Chapaco cuisine is unique and Tarija’s restaurants pay it due homage. Get a copy of the Guía Gastronomica from the tourist office for mouthwatering ideas. It's worth noting that the majority of restaurants and cafes, except those around the central plaza, shut down for siesta between 12:30pm and 2:30pm or 3pm. Most are also closed Sundays.

Local Specialties

You’ll need to be brave to try sopa la poderosa (soup with vegetables, rice and bull's penis), ranga ranga (tripe with onion, tomato and chili) and chan faina (diced lamb guts with potatoes and greens), but even delicate stomachs will enjoy guiso de karas (stew of pork skin, potatoes and mote, a corn-like grain), chancao de pollo (spicy chicken), sopa de mani (peanut soup) or saice (spicy ground beef and vegetables with rice or noodles), which is just as commonly eaten for breakfast as dinner. Don’t forget to sample the desserts too – dulce de lacayote (caramelized squash), pepitas de leche (cinnamon fudge) and tojori (pancakes with cloves and aniseed) are all favorites.

The best places to try these are the Mercado Central, El Mercado de los Campesinos and the El Puente Night Market.

Seafood

Seafood places are congregated along a stretch of road, Av Julio Delio Echazu, commonly referred to as Av Pescado a couple of kilometers east of the central plaza.

A stretch of riverfront in Tomatitas, 11km northwest of downtown, is lined with casual outdoor restaurants serving cangreitos (soft-shelled freshwater crabs). The flimsy plastic chairs don't make especially comfortable places to linger. It gets especially crowded on Saturday afternoons.