The daily trip to the local panadería is about more than just buying bread: the bakery is the social hub of the neighborhood. This is where you run into friends and neighbors, catch up on the latest news, and solve the world’s problems while you enjoy a lovely cup of coffee. There are bakeries on almost every corner (and out in the middle of nowhere), so here is a list of some to try on your next vacation to Puerto Rico.
Bakery, Pastries, Dessert, Vegetarian, Fast Food, Street Food, Puerto Rican
The hardest part about going to Guarikén is getting in and out of the parking lot and finding a parking spot, because it is always crowded, and once you get inside you will understand why. They have the three traditional kinds of fresh-baked bread: pan de agua, pan de sobao, and pan de mallorca, and an assortment of pastries. They also have sandwiches and a small bodega selling a variety of convenience items such as sugar, coffee, cereal, milk and eggs.
This bakery has been open for over 40 years and is known for the bread made from their family recipe. They make pastries, hot sandwiches, rotisserie chicken, pernil, empanadas, and more. They, too, have a bodega with convenience foods and small household items.
Brazo Gitano Franco specializes in a moist cake roll in many different flavors: chocolate, strawberry, coconut, mango, cheese and guayaba, pistachio with chocolate, carrot with coconut, and so many more. They are manufactured in Mayagüez and sold in several locations throughout the island.
When you are hungry and in the Santa Isabel area, pass by those chain restaurants and head for Oasis Bakery and Café. This is a great place for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Flaky pastries, decadent cupcakes, scrumptious cookies, hot chocolate, coffee, milk, juice – they have all the food groups! They also have pastelillos, which are a lighter and flakier alternative to empanadillas.
La Ceiba has been creating bakery delights since 1962. They specialize in traditional Spanish and Creole dishes, and highlight the ingredients that they import from Spain. They have desserts and sweets as well as sandwiches, soups, and other dishes. Try the fabada, a traditional Spanish bean stew, or take some of their mouthwatering appetizers for your next party or perhaps for a day at the beach. Spending the holidays in Puerto Rico? Consider La Ceiba as providers of your entire Christmas meal.
At Cidrines you can get your traditional breads, pastries, and sandwiches, but they also have wine that you can pair with divine olives, hard cheese like manchego, and salty cured meats like Serrano ham or prosciutto. Panadería Los Cidrines is great for a simple breakfast, or romantic tapas with that special someone.
As the name implies, pastries and cakes are the specialty at Sweet Cakes, but they do not stop there. They make incredible homemade gourmet pizzas, with their own crust, of course. They regularly have a soup of the day like tomato and cheese tortellini soup, cheeseburger soup, or lasagne soup. They have salad specials that are inventive, flavorful, and healthy, and all of their menu items are reasonably priced.
Bakery, Cafe, Pastries, Dessert, Vegetarian, Fast Food, Street Food, Puerto Rican
Go to Barrancas Bakery for breakfast and try their fluffy pancakes and café con leche, then go back (or just stay!) for lunch to sample one of their many sandwich combinations and finish the meal with one of their delightful little tarts. Do a little shopping while you are there, as they also have a bodega selling the things you need. Don’t forget those polvorones to take home with you!
Cafe, Coffee, Tea , Vegetarian, Fast Food, Puerto Rican
At Panadería La Viequense you can get your daily bread and then go through the cafeteria line to get a full plate of that day’s specials, including mofongo, white rice, rice and beans, chicken, fried pork, vegetables, and salad. It’s also a wonderful way to take dinner home for the family. If you just got off the ferry and are on the way to the beach, you can load up on supplies at Viequense.
Kasalta is a sandwich shop, bakery, deli, and gourmet dining destination. Their menu covers it all. Try the Angus roast beef sandwich with arugula, tomato campari, Gruyere cheese, and Dijon mustard. Even President Obama could not resist a visit to Kasalta, where he met with local officials and spoke with businesspeople and enjoyed a Kasalta sandwich. When you visit San Juan, make sure you spend some time at this fine bakery/deli/restaurant.