The Best Breakfast and Brunch Spots in Asunción, Paraguay

Start the day as you mean to go on I
Start the day as you mean to go on I | © Franklin Amorim/Flickr
Georgia Mizen

Breakfast in Paraguay might not be the biggest meal of the day – in fact, locals get by on strong coffee, a slice of bread and maybe a pastry or two. But that’s not to say there aren’t plenty of places to get your early morning fix in the capital. From Viennese-inspired pâtisseries to American-style cafés, choose from the best breakfast and brunch spots in Asunción.

1. La Vienesa

Cafe, South American

With several downtown locations, La Vienesa is a breakfast go-to in central Asunción. This Viennese-style bakery and café churns out miniature chocolate pastries, macarons, tarts and cheesecakes, alongside Mediterranean sandwiches and healthy wraps. Inside, it’s all sleek wooden surfaces and exposed brick, giving the place a decidedly northern European feel. Service can be a little slow, so stop by for a lazy brunch before a day of sightseeing – settle in with a book, a Viennese cappuccino or a classic Submarino (hot milk and a bar of chocolate to melt in) and a flaky croissant with jam.

2. El Café de Acá

Cafe, Restaurant, South American

The bright, rustic El Café de Acá tucked into Villa Morra at the heart of Asunción is one of the city’s most beloved addresses – especially when it comes to a hearty brunch. Head there before midday and take up a Paraguayan tradition with a chilled mug of tereré (a yerba mate drink) alongside all-American French toast, pancakes with a rainbow of fruit, or a cheese-stuffed omelette. For those with a sweet tooth, there’s a long list of indulgent milkshakes and hot chocolates, as well as homemade pastries with lavish amounts of dulce de leche. If the sun’s out, soak up the mid-morning rays on the garden terrace with a bracing cup of house coffee or an ultra-creamy café bombonazo – a shot of espresso topped with sweet condensed milk.

3. La Herencia Tienda Café

Cafe, South American

With its wrought iron gates, shrub-strewn deck and vintage-inspired interior, the quirky La Herencia near Avenida España is a beautiful place to while away a morning. Inside, the café is decorated with antiques, crystal chandeliers and a very French monochrome theme. Traditional Paraguayan dishes like chipá (bread made from mandioca, eggs and cheese) and mbejú (a fried patty made with mandioca flour, milk, pork fat, cheese and eggs) sit alongside Danish pastries, light sandwiches and decadent postres. Don’t skip the deliciously sweet peach juice.

4. Café Martínez

Cafe, South American

Cafe Martinez Asuncsion Paraguay Coffee
© Eduardo Pan/Flickr

Paraguay’s answer to Starbucks, Café Martínez is an international cheap and cheerful chain café that prides itself on its fantastic coffee and cheesecakes. Aside from Paraguay, in South America there are locations dotted throughout Argentina and Uruguay, with cafés coming soon in Bolivia. In Asunción, Café Martínez is cosy and casual, packed with tourists and locals for an early morning pick-me-up. If you’re after something savoury, try the hearty sandwiches and salads, though be sure to save space for the unbeatable passionfruit cheesecake.

5. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Cafe, Coffee Shop, South American

The perfect place for a speedy breakfast, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf between Recoleta and Villa Morra is a self-service coffee bar with free WiFi, great cakes and a whole lot of soul. It’s the Paraguay branch of a California classic, bringing fresh brews from all over the world to this little corner of South America. The focus is on proper coffee and loose leaf teas, though there are also ice blends, cheesecakes and bagels with a twist. Grab a panini and stick around with a good book, or get a fruity muffin and sweet tea to go.

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