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Il Giardino

  • Veg-friendly Veg-friendly
    ( 4 reviews )
Contact 8040186

San Marcos La Laguna, Lake Atitlan, San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala,

Serves meat, vegan options available. This hotel-restaurant has a setting of a hidden garden off of the main footpath. At night it it's lit with candles and each seat is nestled in amongst large tropical plants. Food ranges from pizza and pasta to salads, soups, Latin American fare and desserts. The owner/chef speaks many languages. Has Wi-Fi. Previously pure vegetarian menu but added meat in 2014. Call for hours - tell us.

Category: Lacto, Ovo, Pizza, Italian, Beer/Wine, Latin American, Non-veg

Reviews (4)

First Review by leashgrey

Meh - Edit

It's a real shame, this place could be amazing, but... it's not.

First thing's first, it's not the only all-veg place in San Marcos, and isn't even all veg anymore, unless you count seared tuna steaks as vegetarian. I think it has something to do with behind the scenes management/owner drama, but in late 2014, this is basically 90% vegetarian restaurant.

Secondly, it's the kind of vegetarian place that thinks EVERYthing needs to have eggs or milk in it. To be fair, there are a few options that are egg-free (including some gluten and egg-free noodles), but you have to request them very specifically and the staff seems to think that requesting vegan bread is like asking to ride their unicorn.

Finally, the vegan food that they do have just isn't that great. Had a veggie "burrito" and it was basically a pile of half-cooked carrots and zucchini inside of some... thing. Not impressed and this is one of the only places I've eaten in Guatemala that's made me feel less-than-stellar a few hours later (bleh). I'm pretty sure that there are better options here, and the setting does make it worth giving it a try, but as of now... I found it as disappointing as the last reviewer.

Pros: lovely setting

Cons: no longer all veg

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Disappointing - Edit

I was excited to try Il Giardino after reading the positive reviews. What a disappointment.

To be fair, we had a group of nine, which is often a challenge for village restaurants. Also, it was our server's first day. Some people in our group were quite satisfied with their meals.

Two of us ordered the breakfast burrito without eggs. The menu said it came with either fruit or salad. It never occurred to us that they would serve salad instead of fruit at breakfast, but they did. The tortilla was so overcooked, it was more like a cracker. The vegetable filling was mostly sautéed peppers with two tiny bits of zucchini and a little smear of black beans and avocado. They were not willing to change the salad for fruit when it came out, though they did offer some extra sauce for the burrito. Instead of the nice warm enchilada sauce that was on the burrito (though only a small spoonful) they brought cold tomato sauce. Awful.

The first cup of coffee was excellent, though my almond milk was gritty. Subsequent cups of coffee were hardly more than tepid coffee-flavored water.

I might be willing to go back (without a group) and try other items. A friend said his veggie burger was excellent, but his cappuccino was sugary and terrible.

When I told the server about my disappointment over the salad and cold tomato sauce, she listened but offered no apology. Since it was her first day, she might have brought over someone with more experience there.

Breakfast for two of us cost Q130--an outrageous price for what we got.

Pros: lovely setting

Cons: poor value, disappointing food

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simply divine - Edit

You have to try the breakfast burrito - simply divine.

This lovely chill space is situated back in a gorgeous garden, relax and listen to the birds while eating veggie goodness. try an almond milk shake with banana, cacoa, bee pollen, super greens and anything else you want to have added. custom make your own, they are really accommodating.

the veggie burger is delish and comes with a beetroot relish... mmm

affordable and well worth it.

free wifi and they happily plugged my computer cord into the kitchen power point.

they have couches under a bamboo hut style roof as well as tables and chairs either in the shade of trees or out in the sunshine.

It´s situated on the main drag that leads up from the dock. it's on the left, so just keep your eyes wide and you can't miss it. the people who work there are friendly and professional. They really care about the quality of the food and using sustainable, local ingredients.

it´s just a lovely place to be.

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