We live in Los Angeles, which has the highest population of Guatemalans living in the U.S. That means there are lots of opportunities to experience Guatemalan culture without getting on a flight.
We recently stopped by the Guatemalan Night Market at 6th and Bonnie Brae, in the heart of LA’s “Little Guatemala”. Every night, vendors fill the street selling tamales, tostadas, caldos and more from grills and fryers balanced on shopping carts.
Cuisines from all across Guatemala come together on the streets of the Westlake neighborhood. We didn’t find the most famous dish from Peña Blanca, pullick. That’s the meal we had with Tono’s family on our final night in Guatemala during Living on One Dollar. But there were equally delicious stews, fried chicken, sausage, fresh fruit juices and more.
Our favorite find was the fried empanadas at Anna’s stand. We got to hang out with her while she cooked and learned that she is in LA to pay for her youngest daughter’s school back in Guatemala. She misses her but hopes she can provide her daughter with an opportunity she never had when she was young. Many Guatemalan mothers make the difficult decision to come north. This phenomenon is brought to life in the gripping tail of Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario. Definitely worth a read!
Interested in learning more about Guatemalan food? Start here:
- Watch: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown: Little Guatemala [CNN]
- Read: This Outdoor Guatemalan Market is LA’s Undiscovered Street Food Star [Eater LA]
- Read: The 10 Most Traditional Dishes from Guatemala [Culture Trip]
- Eat: At a local Guatemalan restaurant in your community!
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