Tayua and Nekal Deli
Fresh Food from the Garden
By: Nanelle Newbom
Photos: Nanelle Newbom
Nestled in the beautiful mountains on the Ruta de las Flores are several colorful and flavorful towns, one of which is Concepcion de Ataco. The town features a few nice restaurants, as well as a food festival in the main plaza every weekend. Tayua, a gorgeous restaurant with attached deli shop, is located two blocks from the main square and is a must-visit for any foodie.
Tayua is designed around its own organic garden where vegetables and herbs can be seen growing or drying in the sun. You can see and taste the difference in the fresh ingredients that go into each recipe creating a more flavorful and fresh meal than you can get in the square.
The menu at Tayua is simple, like a sidewalk bistro and deli, but what sets it apart are the fresh ingredients and the attention to detail in the preparation. I enjoyed a very flavorful fresh tomato soup which blended perfectly with the melting chunks of added cheese. We shared crunchy Tostinis piled high with quality vegetables and cheeses.
Ham in El Salvador is often over-processed, but somehow Tayua has managed to find quality ham for its pizzas. Tayua is also one of the few restaurants you’ll find in the country that doesn’t use Kraft singles as their cheese of choice. They have a great understanding of quality throughout their menu. There is a huge difference between good cheese and bad cheese, ripe vegetables and bland ones and with a good understanding of this, there is no need for a crazy menu. Tayua keeps it simple with fresh and flavorful ingredients.
Dont forget to stop at the attached deli shop in front (seperately named Nekal) to take home herbs, cheese, cured meats and freshly baked bread. Prices on the menu range from $4.50-$12.50, so you can afford a glass of wine or a local craft beer to go with your meal, even if you plan to make a sweep through the neighboring shops.
Getting there: Concepcion de Ataco is located on the Ruta de las Flores, just northwest of Sonsonate, between the towns of Apaneca and Ahuachapan. Tayua restaurant is located on the second block Northeast of the Central Plaza in Ataco.
Hours of Operation: Friday – Sunday from 6:00 pm to 11:00 PM (call ahead to confirm, hours change at will sometimes!)
Phone: (503) 2450-5755