Got recommendations for northern Central American cuisine?

Because the cuisines of El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras have a bunch of good influences, e.g. Mesoamerican, Spanish, Caribbean and African, it would be great to hear about any good places people have found. Best for me are towns along the Bay (SF down the Peninsula to SJ; Berkeley to SJ), but I’d go further if there were strong recommendations.


Popoca in Oakland….haven’t been to the new-ish brick and mortar, but their pop ups have been consistently great!


Luke Tsai, the food editor at KQED, is a fan of Antojitos Guatamaltecos at 11252 San Pablo Ave in El Cerrito.

The churrasco chapin is one of the very typical traditional Guatemalan plates that diners can find at Antojitos Guatemaltecos, a new restaurant in El Cerrito. (Luke Tsai/KQED)

1. Churrasco chapin at Antojitos Guatemaltecos

11252 San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito

I’ve been an Antojitos Guatemaltecos evangelist for going on four years now, from back when it was just a little tamal cart I’d sometimes stumble upon, when the stars aligned, just a block away from my house. Now that the Aguilar family has opened a full-blown restaurant in El Cerrito, their tender, jiggly tamales still rank among the most delicious in the Bay, but I’ve been especially enamored with their expanded selection of homestyle Guatemalan entrees. The dish I keep coming back to is the churrasco chapin mixed grill plate, with its well-charred steak and sausage, fried plantains, queso fresco, seasoned rice and piping-hot tortillas — the perfect bit-of-this-and-that lunch or dinner.


Does anyone know if the owners of the Guatemalan place in Outer Mission reopened anywhere? That place was great…

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Xula, new Guatemalan, to open Jan 21 at 53rd St and Adeline in Oakland

From Berkeleyside -


The ever-evolving Adeline Food Hall has a new Guatemalan food tenant starting Jan. 21. Xula’s menu of Guatemalan specialties will include rellenitos, deep-fried guisquil, soups, churrasco chapin and other hearty Latin mains, available for take-out or catering. The Guatemalan kitchen opens Jan. 21. Xula inside the Adeline Food Hall, 5333 Adeline St. (at 53rd Street), Oakland

Xula is last on the list -

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I don’t know if this place is regarded as good or not by people of the culture but every thing I’ve gotten from there I’ve been super stoked about. I really really enjoy the sandwiches. I always go to the one in the city, never knew they had more locations.

Are the tortas good? The Universal Bakery on Mission in La Lengua certainly has one of the better pan con todos in the area. Lots of possible add-ons to the basic model (egg, black beans, crema, & queso fresco) including plantains and longaniza. One of their family members owns Eterna Primavera (SF Mission, 24th & Alabama), which is equally as good but has a sparser menu. Both places are open at 6am.

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(post deleted by author)

Apologies, I copied the wrong link originally - here’s the correct one:
13 Best South American Restaurants in SF & Oakland

Also, I had forgotten alaMar in Oakland, a Dominican restaurant:
Address, Hours, & secure parking note:
alaMar location/hours/parking note
alaMar Menu