What are the best Nicaragua food experiences?

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Make sure you spend some time sampling some of Nicaragua’s local snacks. Typical Nicaraguan cuisine is not as famous as, say, Mexican street food, and you’re not likely to come across a Nicaraguan restaurant in most countries, which gives you all the more reason to try it while you’re visiting.

Venture outside the restaurants in Managua to discover food like you’ve never tasted before.

Nacatamales
Not to be confused with Mexican tamales, nacatamales pack quite a punch: pork, rice, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, prunes, olives and cornmeal dough all wrapped up in a plantain leaf. The packets are steamed for hours and are more readily available as street food than as sit-down restaurant meals.

Nicaraguans often eat them for breakfast, often with a side of gallo pinto, the country’s staple beans and rice dish.

Vigorón
Born in Granada, this lunchtime specialty features deep-fried pork rind topped with yucca (boiled cassava) and a vinegary cabbage and tomato salad similar to coleslaw. Its tangy, spicy flavor will likely have you asking for more (and that’s okay, considering it’s mostly salad).

The best place to try it is still Granada, but it can be found throughout the country.

Fried fish with plantains
Eating seafood in Nicaragua is easy, considering the amount of coastline the country has, but you don’t need to go catch a lobster by yourself at Little Corn to enjoy it. (Which you most certainly can do.)

Visit a local fritanga to sample crispy fried snapper accompanied by tostones, crunchy plantain fritters that remind you that you’re in the tropics.

Quesillo
Fresh, thick, handmade tortillas are stuffed with salty local cheese and topped with pickled onions, vinegar and sour cream.

While an acquired taste to some foreigners, these tangy treats reminiscent of Mexican quesadillas are a popular snack among Nicaraguans. They’re often sold in street stalls.

Rosquillas
Don’t leave the country without trying the rosquillas, which are basically local cookies made of corn dough, cheese, butter, lard and eggs.

They’re normally shaped as tiny doughnuts and are savory, unless brown sugar is added to make little, flat empanadas or viejitas (which translates into “old ladies”).

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