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16 Traditional Salvadoran Foods

By | Last Updated: 13th January 2024

Amidst the extravagant Central American palettes, the cuisine of El Salvador is unique in the way it has accepted unmistakable influences from the Spanish and Native American cuisines as well as the domestic Lenca, Maya and Pipil traditions. Maize, corn, and flour are the main carbohydrates; while an extensive array of meat like beef, pork, chicken, and seafood are also consumed.

Images of Salvadoran Food

1. Pupusas – The Salvadorian national dish

Pupusas Images


What is it: Hand-made corn tortillas stuffed with various fillings such as beans, loroco (a local edible flower), pork and cheese. It is topped with homemade tomato sauce and served with sour cabbage salad.

What does it taste like: The corn dough has a slight sweet taste which is balanced by the pork or the cheese filling that adds a meaty aroma.

2. Sopa de Pata – A popular soup

Sopa de pata Pictures


What is it: This traditional soup is made from tripe, cow’s feet, yuca, corn, plantains, beans tomatoes, and cabbage cooked with lemon juice and cilantro.

What does it taste like: A heart dish which is a treat for tripe lovers as the vegetables and lemon juice adds the perfect zest to this lunch meal.

3. Tamales – An authentic Salvadoran food

Tamales Photos


What is it: Corn dough pockets that are served with different fillings like sweet corn, cheese, meat or dried fruits. These are wrapped in banana leaves and steamed.

What does it taste like: Mostly depends on the filling as the spicy meat filling can be super savory, the cheese mixture can give a creamy texture, and sweet corn and dried fruit fillings make sinful desserts.

4. Pasteles – Their patties

Pasteles Picture


What is it: Fried dough patties filled with meat like chicken, pork or beef and finely chopped vegetables.

What does it taste like: A bite will lead you through the crusty top to the delicately cooked filling that is a havoc of native spices.

5. Panes Rellenos – El Salvador’s sandwich

Pictures of Panes Rellenos


What is it: A submarine sandwich containing either chicken or turkey that is roasted with pipil spices and served with tomatoes, cucumbers or lettuce.

What does it taste like: A popular finger food, this dish has fulfilling yet light and complemented with tender cooked meat.

6. Yuca Frita – French fries from El Salvador

Images of Yuca frita


What is it: This side dish is made by cutting the starchy cassava into wedge-like shapes and then frying them.

What does it taste like: It has a firm, chewy texture and a light sweet grainy taste.

7. Pan Con Chumpe – A typical Salvadoran sandwich

Photos of Pan con chumpe


What is it: A spicy sandwich which is made by baking and marinating a turkey in a unique tomato sauce. It is garnished with cucumber, radish, and watercress.

What does it taste like: The turkey melts into your mouth as you bite into this healthy snack. Savory would be an understatement!

8. Empanadas de Leche – The sweet breakfast

Picture of Empanadas de leche


What is it: Ground plantain is shaped into small oval balls and stuffed with vanilla custard. While serving, sugar is sprinkled on top.

What does it taste like: It has a heavenly taste and can be enjoyed as a morning meal or just about any time.

9. Quesadilla Salvadorena – The traditional coffee cake

Image of Quesadilla Salvadorena


What is it: It is a delicious dessert cake made with queso fresco cheese, butter, eggs, milk, and flour.

What does it taste like: With a texture and flavor like the pound cake, this morning snack has an aroma and flavor that will make all you senses come alive.

10. Ensalada – El Salvador’s authentic drink

Images of Ensalada


What is it: This is a fruit drink which is made with chopped fruits like fresh pineapple, mango, orange and mixed with pineapple juice, lemon juice, and water.

What does it taste like: A refreshing drink in which the finely chopped fruits tease your taste buds as the mixed juice soothes your mind.

11. Yuca con Chicharron – A favorite appetizer

Picture of Yuca con Chicharron


What is it: Imagine fried pork served along with delicately fried cassava roots (yuca), seasoned with lemons and served with the sour salad, curtido.

What does it taste like: The cushy texture of the yuca complements the mild coarseness of the fried pork. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice and you’ll never be able to forget this dish!

12. Sopa de Pescado – The Good Friday soup

Image of Sopa de Pescado


What is it: Savored during Good Friday, this soup is made with fish or any other seafood cooked with tomatoes, green peppers, cumin, corn flour and achiote.

What does it taste like:  A fulfilling soup that has a spicy flavor and can be consumed during lunch or dinner.

13. Sopa de Res – An authentic lunch soup

Photos of Sopa de Res


What is it: A soup for all seasons which is made by cooking large chunks of beef with corn, carrot, cabbage, and zucchini.

What does it taste like: It has a thick, wholesome soup that is often consumed with a serving of white rice.The rawness of the vegetables perfectly blends with the aroma of the beef.

14. Platanos con Crema y Frijoles – A typical Salvadoran breakfast

Platanos con crema y frijoles Pictures


What is it: This is a typical Salvadoran weekend breakfast that consists of pan-fried plantains and ground beans served with sour cream. If you order scrambled eggs and tortillas with it, you are having another dish called plato tipico.

What does it taste like: The plantains are sweet while the beans are cooked with a spicy extravagance; dip this fantastic combination in the sour cream and you’ll be licking your fingers!

15. Sopa de Siete Mares

Sopa de Siete Mares Images


What is it: A perfect seafood soup that can be made with fish, crab, squid, clams, lobster, shrimp and  lots of vegetables like tomatoes, onion and cilantro.

What does it taste like: It is a sumptuous and wholehearted soup. If you love a little tang, squeeze some lemons on it.

16. Tres Leches Cake – Three-milk dessert

Tres Leches Cake Images


What is it: A traditional cake that is made with three types of milk- condensed milk, evaporated milk, cream or whole milk and served cold.

What does it taste like: A dense, layered and spongy cake with the whipped cream on top sealing the sinful deal!

El Salvador, in spite of being one of the smallest countries of Central America, is one that is densely populated, having a cuisine that is as variegated as extravagant. We loved these foods from the Native American country, you are free to disagree and explore more options!

46 thoughts on “16 Traditional Salvadoran Foods

  1. RHETT NAGEL says:

    i really enjoyed the three milk cake.

    1. JOSHUA OSBORNE says:

      I disagree in fact that killed my mother when i was five and now that you say that i hope you die too.

      1. RHETT NAGEL says:

        I believe that you should not bring the death of your mother into the matter. You’re just mad you have only ever had two milk cake. dummy.

        1. JOSHUA OSBORNE says:

          I actually hate you right now i have had 4 milk cake you hoe. I know more than you ever will you frickin gargoyle. Lookin like Andon sourcrout.

          1. RHETT NAGEL says:

            You sound unemployed and probably look like Kevin Bacon. shush up please.

          2. JOSHUA OSBORNE says:

            My uncle is actually Kevin bacon. Im also related to Jevin Bacon who has the smallest penis in the world so eat my chickenjizz.

          3. RHETT NAGEL says:

            I respect you

          4. JOSHUA OSBORNE says:


          5. RHETT NAGEL says:

            Now I don’t respect you

          6. JOSHUA OSBORNE says:

            Fuqq you you pigjizz loving whorey

          7. RHETT NAGEL says:

            Dont talk to me that way you jizzex

          8. JOSHUA OSBORNE says:

            I am sure that you eat you’re jizz and also put it in your soup for your children to eat so you can be like Bill Cosby and make them eat your body fluids.

          9. JOSHUA OSBORNE says:

            Im also sure that you eat booty

          10. Kamilah Palacios says:

            eat me pls

          11. RHETT NAGEL says:

            You’re not wrong however semen just so happens to be high in Vitamin C so at least I am feeding them something good for them. I bet you rape your children so get out of here.

          12. JOSHUA OSBORNE says:

            Im sure that you lace your childrens lunches with roofies so that you can eat their booties while they are asleep

          13. RHETT NAGEL says:

            I don’t do it with roofies you idiot. We all know edibles are the best alternative. Roofies are so hard to get these days. Besides I bet you eat their booties while they’re not asleep.

          14. JOSHUA OSBORNE says:

            So you are saying that you give them edibles and then you eat their butts?

          15. RHETT NAGEL says:

            Yes exactly.

          16. RHETT NAGEL says:

            Wait no

          17. JENEVIEE MUNOZ says:

            El sallvador food is so famous

          18. RHETT NAGEL says:

            I eat their butts then give them edibles

          19. JOSHUA OSBORNE says:

            Oh I see that is very understandable

          20. RHETT NAGEL says:

            Sure is. Where you from?

          21. JOSHUA OSBORNE says:

            Braunau am Inn, Austria is where i was born but I then moved to Shelburne, Massachusetts

          22. RHETT NAGEL says:

            Oh cool. Im from Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu, New Zealand. I then moved to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

          23. JOSHUA OSBORNE says:

            Oh wow ive been there. I heard its the butt eating capital of the world

          24. RHETT NAGEL says:

            It sure is. You go down to your local bakery and you’ve got at least 3 young Japanese women wanting you to eat their butt.

          25. JOSHUA OSBORNE says:

            My favorite human being is from Riyadh. His name is Osama

          26. RHETT NAGEL says:

            Osama Hitler? I love that guy.

          27. JOSHUA OSBORNE says:

            No silly Obama Bin Laden you know the guy that accidentally flew into the building

          28. JOSHUA OSBORNE says:

            But guess what i knew a guy named adolf with the last name hitler he was a cool guy who wasnt liked by the jewish people for some strange reason

          29. Owen Kenney says:

            I agree

          30. RHETT NAGEL says:

            Ohhhhh that guy. Yeah I don’t know what he was thinking flying too low he should have known that those buildings are tall. Silly guy.

          31. JOSHUA OSBORNE says:

            Yeah hes a special one he is

          32. RHETT NAGEL says:

            Yeah just like you

          33. JOSHUA OSBORNE says:

            Fark you child butt eatin lookin asss

          34. RHETT NAGEL says:

            Im sorry I’m this way Joshua. ;( I cant help it. Im attracted to them.

          35. JOSHUA OSBORNE says:

            Words of a true pedophile

          36. RHETT NAGEL says:

            You’re just mad you’ve never pretended to be a 16 year old boy named Todd just so you can get with a 9 year old named Samantha.

          37. JOSHUA OSBORNE says:

            No but i have pretended that i was i 87 year old female so i could be with a 98 year old dying man

          38. RHETT NAGEL says:

            Oh sorry did I say 16 year old boy? I meant 54.

          39. JOSHUA OSBORNE says:

            We should meet up sometime.;)

          40. RHETT NAGEL says:


          41. Bailey Logan says:

            Okay, that is enough you are over reacting this is their opinion don’t go shoving yours into theirs. And there is no need for rude remarks i am 16 and i am acting more mature than you.

      2. Owen Kenney says:

        Good maybe if she didn’t have diabetes she could handle a milk cake

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