Finding the best Ceviche in Antigua Guatemala

The Best Ceviche in Antigua Guatemala.

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Antigua Guatemala always never stops Amazing me. For example, we decided the girls and I we would hunt down the best Ceviche in Antigua Guatemala, not a bad idea for a weekend change from heading to villages around Antigua Guatemala by Chicken Bus.

We know Antigua Guatemala as well as most locals and we looked along the market area of Antigua and asked the Truck Ceviche Vendors, if they did not eat their own Ceviche, where would they go?

We were told that on the weekend only, at the Ocelot Bar owner by Shawn the Brit and a Greek born named Spiro makes the best fresh Ceviche, served at the upstairs Bar called the Lava Lounge or Bar, above the Ocelot Bar.

Off we went.

The Ocelot bar is just half a block of Park Central in Antigua Guatemala, everyone gets lost in Antigua just get to the Central Park and ask anyone where the Ocelot Bar is?

When we arrived we found that the Brit named Shawn we knew from past years in Antigua when he was partner in famous bar in Antigua. The Ocelot is a cool Jazz and Blues Bar with great happy hour deals for all. Shawn knows the bar business and we can see why the Ocelot has growing in popularity in Antigua.

Shawn directed us upstairs to the Lava Bar and to the Greek Named Spiro. Wow what a view from this roof top Bar. Lots of open areas, and yes great views of Antigua and Music. The Lava Bar is unique, strange drink names some not be used in this public forum. Oh, Lava Bar features Russian Beer 6 for 135Q in a bucket of ice and yes Lots of Gallo Beer if you choose. The Russian Beer is like 8% alcohol.

Now we have Russia in the story, a Cat, A Brit and a Greek.

Spiro is setup in one corner of the bar, a small table, his cooler, and all his secret ingredients before him ready to prepare the Best Ceviche in Antigua Guatemala. Before I go any farther Spiro is a great character, born in Greece, lived in NY owned Restaurants and moved to Antigua a number of years ago.

Spiro does not make or prepare Ceviche he invents it right before your eyes. In his cooler the Fish for the Ceviche is held with great care. Fish that Spiro has sourced directly from the fishing boats on the Pacific Coast of Guatemala. Mostly the Monterrico area of Guatemala.

Spiro inquires do you want it hot or medium, small or large bowl?  The large bowl is huge as our photos show with large shrimp bulging in front of you. Once all the options are chosen Spiro goes to work, cutting, and mixing by hand each bowl individually.
When finished each serving is presented with great care.
Wow what a treat I mean the fish, the sauce, the seasoning, the spices all meld together in an explosion of taste in your mouth. Add a bottle of Russian Beer, 95Q for a large Ceviche such a deal.

I rate this as a first class fun experience for all. Now, that is how the story becomes an Antigua Guatemala Amazing Story. It has a Cat the Ocelot, A Brit named Shawn, A Greek named Spiro and yes, Russian Beer, Lava Bar and Volcanoes oh, yes and great views.

Ceviche at Inca Restaurante Antigua Guatemala

Inca Restaurante Antigua Guatemala

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There’s a ceviche war on in Antigua Guatemala.  People in town seem to have a preferred ceviche spot and Antiguenos and gringos alike are prepared to argue passionately on behalf of their favorite.  Our latest contender for a top spot on the ceviche maven list is Inca Restuarante.

This is a prettily-appointed restaurant set a few blocks south of the Parque Central and a few thousand kilometers from its Peruvian roots. Many historians agree that Peru is the mother of ceviche as we know it today.  Though many New Word countries, from Mexico to, well, anywhere there’s fish, claim to make the best ceviche, few can outdo Peru’s devotion to and reverence for this citrus rendered, not heat cooked, seafood supreme.

In fact, Peru has a national Day of Ceviche, which is celebrated each June in a way that only Peruvians can muster when they are in a party mood.  Inca Restaurante owner, Luis, offers a wide ranging menu of Peruvian cuisine specialties, including a ceviche section with seven selections.

I ordered Ceviche Number One, a basic platter, which Luis had the kitchen adjust to my gringo palette, a.k.a. not very spicy, just a bit for a frisson, rather than a thunder clap, of excitement.  It came in the classic Peruvian, style, that is, accented with sweet potatoes, white potatoes, and corn, including a light scattering of toasted corn kernels and red onion to enhance the citrus infused white fish.

While we waited for our food Luis told us about his native Peru in excellent English, accented with New York and Miami influences.  A brief personal history includes details of leaving Peru when he was 14 and growing up and coming of age in the Big Apple and Miami.

Of course, we asked the classic question. How did you wind up in Antigua?  Here the French, though not known for their ceviche, have it right. Cherchez la femme.  Literally, the expression means, look for the woman, if the man is happy or sad.  Happily, Luis met a woman from Antigua Guatemala and fell in love with her along with her hometown.  They set up their restaurant around the corner from the Palace of the Captains about 4 years ago and now have a solid reputation in town.

And, whenever the debate about the best ceviche in Antigua Guatemala comes up, they are always cited and for good reason.  Their offering passed my ceviche criteria, including:  use of a citrus infusion that has a sharp acidity, but not one that is overwhelming the taste of the fish; the sweetness of the fish is allowed to tango with the citrus zest; the seafood is neither rubbery or over burnt from the lime, but pleasingly soft and perfectly textured.

Inca Restaurante is located at 4a Avenida Sur #10.