My husband and I live full time in Chacala which is just north of the town of La Penita. Xaltemba restaurant is for us a rare oasis of culture, class and inventive modern cuisine. If you think this area only has cheap beer, shrimp and pescado sarandeado, go to Xaltemba and change your mind.
Run by its charming owners and staffed by young, sparkling locals and foreigners, its vibe is one of understated sophistication, which somehow fits wonderfully among the quirky, unpolished charm of the town itself. The building was renovated by the owners and is smack bang in the centre of town, they restored a real colonial feel to this simple and welcoming building.
As to the nuts and bolts, ie the food, the place is open for dinner everyday except Monday during the high season (October onwards) and on market day (Thursday) opens in the morning too. The menu is simple but ample, offering food with a strong local influence served in a way that is accessible and enjoyable by foreigners. Despite being more chic than any restaurant in a 15 mile radius, they're not expensive either.
We go there whenever we can and they've always got events going on too: art exhibitions, poetry readings and dance shows. They keep their website very up to date so check that out for any specifics.
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