The 3 Best Coffee Shops in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
1. Barrio Cafe
Smack dab in the middle of town you will find this friendly spot open from very early to very late. They serve coffees, breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and yummy Nutella drinks. What I really love is the ambience here, some saucy jazz music on in the background + great seating options. You have your typical tables to choose from in the back, a bar overlooking the town that you can comfortably sit at solo or couches sunken down upon entry into the cafe.
They have pretty good wifi, sometimes the wifi works best at the tables rather than the perimeter of the restaurant. Just like any wifi somedays its better than others. The other thing to I loved about Barrio is that they have a generator!!!! For me, it was a miracle as I run my business mostly from my laptop. No electricity, no wifi, no business for me. Barrio was an oasis in the desert because of this reason. Bring money here (all 3 cafes here run on American prices, no joke)
2. El Gato Negro
This cafe is just one block inland from the Iguana and down the street from Barrio Cafe.
It is the quintessential coffee shop and for this I love it! For those of you who remember watching the show, Friends. This is Nicaragua’s “Central Perk”, great ambience, indoor/outdoor seating, tables, couches, pillows on the floor to sit on and of course a bar to pull a stool up to. You’ll always see someone you know here (think Cheers) and if you don’t know anyone, its a perfect place to meet your next pal/wingman/wingwoman/expat and total insider scoop.
I think what makes it super cozy are the books that are stacked floor to ceiling surrounding the cafe. Super cozy. Now, if you are a digital nomad like myself, your life depends on wifi (not just liking stuff on Facebook contrary to what the menu states about customers wifi usage) . . . I believe they share wifi with a couple other businesses. It is the least dependable wifi I found in the entire town. Super frustrating, especially after I would place an order for coffee and food and then I would sit there getting nothing accomplished for my business. It sucked for me! The silver lining, the food, smoothies, and coffee are delicious. Maybe even divine.
3. Mediterraneo Cafe
First things first . . . . the best damn cup of coffee in the city. Let me repeat. If you are desperate for a real cup of coffee, this is the only place in town that you will get it. You’ll pay about $2 for it plus an additional $2 for every refill. But, I’m a girl who not only appreciates a good cup of coffee but I also need a good cup of coffee.
It should come as no surprise that you will find a lovely Italian couple behind these culinary treasures.
You can order breakfast, lunch or dinner (they are open from 8 – 5, closed on Monday, they might be closed on Sunday too . . . can’t remember).
Here are a few of their treats:
How to find this diamond in the rough? Go one block inland from Barrio Cafe towards the market.
At the intersection, go left. It will be about 20 seconds away on the left side almost across from the market. Try everything there, especially their yummy lunches and desserts. Its run by a sweet couple who have put their heart into it =)
P.S. Wanna bring some Nutella with you, go here
P.P.S. Get your scoop of chocolate here
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P.P.P.S. If you are in San Juan del Sur looking for just coffee (and cheap coffee) then go to the market at the center of town. You can get a coffee to go with milk (cafe a llevar) for about 15 – 20 cordobas ($1). And Americans, note that there is really not such a thing as coffee with half & half when traveling to most places abroad, for me, I just order Un cafe negro con leche separado (Plain coffee with milk to add in separately). Its the closest to how I drink it back home. You can find your dollar stretch here which is why I wrote this article on retirement in Nicaragua