Restaurants in San Juan del Sur

Your eating life in San Juan del Sur will quickly fall into an agreeable rhythm. Breakfast could start under an open air rancho, in an all-day breakfast spot on the sand, or street-style in the market - with huge fruit platters, gallo pinto (rice and beans) huevos rancheros (eggs with tomato salsa, tortillas and sour cream) and perhaps even a nacatamal (Nicaragua's version of the tamale).

Then at lunch you may find yourself using the one Spanish word that you need to know in order to dine well in San Juan del Sur: mariscos (seafood). Most of the fish is caught directly off shore and served with a refreshing simplicity - local chefs not feeling the need to add any cliched MasterChef flourishes.

As the shadows start to lengthen, happy hour spots open to showcase the giant sunsets San Juan del Sur is so famous for. Do as the locals do and order a bottle of Flor de Caña rum, a bucket of ice, a bottle of Coke and a dish of limes. Then it's time to choose between the variety of dinning spots dotted around town and along the beachside malecón. Or just stay where you are and ask to see the menu.

Take a look at some of the restaurants, cafes and bars you can enjoy in San Juan del Sur.

Pan de Vida: Raising the Bread Bar in San Juan del Sur

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I find it hard to imagine my eating life in San Juan del Sur without Pan de Vida. The artisan bakery opened its doors in 2008 and has been turning out gorgeous breads, cookies and cakes ever since. They also run a popular line in briny rosemary focaccias (especially delicious in my view), chewy sourdough breads, plump cinnamon raisin loaves and gutsy coffee cakes.

How did we manage without it? The answer: A four hour round trip to La Colonia supermarket in Managua. Before Pan de Vida, if you lived in San Juan del Sur, that was the only way to get good quality bread.

Now all we have to do is follow the enticing scent of fresh baked bread into downtown San Juan del Sur, push open the swing doors and choose between the loaves piled high on wooden tables or arranged in wicker baskets in an antique cupboard. Even if a loaf is the only thing on your list, you’ll probably walk away with something else bought on impulse – a chocolate chip cookie maybe, perhaps cornbread or a couple of slices of carrot cake, lovingly wrapped in brown paper.

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Mi Bodeguita Delicatessen: A Foodie’s Delight

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It was bound to happen given San Juan del Sur’s evolution from sleeping fishing village to desirable destination. But every time I walk into Mi Bodeguita Delicatessen I’m thankful that it’s here.

Quick and easy comfort food, imported meats and cheese with a Mediterranean bias and a collection of edible exotica. There’s room in this short life for all of it.

Craving manchego cheese direct from La Mancha or a few slices of proscuito crudo? This is the place to visit. Love gourmet sausages, chorizo, pate, olives? Mi Bodeguita has you covered. And if you want to pack the perfect picnic, this tiny deli has enough to hit your palate’s sweet spots.

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Wrap n Roll: Prepared Just For You

Wrap N Roll

The doors at Wrap n Roll open at 11.00AM each day, and from then on the wraps keep rolling out the door. Whenever you arrive the wraps are freshly prepared right in front of you.

Located in an unassuming building 15 mts north of Casa Oro, Wrap n Roll is the perfect place to soak up San Juan del Sur’s casual vibe. It may serve the wraps quickly but Wrap n Roll is no ordinary fast-food joint.

If you find Kenny Nakai, the owner, perched on one of the high stools be sure to say hello.

We like all of the wraps, quesadillas and noodle bowls on offer. They’re all tasty, cheap and authentic and there’s something for everyone on the menu. But if we had to choose, these three would be at the top of our list:

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Bambu Beach: Great Food, Relaxed Yet Elegant

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When Bambu Beach first opened its doors, it was the only dining spot on the beach that could be described as having a modern vibe – chic even.

Since then the choice of beachfront restaurants has broadened considerably but Bambu Beach with its polished bamboo dividers, cool swimming pool, and attractive high tables still retains a forward looking feel.

But perhaps more important, the food never disappoints.  Its fusion menu pulls in influences from the Mediterranean, Asia and Mexico and the chalked up list of daily specials offers more of a sense of place with local seafood dishes prominent. There’s something to suit every lunch and dinner palate — and with a gorgeous presentation to boot. On any given day you could find Orange Chili Mackerel, Lobster in Garlic Sauce, Fettuccine with Shrimp, a mixed Seafood Grill or even New York Steak on the specials list.

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