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“I'll never forgive...” 2 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
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Cuisines: Coffee Shop, Coffee Shop, Vegetarian, Vegan
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast
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.
Altagracia
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“I'll never forgive...”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

I'll never forgive them for charging me 35 cordobas for a very ordinary cup of coffee. My own fault, because they hadn't posted the prices, and I had foolishly assumed it would be around 5 cordobas, as it was elsewhere, and I didn't ask before ordering the coffee. This was five years ago, I was back there a week ago and they still were not posting the price of their coffee.
The bookstore is excellent. I haven't found anything like it outside of Managua. Unfortunately it is being treated by patrons as a library, and I noticed "new" books that were dog-eared.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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, September 7, 2013
Thanks for your recent review of my business. I am sorry that you felt the value was not up to your expectations. Regarding your issues with the price of our coffee, we began charging 25 Cordobas 8 years ago ($1.72 for an unlimited cup). Today we charge 40 Corbobas ($1.60 for an unlimited cup). Our prices are listed in our menu and you can ask for the price before you buy.

I am not aware of any business in this hemisphere offering a cup of coffee for 5 Cordobas (20 Cents US), and certainly not for organic shade grown Arabica coffee grown on our farm, at altitude, hand processed, and roasted in our coffee shop in our own roasting machine.

I suggest you search out other outlets to satisfy your quality and price needs. It would seem that instant coffee would meet those needs.

Thanks
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326 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
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.
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

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
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
31 helpful votes 31 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.
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