Cuatro Grados Norte (Four Degrees North) has quietly arrived as the pulsing, bohemian hub of a rejuvenated Guatemala City. The 19th-century neighborhood, originally known as the city exposition district and inspired by the 1889 Paris World’s Fair, had by the late 1990s become infamous for its abandoned factories and alarming crime rate. Today, a new generation of hopeful, innovative Guatemaltecos has reclaimed Cuatro Grados Norte and converted it into the city’s pre-eminent cultural and gastronomic zone, filled with vibrant street art, coffee shops, tech incubators, artisan cooperatives and chef-owned restaurants.
The craft beer movement has been slow to arrive in Guatemala, but this standout spot has found a home and outsize reputation. Set in the intimate lower level of the Casa del Águila Cultural Center, the microbrewery serves artisanal lagers, I.P.A.s, hefeweizens and coffee stouts as well as sausages.
Each section of this playful hall serves a different cuisine. Above, an ice cream treat. But the star is the taco cart. Try the al pastor tacos with blue-corn tortillas,tangy Oaxacan cheese, pineapple and chile-rubbed slow-roasted pork.
Founded and owned by Raúl Rodas, a former barista champion, this two-year-old place serves a modern yet no-frills array of excellent pour-overs, nitros, flat whites and cold brews. The secret? Beans from Guatemala’s world-famous coffee-producing regions, roasted on site.
The innovative menu here features fresh Guatemalan ingredients from the city’s 23 public markets. Not to be missed are the calamari and snook tostadas, above, with crisp green onions and salty, crunchy Korean dried seaweed.
What this year-old, hole-in-the-wall restaurant lacks in the way of menu options is more than made up for in its execution of familiar comfort foods. Known for its superb gnocchi in tomato sauce and playful mac-and-cheese burgers, the spot is one of the city’s coziest dining experiences.