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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Go Between City and Sand in San Salvador


2. Where to Eat

La Ventana draws crowds with its international cuisine and occasional live music performances.  

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.

Published on May 12, 2011 as a web exclusive.

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