Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America bordered by Honduras, the Caribbean, Costa Rica and the Pacific Ocean. The country is full of stunning landscapes, active volcanoes, grassland & swamplands plus bustling cities with the capital – Managua being the 3rd largest city in Central America.
SAN JUAN DEL SUR
Street food: As you do, we took a stroll and found some amazing street food. Right next to ‘Pepe’s’ bike rental place you’ll smell it before you see it, a barbeque and a little family run place with tables both in and outside. They don’t have a menu but they offer bbq’d meat options of pork, chicken or beef. Plus the staple gallo pinto, fried plantain and a whole sliced avocado!
What I recommend: Beef (seasoned with salt and pepper) it was SO tasty and they do such large portions!
San Juan Del Sur is like any tourist beach town, multiple bars offering overpriced food and drink that don’t include a gluten free menu unless you get the side salad with no dressing……..mmmmmm filling.
Like all travellers, we want to save money where we can to prolong our travel experience, so in the name of saving money……..AVOID BARS & RESTAURANTS YOU WILL SPEND A FORTUNE… When we first arrived we fell in to the trap of quick and easy food. After a day of travelling it’s easy to do that.
It bit me on my ass.
A small takeaway box, half filled with undercooked potatoe cost me $5 AND you guessed it… it had GLUTEN filled seasoning all over it (after explaining I’m celiac).
There are some decent sized salads but they do cost a lot for what you get, I chose to stay away just due to the extortionate pricing and the lack of knowledge behind GF.
Check out the best beaches in San Juan Del Sur
Avoid the coleslaw sides. They’ve been stored in vinegar- yes you may be ok as it’s not malt, but I decided not to eat it due to the fact you can’t be 100% sure you wont have a reaction
San Juan Del Sur’ Hostel food review
Breakfast: Breakfast was included in our stay here. A big portion of gallo pinto, avocado, scrambled egg and tomatoes. Just be sure to say you’re allergic to bread, wheat flour etc and they will usually add extra food for you to compensate- ‘alergica a la pan y harina de trigo’
Kitchen: Hostel tadeo had a communal kitchen, although it lacked in size what it did offer was a lot of pans etc and peace of mind that you’re meal is going to be gluten free!
Breakfast: Every morning I ordered the vegetarian option, which was gallo pinto, avocado and scrambled eggs, I added bacon rashers for $2 extra. I think it could have come with bread but I made sure to say no bread due to allergies- they just about got the memo.
Price: $7 total and well worth it!
The owner, whose Australian, does speak Spanish so if your having difficulty she can translate for you.
I recommend: The huge banana smoothie costing $3
Kitchen: This hostel didn’t have kitchen space to make food so best to swerve if your wanting to cook your own meals in the hope to avoid CC (cross contamination).
If you’ve got a sweet tooth then read on…
This is a cute little gelato shop which had an abundance of colourful flavours, the mint (OH MY GOD IT WAS GOOD) was my favourite and the server did confirm it was most definitely GLUTEN FREE. They also offer tubs instead of wafer cones- HALLELUJAH! I definitely had this ice-cream a few times during our stay in San Juan Del Sur!
Price: $1 per scoop
Street food: We only ate at a couple of street food vendors in Granada, the best being right across from Wings House, down a small road you’ll see a sweet little old lady with a bbq and a table full of juicy grilled chicken, beef, plantain and gallo pinto.
What we loved about this was that they wrapped it up in a banana leaf for you to take away rather than in a plastic box that gets chucked away within minutes- #reduceplasticwaste
KFC watch your back! If this restaurant ever becomes a chain it’ll wipe the floor with you!
The wings here are SO delicious! They come with a huge choice of flavours such as lemon pepper, buffalo, sweet demon, mad dragon! The list goes on!
All served with vegetables and blue cheese dressing which is gluten free, you can’t go wrong.
Check their menu here:
Price: You order 6 and actually get 12 wings! $6.50
Granada Hostel’ food review
Breakfast: Breakfast is included in the stay, there is always a selection of foods laid out and you help yourself, the food includes an abundance of bananas, oats and cereals.
OBVIOUSLY I couldn’t eat the majority of what was on offer but I made it work well for me.
What I recommend: I always had my bananas with maple syrup and cinnamon. There were eggs but at an extra charge of 10 lempira extra (equivalent to 42 cent).
One day I even splashed out and made a banana pancake in the fryer- which was delicious if i do say so myself!
Check the bottle of maple syrup. Some of the bottles aren’t gluten free. Just ask the staff in the kitchen if your not sure- they’re really friendly!
Make your own banana pancakes: (THEY ARE SO EASY TO MAKE AND SO DELICIOUS)
All you will need is 3 bananas and 1 egg
- Mash ripe bananas well
- Whisk eggs in a separate bowl
- Combine Ingredients
- Warm non stick or cast iron pan to medium, spray with oil. Cook silver dollar size pancakes 30 seconds on each side and serve.
- Add toppings of your choice (my favourite is strawberries and gold syrup)
Kitchen: There is a surprisingly well equiped communal kitchen full of spices, microwave and a hob so you can cook GF foods to your hearts content!
The great thing about hostel El Zopilote is that their goal is to prepare and serve healthy food with organic ingredients, which come from their own farm or from the island. All the food is also freshly prepared on site, with the restaraunt running solely on solar power! #savetheplanet
They cater very well for vegans here.
Breakfast: I had a very tasty fruit salad with an abundance of different fruits, yogurt and honey.
Dinner: The night we were at El Zopilote it was pizza night, which is kind of a big deal, with an outside clay pizza oven and fire dancers, it seemed everyone staying on Ometepe island came for the food it was THAT busy.
They didn’t offer gluten free pizza which I was gutted about- but even if they did you can bet your bottom dollar you’d get sick just from CC as it’s their one and only famous clay oven.
ANYWAY they went out of their way to make a HUGE plate of Parma ham and melted cheese salad with foraged salad leaves (salad with a pizza topping they called it ), it was so tasty and it meant I didn’t miss out on dinner so I was a happy bunny with a full tummy next to everyone else on the table!
I recommend: The Italian style GF Carbonana pasta with eggs, bacon and cheese, I was SO impressed with the flavours and again the portion size.
Price: About $6 per large plate
Kitchen: no facility to make your own food here I’m afraid- but who cares- THEY OFFER GLUTEN FREE FOOD!
Food and products: click here
Check out our guide to the hostels on Ometepe
Hostal Nathaly is a great family run hostel, right next to the airport, with a beautiful well kept garden, several parrots and and a delicious dinner. It has a real sense of pride about it and is perfect for families, solo travellers, travel couples and anyone looking to chill out after a few heavy nights at the party hostels on Ometepe.
Dinner: They offer a choice of chicken, beef or fish with plantain and gallo pinto as a side.
I used my trusty Spanish Lingo ‘alergica a la pan y harina de trigo’ and they got it straight away and offered me just grilled meats instead of coated in breadcrumbs.
Boy oh boy did they get it alright!….
I chose the chicken option which was pan fried with only salt and pepper instead of coated in breadcrumbs- the cook even let me watch her prepare and cook the food as to be sure no CC happened. I even got a bigger portion than my gluten eating friends- which always makes me feel a bit smug!
The cook was such a sweet lady- no wonder they’ve got great reviews on all the booking sites!