food from nicaragua city of Leon

Whether you eat in local eateries, street market stalls or restaurants, you can bet that Nicaragua food is full of flavour.

 It’s time to get excited about food from Nicaragua! 

1) Arroz con pescado

Grilled Pescado - Popular food from Nicaragua
Popular Nicaragua food – Grilled fish

Arroz con pescado is a dish of rice, scored deep-fried whole fish, and homemade tomato sauce. The sauce is prepared by frying onion, tomato, chiltoma (sweet pepper), salt, pepper and a little butter.

The sauce is poured over the whole cooked fish when served.

Cooked green plantains and fresh salad are typically served alongside this much-loved dish in Nicaragua.

2) Indio Viejo

food from nicaragua Indio Viejo
Indio Viejo is delicious food from Nicaragua. Photo Credit:

Indio Viejo (literally translates to Old Indian) is a Nicaraguan dish that has its origins in pre-Colombian times. 

It’s also similar to the popular Cuban dish called ropa vieja. Indio Viejo is a thick soup made of maize dough with onion and shredded beef.

It’s a slightly sweet flavoured soup that is traditionally served with cuajada (curd cheese) tostones (fried green plantains).

3) Churrasco con Chimichurri

Churrasco con Chimichurri
Nicaragua food faves – Churrasco con Chimichurri

This sounds super simple, but it is oh so delicious. A grilled piece of beef, typically skirt steak is flame-grilled, sliced and drizzled with chimichurri sauce.

Chimichurri is a zingy fresh salsa made with parsley, garlic, chilli, oregano, lemon juice and red wine vinegar. It’s one of my favourite sauces ever and tastes amazing on other grilled meats and vegetables.

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4) Baho 

food from nicaragua Baho
Nicaragua Food – Baho. Food from Nicaragua you need to try. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

A dish that is typically eaten on the weekend. From personal experience, it’s a perfect meal if you’ve had too many beers the night before.

This dish is prepared by chopping chunks of beef, plantains, cassava, green plantains, capsicum and onions. These ingredients are steamed on low heat in a large cooking pot sealed with layers of banana leaves.

This process is to trap all the incredible flavours of the contents inside. After cooking slowly for five to eight hours, the dish is ready. Baho is served with a cabbage slaw dressed in vinegar.

It’s the perfect accompaniment to this dish as it cuts through the meat and vegetables, enhancing the flavour. 

5) Berenjenas rellenas (stuffed eggplants)

Eggplants are typically cut in half, lengthways and baked until tender before removing the pulp.

Then, a combination of vegetables and rice, or a blend of ground meat (usually pork and beef) and vegetables are generally used for stuffing the hollowed-out eggplants.

Vegetables that fill the eggplants include zucchini, onions, tomatoes, mashed potatoes, peppers and chilli. Garlic, oregano, thyme, rosemary, or parsley is used to taste the filling, along with salt and pepper

6) Vigoron 

food from Nicaragua vigoron
A tasty dish. Vigoron is food from Nicaragua that is fun to eat. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

This is a quick and easy dish to prepare and a common dish to cook in all Nicaraguan households. It’s made up of chicharrones (fried pieces of pork rind), chopped cabbage, onions, tomatoes, fresh chilli and boiled yucca.

I learned that the way to eat Vigoron is to take a piece of pork rind and top it with a piece of yuca and salad. 

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7) Rondón

Nicaragua food Rondón
Nicaragua food – Rondón

‘Rondón’ is a pronunciation derived from the English word ‘Run down’.

This is a traditional stew made from fish, shrimp, snail, beef, pork and sometimes turtle meat. Vegetables commonly used are yams, yucca (cassava), plantain, potatoes and breadfruit.

Everything is simmered in a pot along with fish stock sweetened with coconut milk to create this mouthwatering stew. Nicaragua food that must be on your list!

8) Nacatamal – My favourite street food from Nicaragua

Nicaragua food Nacatamal
Nicaragua food -Nacatamal

Many Central American countries have their own version of tamale, and Nacatamal is the Nicaraguan tamale. It’s made with corn dough which is stuffed with pork or chicken, then wrapped in plantain leaves and steamed.

Nacatamal is my favourite food from Nicaragua, and I love that you can buy them from street vendors everywhere. Other ingredients found in Nacatamal filling are onions, fresh chilli, garlic, potatoes, rice, bitter orange, and mint. 

9) Gallo Pinto -The National Dish of Nicaragua

food from nicaragua gallo pinto
Gallo pinto is simple, yet delicious food from Nicaragua. Photo Credit:

It’s such a simple and easy dish, and still so delicious. Gallo Pinto is a combination of rice, beans, peppers and spices. Many Nicaraguans eat this dish daily, and it is especially popular at breakfast time. 

Gallo Pinto is incredibly popular in Costa Rica (check out 6 amazing Costa Rican dishes here) and other countries in Central America.

10) Guirila (corn pancake) 

guirila corn pancake food from nicaragua
Guirila (corn pancakes) Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Guirila is a tortilla or pancake made using young white maize. A little sweet and a little salty but perfectly balanced when combined with some homemade cuajada (cheese curd) and cream. They are also commonly enjoyed alongside pork or other meat.

Typically found in the north of the countryside, the best guirila are found in Sebaco and Matagalpa.

Travel Tips & Inspiration

We love to share our knowledge of traveling, and you may enjoy reading our best-ever travel tips and our ultimate packing list for travellers.

For the food lovers out there, don’t miss our top 10 best countries for foodies! And, if you’re more interested in history, these 30 amazing historical places in the world will fascinate you! 

If you’re travelling on a budget, these 21 cheapest countries to visit right now is just the thing you’ve been searching for. 

We’ve got a bunch of tips for how you can save money to travel the world, and even when you’re out there travelling, maybe these 20 jobs that PAY YOU to travel the world will help you travel longer. It worked for us, and we bet it can work for you too.

Finally, these top 6 travel hacks to save you money are great to read when planning your travels.

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