We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Fresh roasted” 5 of 5 stars
Review of El Gato Negro

El Gato Negro
Calle del Tropezon at the intersection of Avenida Central, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
+505 8819 7093
Website
Improve this listing
Cuisines: Coffee Shop, Vegan, Vegetarian, Café
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch
Description: El Gato Negro is a Bookstore/Coffeehouse providing locals and travelers a comfortable place to enjoy whole foods, interesting conversation, amazing coffee, the best selection of books in Central America, and an ambiance which will make you forget that you have spent four hours with us.We source organic and whole foods locally and import what we cannot find here. Our friends are our bakers, yogurt makers, lettuce growers, bee keepers, coconut oil pressers...... We offer an experience unique in Central America.
Bemidji
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Fresh roasted”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

I am in the coffee business so feel qualified to comment. Very good coffee and breakfast. Owner spent 10 minutes visiting with me and answering questions. Staff helped me get a ride to my hotel. Feels very open.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

273 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    120
    84
    42
    16
    11
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Looks really cute but wasn't what we'd hoped.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013 via mobile

Tried this spot twice to be fair. Pro's: As a coffee shop it scores. Coffee & Latte were top notch. We bought a total of 3 books from here so it was good to have a place to buy books. Really liked the MSG and Superfood notes.
Cons: Shouldn't have read the FAQ. They must have had bad experiences with tourists here. Not sure if they realize how condescending some of it is? A combination of the FAQ and the staff made us feel super unwelcome. In it, the owner openly criticizes many natural actions that would make one feel any sort of cozy in a space, basically telling us not to feel at home since we are clearly not. Dare to ask for wifi or use it at all because that would make us bad people. "Go elsewhere" is a strong theme. We were approached twice *while sitting waiting for our food orders* in an accusational manner with the books WE BOUGHT THERE and had to explain that yes, they were ours. We were watched to make sure we weren't reading too many pages before buying, then in case you began enjoying your browsing process, when you glance up there are little signs everywhere. Service was blah and the girls seemed irritated to be there. No warmth or smiles. A more positive vibe all around could do well here.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“A real sweat-fest!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2013 via mobile

Due to the lack of air circulation, it was difficult to enjoy our Greek yogurt or tasty blueberry banana pancakes. They were fully aware of the oven-like atmosphere, so they had 4 fans on the ground and 4 ceiling fans. The sweat initially dripped into my eyes, but after getting beside two fans, it eventually subsided.

The food wasn't bad, but it was by far the most expensive breakfast we had in our entire trip. I wonder why we don't support the Nicas more. This was just another overpriced foreign owned restaurant catering to the foreign tourists.

Another annoying thing here is the restaurant allowed a dozen people to come into the restaurant and try to sell us things while we ate breakfast.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“American prices in Nicaragua.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2013

We had one breakfast here while staying in the area and it was the most expensive breakfast we had in Central America! The sandwiches were certainly very good however the prices were way out of line with the rest of Nicaragua. I also didn't appreciate the waitress constantly wiping the table around me despite the fact that I was still eating. A highly overrated establishment.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NicaExpat, Owner at El Gato Negro, responded to this review, August 26, 2013
Thank you for your recent review of our coffeeshop/bookstore. I am happy that you enjoyed our good offerings of fresh, organic, whole foods, and organic coffee from our farm, roasted on premises. We have worked diligently to create a responsible and sustainable business, which creates jobs and opportunities for local food producers.. However, it is necessary to import items from the USA or Europe, therefore the prices are somewhat the same as in those regions. You can eat rice and beans for breakfast for $2.50 in our little town, or you can eat an imported bagel, imported Canadian bacon, imported Italian cheese, radioactive-free Chilean salmon, homemade bread, homemade yogurt, homemade bacon, homemade sauerkraut, etc.... You chose the latter and enjoyed it.

Thank you for your review.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Went there everyday”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2013

This is a cute, little cafe where all the non Nica's had coffee and breakfast. The owner is an expat and very knowledgable about the area. Highly recommend this place. We had the banana raita everyday!

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed El Gato Negro also viewed

San Juan del Sur, Rivas Department
San Juan del Sur, Rivas Department
 
San Juan del Sur, Rivas Department
San Juan del Sur, Rivas Department
 

Been to El Gato Negro? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage El Gato Negro, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.