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Where to eat in Antigua Guatemala : El Viejo Cafe review

After a week in Antigua Guatemala, everyone has recommendations for great breakfast places. I’ve always found that the best recommendations will come from other service providers or owners in the food business. After having a couple drinks at Kafka, I was chatting with Kevin (one of the owners) and he recommended El Viejo Cafe as one of his “go-to” places here for breakfast. I’ve been to Antigua 6 different times and I had never heard of this place. So obviously, it was high time for breakfast at El Viejo Cafe … and it didn’t not disappoint at all.

Atmosphere : El Viejo Cafe review El Viejo Cafe review 

Walking into El Viejo Cafe, one gets transported back into the sugar cane and rum making days from the early 1900’s. I was ridiculously impressed with the level of detail and sheer number of items packed into the place. It looks and feels like a place that you want to have breakfast in. Looking at the TripAdvisor review, I was stunned at the number of sub par reviews … in fact, I would be surprised at this place getting any poor reviews. Just having a coffee and reading your newspaper would be a positive experience here.

Like most great places in Antigua Guatemala, it’s completely unassuming on the outside.

The Food

The pictures will speak for themselves, but when you grow your own herbs upstairs and those are used to flavour the sauces and pizza, how can you truly go wrong?

The prices here are not the cheapest, but for the ambiance and feel, this is an excellent value in my opinion.

We ended up ordering the “Viejo Panzon”, and it definitely a great breakfast. I was completely impressed with the size of the breakfast and the fact that it comes with freshly squeezed orange juice along with a bowl of oatmeal makes it completely filling breakfast. Having freshly baked bread, fried plantains, 2 eggs, refried beans and chorizo along with the oatmeal and fresh OJ …. yeah I was completely sold on this for $8CDN or $6USD.

The music

No music was required at all, so I can’t comment on what it normally is, but I was perfectly happy with silence – there is something about actually having a conversation and enjoying your meal.

The service

The staff was excellent. They took our order promptly, food was brought promptly and my extra orders for salsa picante, two extra orders of bread and an extra side of frijoles was delivered quickly. My side requests for “sin queso, mantequilla, leche etc” wasn’t greeted with an eyeroll.

The price

This place is a good by Guatemalan standards and ridiculous deal by US or Canadian standards for what it is.. The final bill with propina was somewhere in the 129Q or $20CDN range.

The conclusion

If you’re in Antigua Guatemala and this is easily one of the best breakfast I’ve had and being in a completely unique locale is just a great bonus!

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About Rishiray

Rishi Sankar is a Cloud HRMS Project Manager/ Solution Architect. Over the past 15+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 3 major consulting firms (IBM, Deloitte, Accenture). He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at "Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at [email protected]