Bolivia's Food Revolution

In 2013, Denmark’s Claus Meyer, co-founder of Noma, twice voted the world’s best restaurant, opened Gustu restaurant in La Paz.

This high-end dining establishment sources all its food and drink ingredients from within Bolivia and is the centrepiece of a project to re-establish and promote Bolivian food culture.
Bolivia has a huge street food culture, in La Paz, for instance, you could probably munch your way through 24 hours of street food unique to the region:

Early morning: api with buñuelos: a gloopy purple maize drink with cinnamon and sugar served with hot fried pastries- sweet or savoury and often stuffed with cheese. You can find this all year round and in most cities.

Mid-morning: choclo cobs of giant white corn served with salty homemade cheese. This is seasonal from Dec- March and you will find it more in markets.

Before lunch: salteñas- Bolivia's ubiquitous pasties- baked and usually filled with meat, spices, potatoes, egg, olives, served at stands on every corner with a variety of spicy and colourful dips. (all year round)

Many markets have fresh fruit juice stands where you pick out fruits trucked from the Amazon region that servers will then blend and squeeze in front of you. (depending on each fruit season)

Afternoon: sandwich de chola (peasant lady's sandwich): roasted pork and crackling served in a crusty bun with sweet-pickled vegetables and a spicy chili sauce. (all year round)

After dark: revellers delay their journey home for anticuchos: lamb's heart kebabs skewered with a potato. All year round and normally you will find a lady selling them outside clubs and concerts.

Bolivian wine and spirits

Bolivia is the highest wine producing country in the world, with vineyards as high as 3,000 metres. The result is deep-colored, spicy and full-bodied reds and floral, low-acidic whites.
When having to explain Bolivian wines in less than two hours, generally Bolivian wines are like nothing you ever tried before.

Your Merlots are big and tannic. Your Syrah is light and fruity. Your Cabernet is smoky and full of pepper.

But best of all is that Bolivian wines haven't yet made it to European bottle shops. So there's your excuse for making your own trip to Tarija- try some for yourself.
Quote by: Jonas Andersen, Manager, Sommelier at Restaurant Gustu, La Paz, Bolivia (2012-2014)

Bolivia's national tipple, Singani, is fast gaining international attention and may already be served at a bar near you.

Singani has won "best in show" for distilled spirits at the International Union des Oenologues. Distilled using the same type of method like cognac, it is made from a specific muscat type of grape grown in high altitude in Bolivia's southern Tarija region, which give it a subtle taste and contains a higher level of antioxidants thanks to the intensity of the sunlight to which they are exposed.

Award-winning film director Steven Soderberg couldn't get enough Singani while filming "Che" in Bolivia: "I drink the stuff on the rocks because there's no burn and it has a very subtle, pleasant flavor, but I'm sure you can mix it.

The most well-known mix is Chuflay: served on the rocks in a tall glass, a generous measure of Singani topped up with either ginger ale or lemonade and garnished with a slice of lime. Also popular is Yungueño, which mixes Singani with orange juice.

Start planning your trip to Bolivia

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