Nicaraguan growers have been producing quality coffee since the 1850s, so it was only a matter of time before specialist coffee shops serving local beans started to open in San Juan del Sur.
So whether you’re a long time resident, interested in relocating to San Juan del Sur or planning a visit, I give you 6 great spots to get your caffeine fix (plus a bonus spot). And best of all, San Juan del Sur is still a chain free zone.
1. Barrio Café – Even though the focus is not just on coffee, the Barrio Café baristas still serve a quality cappuccino. Each cup of jaza is uniquely decorated and topped off with milk foam art. The caffeinated patrons mix with people snacking on burgers and wraps or sipping ice cold Toñas at the bar. The beans are from high altitude farms in Matagalpa.
2. Café Mediterráneo – The ice-cold lattes served from this tiny, Italian owned café across from the market tick all our boxes. The coffee is creamy smooth with no bitterness and the service is quick. While writing the Insider Guide to San Juan del Sur we crisscrossed the streets of downtown and ordered to-go lattes from here each time we passed. If you have time, stay for the food. It’s also excellent, with some very original plates.
3. El Gato Negro – Coffee and books are such natural bedfellows, it’s no wonder that El Gato Negro has been such a hit in San Juan ever since it first opened its doors in 2005. The small batch coffee beans come from their own farm and from friend’s farms and are roasted every 2 days.
4. Café Revolución – Perch on one of the stools facing Playa Maderas and sip on a perfect latte while you check out San Juan del Sur’s most popular break. Sometimes in return for a great surf break you accept you’ll need to sacrifice some home comforts, like good specialty coffee drink options. But not here.
5. Vintage Restaurant in Hotel Victoriano – Come here for excellent specialty coffees. A hotel and restaurant, not just a coffee shop, but this iconic landmark was once Somoza’s beachfront escape and also visited by Mark Twain during his Transit Route. The java is delicious and you can’t beat the view of the bay directly across the street. Be sure to grab a seat with an ocean view and stroll through the photo gallery explaining its history.
6. San Juan Surf Crêpes and Coffee – Serving gourmet crêpes and coffee. Yes, a timeless taste of France has landed right in the heart of San Juan del Sur. Crêpes are delicious paired with a rich cup of coffee. Stop by, order to go or have it delivered.
7. Bonus spot – If you want to pull your own expresso shot, fill a french press or load up the drip coffee maker, we recommend the organic coffee from Finca El Petén. The beans are sold at La Nica Orgánica a farm store located on the side of the main road into town at the entrance Finca Las Nubes.
We’ve plotted all 6, plus the bonus spot, on a map: