At the Rosario family of restaurants, we value the Bolivian culinary tradition and make an effort to introduce national favorites to an international audience. We are proud that the diversity of Bolivia’s culture and landscape is reflected in our menu.
Here we have a list of some of the quintessentially Bolivian ingredients you will find on our menu. Please note that when possible, we source our ingredients locally.
The specialty of the altiplano, the llama is an iconic sight in Bolivia. We have the most llamas of any country in the world, mostly on small family farms in the Andean foothills. Llama can be eaten fresh or dried as jerky or charque. The meat can be marinated and grilled or served up in a stew with potatoes. However it is prepared, llama is a hearty, protein-rich meal ideal for a cold night on the altiplano.
Pronounced keen- wah, this grain is packed with protein and fiber. An important cash crop on the inhospitableBolivian highlands, quinoa can be baked into biscuits, breads, desserts, or enjoyed on its own like rice. It is a common dish in Bolivia and remains a staple for much of the population.
It is nearly impossible to travel to the Altiplano without finding the beloved pescado of Lake Titicaca. Every morning local pescadores, or fishermen, head out on the lake to bring in the day’s catch. Trout, or trucha is served fried, baked or grilled.
A distinctly Bolivian dish, Chuños are dehydrated potatoes that are eaten as a snack or added to soups to make a meal. Typical of indigenous peoples of the altiplano, the dish is prepared over the course of several days, as it requires repeated overnight freezing followed by daytime exposure to the sun. Bolivia has over 200 varieties of potatoes.
Salteñas, tucumanas and empanadas
On the streets and in the markets of La Paz you’ll find plenty of tasty snacks. Some sweet and others spicy, salteñas and tucumanas are pastries stuffed with meat or vegetables and are usually eaten in the morning. Empanadas are spicy cheese pastries that are deep-fried or baked until crispy on the outside. These delicious snacks are typically enjoyed with a mug of warm api.
A favorite Bolivian hot drink is api. This sweet, thick breakfast drink is made with ground purple corn, lemon, cloves and cinnamon. Other local drinks worth trying are the sugary peach drink called mocochinchi and licuados, a fruit shake blended with either milk or water.
Bolivians enjoy plenty of tea and coffee, but the local favorite is mate de coca, a tea of coca leaves steeped in hot water. Coca is an important crop for many in Bolivia and the leaves are served up in many ways or chewed raw for its minor stimulant effect. Mate de coca is said to help travelers adjust to the high altitude, relieve headaches and settle upset stomachs.
Chicha and other alcoholic drinks
We serve a wide range of local Bolivian beer and wines, but for those looking for a more potent drink, try chicha. Made with fermented corn, this is an extremely popular alcoholic drink in Bolivia. Another local favorite is Chufflay, a popular cocktail made with Bolivia’s national liquor, Singani.
Bolivians enjoy using plenty of spices and peppers available in the country to give traditional meals a spicy touch. You can order dishes poco picante, medio picante orjust picante and expect many meals to be served with aji, a spicy salsa made from tomatoes, cilantro, peppers, and onions.