Granada, Nicaragua. Reason #3! La Calzada, Ole (the boutique that benefits local women), and the ChocoMuseum…

Then there’s La Calzada– the pedestrian zone, shopping area, and main strip for restaurants.

I bought a gorgeous floral dress at Ole; coincidentally one of the Building New Hope volunteers worked there. Since I was volunteering, I got the volunteer discount (a welcome surprise!) and the profits from the sale of my dress went to the local ladies who had actually made the dress. If you have any questions about the boutique, they have an email address: olenicaragua@yahoo.com. In addition to this boutique (I went in there twice a day at least, embarrassing I know), Granada has not one but several ice cream stores (!), and as a vegetarian, I had the best eating in Granada. Everyday I had endless options and never felt limited. Garden Cafe (to the left of the Calzada) was my favorite. They even had things like hummus and veggie sandwiches. Otherwise there is an Italian place (Monna Lisa), a Mexican place, several Nicaraguan restaurants (Caye Ruby, Comidas Tipicas y Mas), and then my dinner favorite– El Tercer Ojo. I liked to get grilled vegetable skewers there and their cashew curry.

For dessert at Tercer Ojo you can get crepes with Nutella and ice cream. As I said, the eating is good in Granada. And all extremely cheap. My most expensive dinner was about 5 USD.

Now that I’m thinking about dessert, did I mention the chocolate museum on Calle Atravesada? I didn’t see it in any of the guidebooks, so I am proud to have stumbled across it myself. It is absolutely worth a visit there. There is no admission charge, and the Californian expat girl working there walks around with a plate so that you can sample the nibs. ChocoMuseo is on Facebook and you can check out their website here. P.S. There are a ton of American expats living in Granada, and they all have great lives– helping the community’s kids, animals, and serving up the chocolate! The girl working at the museum made me this amazing hot chocolate drink. I told her I liked spicy stuff so she crushed up chilis and mixed them in!

I sat and enjoyed my cup of literal hot chocolate for a while, then I took a walk through the museum’s exhibits to understand how chocolate gets processed:

It’s unassuming from the street, but now you know you’re supposed to go in.

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4 Comments on “Granada, Nicaragua. Reason #3! La Calzada, Ole (the boutique that benefits local women), and the ChocoMuseum…”

  1. Bill July 15, 2011 at 08:30 #

    I remember the area full of the locals, partying, eating and enjoying the festivities. In your picture of the “La Calzada”, its practically empty and void of people. Must have been a very warm at the time of picture. Loved the Garden Cafe. While there, we heard that the owners had thoughts of selling. Wonder if they had?

  2. Marisa LaValette July 15, 2011 at 08:47 #

    Hey Bill!
    You’re right– it must have been 100 degrees (or more) when I took those pictures in the middle of the afternoon. Also, I visited when rain season was starting (thunderstorms around dinner time). Maybe there weren’t as many visitors, I was there last week of May / first week of June. What month did you visit there?
    I didn’t hear anything about the Garden Cafe’s ownership. All I know is that it was my favorite restaurant when I was there. I hope nothing changes!

  3. Karen July 15, 2011 at 19:16 #

    Chocolat is far different in Granada and when we visited, I practically became a vegetarian as well since the choice was great and they offer a wonderful variety with every meal as a option say, instead of (fried potatoes,etc.).

    Was a very different way to eat…but their smoothies were fabulous and I think I became a convert! Love the architecture, the color, the people…a wonderful place to explore.

  4. Karen July 15, 2011 at 19:19 #

    Great pictures again, by the way!!! We were there in February…during Poets week and I highly recommend it. IT was still very hot, but lovely. Most Americans don’t go to Central America during their rainy season…:-)

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