Samsara’s motto (‘A place to feed your body and mind, to learn about the mystery of existence’) gives you a hint as to the type of café it is. There may be celestial posters on the walls and panpipe music playing, but the food is no-nonsense, healthy and delicious. The kale scrambled eggs with turmeric, garlic and onion with hummus, green sauce and pita bread is the perfect morning pick-me-up. The other standout is the desayuno tradicional: scrambled eggs with onion and tomato, avocado slices, mashed beans, stewed plantains and black tortillas. Gluten-free bread is also available.
In Antigua, cafes come and go, but Rainbow Café has been popular ever since its opening in 1992, and for good reason: the menu is extensive and affordable. The eggs florentine and falafel breakfasts are especially popular. There are also delicious nachos, sandwiches, salads and soups, but try to save room for one of the cafe’s signature licuado drinks. There are plenty of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options for breakfast and brunch.
Saberico is a place that’s all about the bread – and the loaves here are probably the best in the city (gluten-free options are also available). The Saberico bakery churns out baguettes, brioches, coconut bread, tacos, bagels, pretzels and more, and the sourdough bread line is truly exceptional. You can choose from traditional eggs-on-toast breakfasts, a great variety of paninis and toasties and healthier options such as soups and salads.
Café Condesa has become an Antigua institution, serving up delicious food and warm service in an attractive colonial building. Café Condesa uses only fresh, locally sourced ingredients, and the coffee beans are 100% organic. Their range of breakfasts includes many gluten-free options, and they’re especially known for their quiches (both tomato/basil and spinach are excellent). You can also enjoy homemade bread, pies, cakes, salads and soups if you don’t fancy a more traditional breakfast.
Meson Panza Verde
Meson Panza Verde is a boutique hotel that has one of the very best restaurants in Antigua. Every Sunday, it’s packed out with visitors enjoying its famous weekend brunch, which is served in the pretty inner courtyard. There are several good options, but the eggs Benedict here is considered the best in town. With a lovely setting and gentle piano music playing, its hard to beat for its relaxed and inviting ambiance.
Casa Santo Domingo
Casa Santo Domingo is a hotel located in the ruins of an old monastery, in an area that has plenty of post-brunch activities to keep you occupied (museums, chocolate factories, zip-lining and more.). The Casa Santo Domingo restaurant is popular with both locals and travellers. You can either head to the buffet area, where you can choose crepes and omelettes, or have something freshly cooked to order by the chef.
Y tu Piña Tambien
Y tu Piña Tambien is one of the most unique and fun places to enjoy breakfast in Antigua. Late-risers need not worry, as all-day breakfasts are served here. The menu is extensive, but the Mexican breakfast is best: two eggs sunny-side-up with homemade ranchero sauce and melted mozzarella on a tortilla, served with black beans and escabeche. There are also fresh organic salads, smiling staff, cool regulars and an upbeat playlist.
Mama Jojo’s Breakfast Joint
Mama Jojo’s is tiny – little more than a hole in the wall – but if you get here in time to grab a table, count yourself lucky. Run by a perpetually smiling young French Canadian woman, Mama Jojo’s is perfect if you want to start your day with a few laughs as well as a good breakfast. The breakfast burrito is delicious and the most popular item on the menu, although the pesto BLT baguette is also outstanding.
Fernando’s Kaffee is focussed on chocolate and coffee, so visitors with a passion for either should definitely pay a visit. If you’re only peckish, you can enjoy a cup of freshly roasted coffee and a heavenly homemade chocolate cookie, but if you’ve got a hearty appetite, fear not. There are plenty of filling breakfasts here, from crepes filled with scrambled eggs, beans, tomato, onion and pepper, to the Típico – two eggs, beans, fried plantain and homemade tortilla.
La Merced Food Market
For something different, make like a local and pick up some street food for lunch. Antigua has several food markets, but the best is located in the park in front of La Merced Church. The empanada stand is always popular, and a few potato empanadas in a crispy, buttery pastry, topped with guacamole, tomatoes, onion and cilantro, makes a satisfying brunch. Noodle tostadas are also a great way to fuel up for the day: large, crispy tostadas are spread with guacamole, tomato salsa, radishes, onions and a large dollop of noodles.