Reservations here really are recommended as El Artisano is only open for lunch on weekdays. I tried showing up on one occasion and no one answered the gates even though a guide and tourists went in just ahead of me. On my second try I had success – so do try to telephone ahead to reserve one of only three dining oases available.
I believe the owner trained in Australia and has travelled all over the world. This was my only North American restaurant meal since arriving in San Juan/Pedro la Laguna and a real treat. The prices are 10-30Q higher than what I see quoted here on T.A. but who cares?
This is an absolute paradise on the shore of San Juan. With Italian opera playing quietly in the background, set amidst a lovely garden and place settings reflecting great attention to detail, this venue serves the best wine on Lago Atitlan and I just really needed some cheese and a glass of vino that doesn’t double as paint-thinner.
All of the cuisine at El Artisano is organic and, the owner told me, there is also a spa on site using only natural, chemical-free products for you spa ladies out there.
There is a sauna and pool, additionally, if you happen to bring your swim-suit to lunch!
All of the excellent reviews for this establishment are well earned. San Juan is a hidden gem on Atitlan that is of no interest to the party-crowd and for that reason, I have loved my time here.
El Artisano is a splurge you absolutely will not regret.
Buen provecho to future visitors and thank you to the chef or a lovely luncheon experience after a week spent studying. Excellent work! :)
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