Trade your shorts for slacks at Alo Nuestro (Calle La Reforma 225; 503-2223-5116), the decade-old institution widely considered to be the best table in town. The menu offers refined takes on local regional cuisine with dishes like tilapia in pepper sauce and handmade tamales ($17–$25). Reserve a few days in advance to snag a table on the outdoor terrace, which offers sought-after views of the city.
Taste Salvadoreans’ favorite street food at Abbi Pupuseria, a crowded hilltop eatery whose sprawling, open-air dining room overlooks the city center. The pupusas ($1–$3) are made from maize or rice, filled with chicken, soft cheese, fried pork, or refried beans, and topped with the piquant curtido, the local cabbage relish. Finish with a traditional sorbet at El Sin Rival, a mini-chain that started out as a street cart in 1953 and serves all-natural flavors like maranon (cashew), mango, and nance, a sweet local fruit.
Drink with local intellectuals at La Ventana, a casual restaurant and tavern decorated with work by local artists. Writers, musicians, and expats come here for the international menu of crêpes, pizzas, tacos, and Hungarian goulash ($7–$12); be sure to tap into the unique selection of beers from Germany and Belgium, including Köstritzer ($4) and Licher Weizen ($6), a clear wheat brew.