La Universal Restaurante

Located on the corner between the two downtown plazas, La Universal Restaurant and Bar offers a very strategic position for people watching. There are tables under an awning facing the Plaza de Arms, the Government Building and the Zocolo on the side.

The food is good and is enjoyed by locals as well as tourists from around the world. Like many of the downtown restaurants, if you do not want to be bothered by the women and children selling their beads and other wares, do not sit at the edge near the sidewalk. The servers try their best to keep the vendors from entering the patio and bothering the diners, but when they get busy, you may have a few vendors approach you.

Every day for the past 40+ years, a group of expats has met at the restaurant at 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. “The Table” was founded by Korean War Hero and Purple Heart Medalist Bob Aaron, who resides over the group’s “congretating-cum-bloviating” activities as the late Tony Miller (a retired AP journalist who was a regular at the table) would say.

And, at 1 p.m. each day, a few of the members move to the “The Table” at Los Arcos Restaurant on the opposite side of the Plaza de Armas where they are joined by a new group of ex-pats. The “other” table at Los Arcos was founded by philosopher-in-residence the late Darrell Bohlsen.

The restaurant, which is one of the oldest downtown, is located on the corner of Gutenberg & Guerrero across from the Plaza de Armas.