You'll find a few international restaurants in Quetzaltenango (by virtue of its being a large city) and in Panajachel (due to its concentration of tourists), but local cuisine in the highlands echoes the land itself: hearty, filling, and substantial. A few signature highland dishes appear on the menus of most local restaurants. Chicken pepián (a fricassee in pumpkin and sesame sauce), chile relleno (a stuffed bell pepper), and arroz con pollo (chicken with rice) all make use of abundant regional ingredients. Accompanying them might be frijoles (black beans, usually mashed up with a bit of onion and tomato sauce), corn tortillas, and a caramel-custard flan for dessert. Lunch is the big meal of the day in small-town eateries. Lighter fare is served for dinner in this early-to-bed, early-to-rise region.

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