapest and most adventurous place to eat.
  • Comedores (simple restaurants) The most common type of restaurant in rural areas.
  • Restaurants Bolivia's restaurants range from homey places to fine dining.
  • Cafes Found only in Bolivia's more cosmopolitan towns and cities.
  • Hotels Remote lodges and hotels have restaurants where you can dine on-site.

Essential Food & Drink

Mamá qonqachi Frisbee-like cheese bread.

Salteñas Pastry shells stuffed with chicken or mince.

Sonso Comfort in the form of grilled yucca and cheese.

Chicha Parties start with this fermented-corn drink.

Pique a lo macho The ultimate hangover cure: beef, sausage, eggs, peppers and onions piled over potato fries.