Having hung out in León for more than 2 weeks, I feel like I can weigh into the “where to eat” dilemma with my 6 top eats in León. These are unashamedly influenced by my love of a good curry and wanting something different to normal Nicaraguan cuisine (rice, beans and corn) after 3 or so months here. I ended up visited each of these several times.
El Desayunazo – THE best place for breakfast in León. Extensive menu with everything from the traditional Nica breakfast through to granola + yoghurt through to English breakfast through to the best pancakes I’ve had for ages. Have to admit, I’ve never gotten past the pancakes… It’s also cheap and most of the times I’ve been, there have been more locals than tourists. And they don’t play music so you relax and read in peace. If only it were open all day!
Imbir – Sri Lankan / Polish Restaurant run by an expat Sri Lankan and Pole. Can’t vouch for the Polish portion of the menu, but the Sri Lankan chicken curry and entree fish balls are absolutely wonderful. The little courtyard where you eat is also gorgeous.
CocinArte – Vegetarian Restaurant set in one of León’s old buildings. Great place if you are after a vegetable fix, with 3 different curries on the menu (2 Indian, 1 Indonesian), a vegetarian spin on the very traditional Nicaraguan Indio Viejo, as well as a whole host of other options (the menu is very extensive). They also sell artesanía.
Fritanga – OK, so this is more typically Nicaraguan, but the fritangas behind the Cathedral are tasty and great value. Beef, pork or chicken on the BBQ plus gallo pinto (of course) and a whole host of other bits and pieces you take your pick from. Vegetarian options also available, but they are all deep fried.
Pan y Paz – French Bakery. Every traveler ends up here at least once, and it is totally worth it. Pedro tells me they do an awesome espresso and I can vouch for the chocolate-filled bread and the cheese platter (trust me, even the small cheese platter is more than enough for 2 people).
Kiss Me – Best Ice-cream in Nicaragua. More expensive than Eskimo and Dos Pinos, but absolutely worth it. With flavours like “Lodo de Matagalpa” (Matagalpan Mud) it’s high quality icecream with a twist.