Salteñas, Street Food & More Stomach Woes in Sucre, Bolivia!

So we touched down in Sucre and hopped a cab, after negotiating down from 15 bolivianos to 10, way to save $0.80, Conner! Yes, that was sarcastic. After traveling for a little while, you start to think in terms of the local currency. In this case it was just over 6 bolivianos to one US dollar. Even if you’re a broke traveler, which fortunately we’re not, yet, you can stomach the additional $0.80, and it’d mean so much more to the local taxi driver than you. I digress. So we arrived at our lovely hostal, CasArte, to a large, immaculately clean wood-floored room with vaulted ceilings, a balcony, “WIFI”, and one of the best showers we’ve had thus far on this trip (when you’re traveling in South America, showers are probably the best way to rate a hostel/hotel). 

We put down our bags then took a stroll through the beautiful streets of Sucre. This was not the Bolivia we remember. Having been across the country almost two years prior we remembered it otherwise. We remembered dust, bad food, cold, rough. What we got in Sucre was warm, clean, beautiful architecture, fantastic salteñas, and an overall very pleasant and comfortable way of life. Sucre ended up being one of those places where we kept telling each other, “man, great town.” 

We strolled through the hectic markets filled with everything from fruits, to cow heads, to flowers, to breads, to weird dead baby lambs hanging, to spices. We had to spring through some of the aisles as the putrid smell was just too much to handle, but still a great market. Aside from the cow heads, the food was actually pretty good. Other than that our time in Sucre was mainly about eating saltenas at El Patio, wandering through the beautiful streets of Sucre, and I spent an afternoon rock climbing with apparently the best female climber in all Bolivia (not sure how much that’s saying but she climbed harder than me) at a local dusty crag which I thoroughly enjoyed. And on the last night, we ate at the local street food stalls for dinner which was delicious, yet a horrible idea. The dish was basically grilled vegetables, steak and an egg served over french fries. We couldn’t decide what stall to eat at so I picked what I thought was the best looking one and Joni pridefully picked another one. If this was a contest, I surely lost. While both meals were delicious, I paid for mine for the next few days with a lovely GI bug that left me pretty beaten. That aside, great meal. After a few days in Sucre we hopped a bus to the interesting mining town of Potosi.

Conner crushed about 20 Salteñas... thinking that could have also contributed to the 2nd round of stomach woes


Condor Cafe
Bolivar, Sucre, Bolivia
A local non-profit restaurant that supports local farmers by buying all their produce and meats from them, and then gives the proceeds back to the farmers. Pretty cool idea. Service was superb and the food was great! 

Huge bowls of soup, fresh breads, watermelon basil mint ricotta salads, fresh fruit juices, and falafel 

Condor Watermelon-Mint Salad
Street Food Cart - The winner that Joni chose. Street food cart of my demise not shown.
Typical Street Food Fare - again, Joni's version

Cafe Monterosso
Calle Padilla 70
Dined at this home turned Italian restaurant by a quintessential Italian dude from Florence who married a Bolivian woman and opened up shop in Sucre. We walked down this neighborhood looking for the address Calle Padilla 70. Open your eyes, because it's a tough one to find, but when you do you'll see written in tiny letters just below the address to this apartment/house, “Cafe Monterosso.” It was as if they really didn’t want you to know it was a restaurant and was only meant for true locals that knew the guy.

Well, buddy, open up, we want some pasta! So we knocked and waited. Then we heard a whistle from above and this half bald Italian guy sticks his head out the window and says “treinte minutos chicos!” They opened in thirty minutes, at 7:30pm. We gave him a thumbs up and said we’d be back shortly. We took a big stroll around the block then knocked again, 7:32pm. He opens the door, apron and all and welcomed us into his humble home where the living and dining room had been transformed into a cozy cafe with about 8 tables. We love these types of places. Especially Joni. There was a little makeshift bar set up with lights strewn across the ceiling with various bottles of Bolivian wines and, of course, Peroni. From our table we could see into the kitchen, which was, just your typical family home kitchen. Imagine a simple kitchen from the early nineties at any traditional home in the states. That’s it. We had a nice 3 hour meal as other Bolivian families filled up the house and the owner popped from table to table as if being the host of a family dinner party. Great meal. 

Homemade bolognese pasta with pesto
Gnocchi Pomodoro
Spot-on Tiramisu. 

El Patio Salteneria
As I mentioned, we went here often. Every day to be exact and I over did it. So much so, I don't think I could ever eat Salteñas again. Not the case for Joni. She's already looking up recipes to recreate when we get home.

Calle San Alberto 18
There are only 3 options, so get them all!