When my family was visiting, fresh off the plane and feeling grimy, I knew that there was only one place I wanted to take them for dinner. Izakaya is located in Antigua, Guatemala and calling it a hidden treasure is an understatement. The food is mainly tapas, all Japanese, with a few larger plates mixed in. At this point, after five trips, I think I've tasted the entire menu and not been disappointed.
The atmosphere in Izakaya is ideal for a quiet dinner, with candlelit tables and warm ambiance. The owners/chefs fly in and out of the exposed kitchen to offer advice on the menu and then later to see how the food is received at the tables in the dining room. They are completely charming. While the dining room is beautiful, the best seat is at the low bar watching Gabriel and Lorena prepare the food and listen as the two banter and bicker and love while they prepare the meal. Watching the plate creation makes it more than a meal, but you feel like part of a bigger story that has been years in the making. For us, it was the perfect first dinner to begin our trip together as a family, and such an enchanting welcome to Guatemala.
If you are interested in visiting, you can check out their tripadvisor page here.