Not to be missed for local fare is Miss Junie’s (tel. 506/2709-8102, 7:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. and 6:30–9:30 p.m. daily), where $10 will buy you a platter of fish, chicken, or steak with rice and beans simmered in coconut milk, plus fruit juice and dessert. Reservations are needed. For better or worse, Miss Junie’s has enclosed her restaurant in glass; the funky charm has been replaced with air-conditioned elegance.
Miss Miriam’s (tel. 506/2709-8002, 7:30 a.m.–9 p.m. daily), on the north side of the soccer field, offers a more rustic experience and similar cuisine.
The colorful thatched Buddha Café (tel. 506/2709-8084, 11 a.m.–9 p.m. daily, below $8), riverside in the village center, serves Italian cuisine that includes pizzas, crepes, and lasagna. Its urbane ambience has brought a touch of class to the village.
La Casona (tel. 506/2709-8092, 8–11:30 a.m. and 1:30–8:30 p.m. daily), on the north side of the soccer field, serves pancakes with bananas, plus omelettes and casados. I recommend the chicken in coconut ($6) or delicious lasagna de palmito (heart of palm).
At Dorling’s Bakery (tel. 506/2709-8202, 5 a.m.–7 p.m. daily), gracious Nicaraguan Dorling bakes delicious empanadas, cakes, apple pie, and cheesecakes. You’ve got to try the raspberry truffle brownie! Dorling also has hearty breakfasts (including omelettes and granola with fruit and yogurt), plus cappuccinos, milk shakes, and cheap lunches, including coconut chicken ($8.50).
To splurge, catch a ride to Ara Macaw (tel. 506/2709-8197, 7–9 a.m., noon–2 p.m., and 6:30–8:30 p.m. daily), in the Manatus Hotel. Here you can woo your loved one in a romantic candlelit setting while enjoying gourmet Caribbean fusion cuisine. A three-course prix fixe dinner ($25) is offered for nonguests, by reservation.