ASUNCIÓN: EAT AND DRINK WITH THREE (WISE) LOCAL MEN
Asunción is a cradle of great people. So what else could I do before leaving this city than introduce three great places I’ve been to with three great locals (yes, I know it looks funny, but the fact that they’re all men is a mere coincidence!). I’ve been here for almost three weeks now, because I just couldn’t leave the place behind so easily (if there only was a rock to climb on right here in Asunción, I’d probably never leave…), but finally I feel like I’ve discovered enough to satisfy my soul and cycle on. Before I do that, however, here are my favorite places to eat and drink in Asunción! I’m sure all the asuncenos already know at least one or two of them, but hopefully there’s still something new even for the locals.
Bolsi with Carlos Schauman
With its 53 years, Bolsi is one of the oldest restaurants in town. Inside, there are two ambients to choose from: the fancy, white tablecloth restaurant or the more commoner’s space with a circular bar surrounding the service area. In this restaurant, you can try such traditional dishes as the sopa paraguaya, mbeyú, chipa guazu and empanadas, or more elaborated ones such as surubí guaraní or hamburguesa vegana. I went here the first time with my couchsurfing host César, and the second time with the honorary consul of Finland, Carlos Schauman, his wife and two other Finns. Although a basic, the mini chipas were just mouthwatering.
Address: Estrella 399, Asunción
Casa Mía with Oz Montanía
This place is well hidden, but it’s a gem once should definitely look for when in Asunción. Outside, there are no signs and also inside the place is quite ripped down, but the aaaaah that food!!! It’s an all vegetarian buffet, serving everything from salads to soy dumplings, from vegetarian sushi to different casseroles. Can’t really compare with Bolsi, because tradional is traditional, but if you really want some variety when it comes to vegetarian dishes, Casa Mía is definitely the place to go to! I’m not a fan of sweet drinks with my meals, but if I was, I would’ve definitely tried out the green tea with lemon and honey that Oz was having.
Address: Presidente Franco c/ Ayolas
Rockero with César Sanchez
César’s second home, Rockero, is a cozy, large-scale bar playing…you guessed it: rock. It has a lofty feeling to it with paintings on the walls, a roof-top terrace and an indoors area continuing outside, partly under the sky, partly decked. This place also serves food, but I haven’t tried it out, so can’t say much about it (César says it’s good, though). But that’s not the point! The point is the atmosphere and the fact that here you’ll get a feeling of the city vibe I talked about in my previous post (and chances are, you’ll also get to meet César!). However, if you can’t go here personally, at least you can listen to the Rockero’s own radio channel, broadcasted daily on the internet!
Address: Manuel Dominguez 979 casi EEUU
P.S. Asunción is a a great mixture of deep-rooted traditionalism and thriving creativity. It looks historic, sounds exotic (because of the mixture of Spanish and Guaraní) and most importantly, feels authentic. This is the first time on this continent that I’ve felt the temptation to leave my bike behind and look for work. And not because of all this great male company, but because this place just really has that something! So, go and enjoy, eat and drink in Asunción!