I like to discover a city by its sweets. Ice cream- naturally- is the place to begin. In Antigua, a ladder propped against a blue-ish wall on 3rd avenida norte marks the spot of Guatemala’s most charming and delicious home made ice cream: La Tienda de Dona Gavi.
Two open shutters- Gavi’s door- display a list of exotic sounding words names of her famous ice cream flavors. This was my first lesson in spanish- the delightful, twisting names of exotic fruits and vegetables: zanahoria. mania. remolacha. mamey. Camote-jocote-guicoy
Entering into the tienda feels like crossing from the wardrobe into Narnia: Unassuming on the outside, magical on the inside. Gavi has curated/created a space that feels more like a dimly lit apothecary or a speakeasy. Magic, nostalgia, candles and dried herbs linger in the air. It is unusual and delightful to indulge in seriously, delicious ice cream in such a setting. Take a seat on one of the wooden stools and let your eyes wander over the bottles, potions, lotions, oils, spices and syrups that fill the store. Eye candy exists in every corner.
Perhaps you´ll meet Gavi behind the counter, darting around like a butterfly. If not, photos of her in her tienda through the years can be found on the wall.
Don’t bother with other ice cream, this is undeniably the best in town.
La Tienda de Dona Gavi, 3rd Avenida Norte #2 Antigua, Guatemala, 11:30 am- 6:30 PM