Bolivia / Restaurants / South America

La Cueva – La Paz, Bolivia

Bolivia is a funny place. With its population mostly living above 3000m above sea level, I firmly believe that the altitude makes them all crazy. Nothing quite works the way you think it should it Bolivia, but it makes for great adventures that can vary from cycling headfirst down the world’s most dangerous road to epic karaoke nights to riding jeeps across endless salt flats to running around town in Spiderman costumes to getting ripped off by bus drivers to hitting golf balls into monolithic limestone structures to watching kids take a poo on the street etc…

La Paz is the highest capital city in the world. It sits between 3600m to 4000m above sea level and sprawls across spectacular cliff faces and mountain ranges. It’s a melting pot of wealth and modernity steeped in a colourful culture, proud history, painful poverty and political unrest. Being a haven for backpackers, La Paz has a surprising range of cuisine to cater for the increasing number of tourist flowing through. While nothing close to any culinary extravagance, La Paz does offer great street food for those with brave stomachs, and nice little eateries for those seeking some logical familiarity. Given, if you aren’t bed ridden and sick from the high altitudes.

There’s a useful backpacker area in La Paz called 4 Corners, which covers Calle Murillo, Calle Cochabamba and Calle Tarija that contains said familiar eateries, party hostels, English pubs, and features a great little Mexican restaurant called La Cueva. I came here with a Mexican friend that I had been travelling with, and even she was quite pleased with this little place. Opened only since 2010, the new decor emanates with warmth and captures the vibrancy of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations. It offers a tiny menu with only three tex-mex choices, which is a dream come true to an undecisive, dish envious person like me. The rustic bar gives you the choice of imported Mexican beers or a large selection of evil tequilas. Both are accompanied with plenty of lemon and salt to dress the rim of the glass of your poison of choice.

Our dishes of tacos, quesadillas, or burritos were accompanied with delicious spicy salsa and a subtle cheese sauce, fresh salad (which is a rarity in South America) and crunchy corn chips. The servings generous, not too cheesed up, and quite delicious. The food is refreshingly spicy in comparison to the local cuisine. It’s not going to be the best Mexican you’ll ever have, but it’ll certainly be appreciated while you’re navigating the chaos of Bolivia.

Info: Calle Tarija 210B corner Calle Murillo. T: +591-2-2314523. Website

How much money to bring: USD$5-10

OK to bring a date? ok, but perfect for group gatherings

It’s closed on: ?

Don’t: forget to venture outside of the 4 Corners to experience Bolivian food – such as chicarron (pork crackling)!

Do: ask for “picante” if you want it spicy!

Sounds like: Los Lobos & Antonio Banderas – Cancion del Mariachi

Rating: 2.5/5


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