Rincon de Lucy, Low Price Good Eats
Everyday of the week the local iconic eatery, El Rincon de Lucy, is packed with locals and tourists alike. If you come at the busiest times you’ll have to wait for a spot. Don’t be shy about sharing a table with strangers if you see an empty chair. It’s what everyone does. And if you don’t, your wait will be more tortuous as you hungrily watch everyone else digging in.
Rincon de Lucy is open for lunch and dinner. But I can’t tell you what hours they are open since I’ve never seen anything posted. I simply come by when I’m hungry and hope for the best. But that’s easy to do since they are located only one block off the town square, down the main tourist street (Carrera 6, aka Calle Real) right on the corner of Calle 4.
Not fancy but super good
It’s clearly not big or fancy inside, but that’s not why everyone comes here. They come for the tasty food, great size portions, and super low cost. Fill yourself up for less than $3 USD.
There are no menus at all and the waiter speaks only Spanish. But even if you don’t speak Spanish, no worries. I’ve been coming here for over a year and the food is always the same. You’ll be offered a choice of meat and choice of side dish. Those options don’t change either. The only other choice is Yes or No on having the pre-meal soup. I heartily recommend it, I find it delicious. And since it doesn’t cost extra, why not?
Rincon de Lucy meal options
The waiter will first ask if you want:
- chorizo (sausage)
- trucha (fried trout)
- pollo (chicken)
Then he asks for your side dish choice:
- papas (potatoes)
- verduras (vegetables)
- frijoles (beans)
- lentejas (lentils)
He will also ask, “Sopa?” Just say yes or nod and the soup will come first. Everything else you get is part of the fixed basic plate, you just get what they serve you, that’s it! And don’t bother asking for anything else, they simply don’t have it!
My Favorite Meal
My favorite is the trucha. You’ll get half a trout, nicely fried and crisp. If you pick “verduras” for your side, it’s always the same — a spicy green bean dish. The other items that come the same for everyone are:
- a scoop of white rice
- small grated veggie salad
- a fried plantain
- an arepa
- a corn meal fritter (If you’re lucky you’ll get two fritters and no arepas — much better in my opinion!)
- sweet drink
The sweet drink is often pretty sugary so I don’t usually drink it. But it will help you wash down the meal if needed.
- If you want something else to drink with your meal (like a beer or coffee) be sure to stop somewhere else and get it before you come to Rincon de Lucy. Just bring it right in, they don’t care at all since they don’t offer such things.
- They will also bring you a little bowl of watery looking salsa with a spoon. It’s moved around and shared among patrons. It looks harmless, but in my opinion it’s SUPER hot spicy. So go easy and taste test as you go!
And finally, time to pay the tab. Just get up when you’re ready to go and walk towards the kitchen counter. The waiter will spot you and come to collect your money. A grand total of only 8,000 COP per person. At today’s exchange rate that’s less than $3.
Believe it or not, you’ll often get entertainment with your meal. The wandering musicians often stop by to serenade you. If it’s not too crowded, they’ll squeeze inside. But more often than not, they’ll hover around the open doorway. In any case, you can be sure they’ll come around for a contribution after they’ve finished.
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