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The Best Bolivian Street Food: 14 Delicious Snacks You Have to Try

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I’m going on record, Bolivian street food is some of the best in all of South America. Delicious delicacies can be found on every street corner and marketplace stall, tempting you until you cannot resist the urge any longer.

You will work up an appetite hiking the high-altitude cities, towns, and villages of this mountainous country. Nonetheless, you are unlikely to lose any weight as you snack your way through Bolivia, the street food capital of South America

Discover the Best Street Food Bolivia has to offer

1. Choripan

The choripan is a staple in the street food scene in Bolivia. The choripan is a tasty chorizo sandwich loaded with lettuce, tomato, pickled veggies and topped with mustard, mayonnaise or both.

Budget options are available for only BOB 3.50 just outside of the central Mi Teleférico station while fully loaded choripans are found on the top floor of Mercado Lanza near Plaza San Francisco.

Dona Elvira in Mercado Lanza in La Paz have some of the best choripan in the country!

These simple sandwiches are a truly satisfying snack on the go!

Choripan being prepared on the grill. Photo Credit Pablo Guerra

2.Pasteles de Queso

If you are a fan of deep-fried pastry, cheese, and powdered sugar, the Pasteles de queso may become your favorite street food in Bolivia.

Fried fresh to order, right in front of you and served up hot, it is the perfect snack when you’re looking for something hot and sweet.

3. Pasankallas

3. Found throughout markets around Bolivia, Pasankallas are giant puffed corn kernels a little like popcorn. Unlike popcorn, pasankallas are a sweet snack and usually covered in sugar. Originating around Copacabana and Lake Titicaca, this snack can now be found throughout the country.

4. Salteñas

Enjoying a salteña one of the street foods in La Paz. A salteña is a sweet, juicy empanada sized treat enjoyed at breakfast throughout Bolivia.
Enjoying a salteña while on the road in Bolivia

There is a lot to love about this delicious parcel of Bolivian street food.

Served up on street corners in the early morning, they are the perfect on the go breakfast.

Similar to the empanadas from Argentina, a salteña is a baked pastry filled with either meat, veggies or both and swimming in its own juices.

Unlike empanadas, the salteña is slightly sweet as well making it the perfect accompaniment to coffee at breakfast.

It is common practice to take a bite and then drink out the juice before finishing it off Be careful not to burn yourself when devouring this specialty though.

5. Zonzo

Zonzos are made from mashed yuca, a starchy root vegetable similar to a potato. The mashed yuca is mixed with cheese, formed into a corn cob-like shape and skewered with bamboo before begin grilled over coals. This slightly sweet snack is often enjoyed with a cup of coffee. Enjoy zonzo in Santa Cruz and the surrounding eastern region of Bolivia.

6. Tucumanas

The tucumana looks a bit similar to the salteña but it is fried instead of baked. It isn’t as juicy doesn’t include all the juiciness and isn’t sweet.

This popular Bolivian street food can be found throughout La Paz. Tucumanas are normally offered as chicken, meat, or veggie. You can find them at the Mercado Lanza for only 2 Bolivianos or about 25 cents a pop. Can’t beat a deal like that!

7. Sandwich de Chola

Sandwhich de chola some of the best street food in Bolivia
Photo credit Caleidoscopic

The sandwich de chola is another specialty in the street food of La Paz. A piece of pork brined, seasoned and roasted is served up on a sandwich topped with lettuce, tomato, pickled veggies and mustard/mayonnaise. Named after the indigenous women, the cholitas, who originally prepared the sandwich, this is definitely something not to miss.

8. Trucha Frita

Trout grows wild in the rivers and lakes of Bolivia and is also a popular farmed fish. In these regions, and especially on the shores of Lake Titicaca, trucha frita is a common and tasty dish of fried whole trout. Trucha frita can be sampled at the small whole in the wall restaurants in the center of Copacabana.

9. Ispi

Another popular dish prepared from freshwater fish is fried ispi. Orestias ispi are the small fish found in Lake Titicaca. Similar to the small fried whitebait of the Mediterranian, these tiny fish make for a moreish snack. Make sure you try some ispi in Copacabana.

10. Popcorn

You might be surprised to hear that pop-corn is one of the best street foods in Bolivia. Lightly salted and popped to perfection this popular Bolivian snack is widely available and is particularly popular La Paz. Enjoy a bag of freshly popped popcorn while roaming the streets of La Paz for as little as 2 Bolivianos.

11. Jugos

Fruit stall market in Peru
Fresh Fruit Juice

Hot from walking and thirsty from snacking? Grab a fresh fruit juice from the many stalls on street corners or in the markets likeLanza Market in La Paz.

12. Antichucos

Antichucos are skewered meat, often beef heart, cooked over a charcoal grill on. Originating on the street corners of Peru. Antiochucos have become popular accross South American and Bolivia is no exception.

13. Papas Rellenas

Papas Rellanas, a popular Bolivian street food
Papas Rellanas, a popular Bolivian street food

If you’re not quite sold on the beef hearts then the papa rellena may be an alternative street snack for you.

Potato stuffed with vegetables, herbs and sometimes meat, it is deep-fried and served piping hot from street corners all over Bolivia, (and many other South American countries).

If you are craving something deep-fried, you are sure to love this tasty street food.

14. Humitas

Bolivia’s answer to the tamale is these corn cakes are made from ground corn, onion, garlic, cheese, eggs, and cream and steamed in corn husks. They can be savory and spiced or sweet and flavored with raisins.

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These were some of our favorite street food in Bolivia. What’s yours? Let us know in the comments below!

Looking for a great sit-down meal in La Paz? Check out our article on Mi Chola for one of the least expensive, fine dining, tasting menus around.

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