Located on the corner of a busy intersection plumb in the heart of downtown, Barrio Café is where people come to eat, banter, people-watch, and then get going again. The service is efficient (even when the place is crowded), the all-day breakfast very tasty and they serve a robust espresso-style coffee (the beans come from high altitude farms in Matagalpa, a region in northern Nicaragua).
The top bar has big windows that open onto the street. Order a michelada (a salty beer prepared with lime juice, spices, salsa and peppers) and perch on one of the high seats to catch the action of San Juan del Sur’s downtown. There’s a taxi stand opposite where drivers call out for fares, chicken buses clatter past and surf shuttles load and off-load right outside. If that’s all a bit much, you can retreat to the shady back courtyard for some alone time with your gallo pinto.
When it comes to the menu, the usual suspects are all there – traditional Nicaraguan breakfasts (that’s were you’ll find the gallo pinto), pancakes, omelets, burgers, pasta and wraps – as well as the thoughtful addition of some vegetarian options. The food will come quickly to your table served by a waiter wearing a t-shirt with ‘Made in Nicaragua’ blazoned across the back. Specials include 2×1 Margaritas every day and 50% off burgers on Sundays.
Photo Credit : Justin Courter
Not only is Barrio Café pitched at the intersection but they have a steady stream of backpackers arriving from local hostels looking for some quick food. The Nicaraguan owners wisely opened a cut-price “Taco Stop” next door to meet the demand. Then in early 2013 they opened “Fries Stop” serving fries with homemade salsas to make sure they had completely cornered the corner in street food. Smart moves!
Drop by and say “Hola” some time.