While savoring the beloved asado, or barbecue, is a must, you’ll also relish the pleasures of fresh juices, crisp veggies, and succulent meats. Here, we present the top 10 cultural restaurants in Asuncion, Paraguay’s capital.
Since its establishment in 1976, Talleyrand has been a trailblazer, being Asuncion’s first restaurant-focused architectural complex. Private lounges, a novel idea back then, add to its innovative allure. Named after the French diplomat Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, this eatery intertwines French bistro classics with Mediterranean fare. Delight in dishes like ginger-infused pork tenderloin or almond-herb Café Paris tournedos. Colonial-style decor, tapestry chairs, and a French twist make Talleyrand a fusion of history and modernity.
Charming since 1995, Mburicao Restaurante harmonizes French and Italian influences with Paraguayan flair. Innovations like lemonade risotto with chicken or lamb payagua unveil South American ingredients elegantly. The dining room’s Mediterranean hues and wooden accents cultivate a cozy atmosphere. Adding to the charm, Koki Ruiz’s vibrant paintings adorn the walls, infusing the space with color and vitality.
Relocated near Paeso Carmelitas shopping center, El Dorado originally resided in a colonial house. Garnering attention from glossy magazines, it’s praised for its global fusion cuisine and extensive wine collection. The chef’s daring creations like port-sauced pheasant or Roquefort-accompanied surubi fish offer delightful surprises. Contemporary decor, modern art, and an electric ambiance establish El Dorado as an elegant, talked-about dining destination.
Restaurante Bar San Roque
Established in 1900 at the heart of Asunción, Restaurante Bar San Roque holds the distinction of being the nation’s oldest eatery. Renowned for its top-notch cuisine, impeccable service, and reasonable prices, this charming spot exudes a welcoming, family-run atmosphere. The warm wood-paneled counter and olive green walls create a snug ambiance that perfectly complements its reputation. Locals and tourists alike flock to enjoy generous portions of traditional meat-based dishes like puchero (boiled beef), often accompanied by fried yucca root, a common Paraguayan vegetable. Surprisingly, the restaurant’s collection of Oktoberfest steins pairs harmoniously with its impressive selection of German beers, adding a unique touch to the experience.
Since its inauguration in 1985, the Taberna Española has captivated visitors with its enticing offerings. Paella takes center stage here, with a lineup of eight varieties to choose from. An annual giant paella event, feeding 800 people during a telethon charity project, showcases the restaurant’s commitment to both cuisine and community. Inside, the decor charms with hanging seashell mobiles and walls adorned with global proverbs and quotes from luminaries like Benjamin Franklin and Molière. This inviting atmosphere transforms the Taberna into a premier destination for savoring Spanish cuisine in the Paraguayan capital.
Chef Rodolfo Angenscheidt embarked on a culinary journey with the launch of Tierra Colorada in 2010, aiming to provide a unique gastronomic experience using the finest products from Paraguay. This restaurant boasts a modern, fresh cuisine that melds European and South American influences, accentuated by native ingredients like mouthwatering cassava. Adhering to a seasonal approach, the menu showcases products found at local farmers’ markets. Through large windows, lush greenery, and wooden furnishings, Tierra Colorada creates a tranquil setting that complements warm Paraguayan evenings splendidly.
El Café Literario
Nestled in Asunción’s historic heart, El Café Literario beckons literature enthusiasts seeking both literary conversations and delectable refreshments. This cozy café shines for its scrumptious freshly squeezed fruit juices and pastries. With its calm, quirky ambiance, rustic furniture, and vintage film posters, it offers a serene escape from the city’s commotion. The walls adorned with books from a diverse array of Paraguayan and international authors make it a haven for reading. Furthermore, a surprise awaits upstairs where occasional exhibitions showcase local artists’ creations, adding an extra layer of cultural richness to this literary haven.
Nestled in the heart of Asunción, El Bolsi restaurant emerged in 1960 within a late 19th-century house, designated as a historic treasure. Despite its unassuming appearance and simple offerings, it consistently secures a spot in Asunción’s top ten restaurants, earning recognition in various magazines. The true star here is the surubi fish, expertly prepared with parsley and coconut milk, served in a rustic ceramic dish. A beloved budget-friendly choice in the city, El Bolsi has welcomed generations of loyal patrons who vouch for its consistently delectable fare.
Luna Vinera Bistro & Bar
Secluded within a charming wooden house, Luna Vinera beckons with a fusion of Paraguayan classics and global delights. Renowned for its inventive use of coconut milk and ginger, the menu also showcases regional treasures like ceviche, a beloved South American seafood marinade. Jazz, warm lighting, and vibrant hues create a laid-back yet romantically intimate ambiance. When the moon graces the sky, diners can relish their meal in the enchanting inner courtyard, adorned with lush foliage and flickering candles.
In the heart of Asunción, culinary treasures await. From Talleyrand’s timeless charm to Luna Vinera’s fusion of flavors, these eateries offer not just food, but experiences that capture the essence of the city’s rich history and vibrant culture.