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.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Recent Visit”
Review of El Gato Negro

El Gato Negro
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Cafe
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Kids, Families with children, Business meetings
Dining options: Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Free Wifi, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Takeout, Waitstaff
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.
Roseburg, Oregon
Level Contributor
221 reviews
110 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Recent Visit”
Reviewed March 21, 2013

Ate breakfast here several times. Always a very popular coffee house. Food and service was good. Free wifi!!

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank WorldTrvlr13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

580 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    266
    182
    74
    33
    25
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Tempe, Arizona
2 reviews
“Great coffee, books and bagels”
Reviewed March 20, 2013 via mobile

As you enter El Gato Negro, the smell of fresh roasted coffee greets you. To your left is an expanse of books that stretches from ceiling to floor, a rare treat in Nicaragua. There is a great rotating variety of interesting books.

The coffee is locally grown, some of it by the owner himself, who is a friendly fellow from the states.

Another treat is the fresh bagels that are on par with bagels I use to get as a kid in Queens, NY.

The thing I personal enjoy is the employment of local workers. I feel it gives back to the community and allows travelers an opportunity to practice their Spanish.

Don't forget to check out the back patio; the neighbors have various animals - geese, chickens and a wicked cute puppy.

All in all, a great place to recover from the previous night in San Juan del Slur

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Brett B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
1 review
“Home away from home”
Reviewed March 14, 2013

El Gato Negro was my home away from home in San Juan del Sur. It’s a charming, funky place to relax, have a bottomless cup of coffee, and find out what’s happening in town. The owners and staff are friendly and helpful, as are the locals. The book selection is fantastic, and the comfy couches encourage you to hang around longer than you planned. The coffee is freshly roasted in the store. I loved it so much that I bought a few pounds to take home to Seattle with me. The cinnamon rolls and bagels were yummy, too.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank seattle_chica_1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
29 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“I love El Gato Negro”
Reviewed March 13, 2013

This is such a cool place to grab some coffee(very good coffee too), relax, enjoy some conversation with other patrons, the owners and your friends. Yes, the owners are expats. BIg deal. They're nice people and they provide jobs to locals. No, you shouldn't put your feet on the furniture. I don't do that at Starbucks or other coffee shops in the States and I wouldn't do it at your business either. Show some manners. Staff were very friendly as we're most Nicaraguans. Just smile and say "hi", "hola", "perdon". You will usually get an equal response back.
Their coffee is great. Freshly roasted in the store. The baked goods are wonderful too. I didn't try a smoothie but they looked really good.
Nice place. Friendly. Good coffee and food. Good advice given on what to do in and around SJDS. Enjoy!

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank brandx5150
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Not all it's cracked up to be”
Reviewed March 6, 2013 via mobile

We would not recommend this cafe, particularly when there are better options in San Juan Del Sur that are locally owned (this one is owned by an American expat). Whilst the coffee menu is impressive, some of the listed options were not available when we were there, and the coffee we did have was ordinary and overpriced. The same can be said for the food. We had much better and much cheaper food pretty much anywhere else we ate. The service was very slow and sluggish and the atmosphere was disturbed by the constant rearrangement of furniture around us. We were also a little surprised when the owner was a bit too precious about our feet being too close to the table we were using.
The english book collection is extensive, but in keeping with the theme, expensive compared to what else is available.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank DamoandSas
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, March 8, 2013
I appreciate you recent review, though it is unfortunate that you were not satisfied with your experience in my business. I would like to respond to a few of the points in your review.

If you intend to only go to restaurants owned by locals, then do that. I do not hide the fact that I a foreigner in Nicaragua. If you are looking for cheaper food, then do that. We go to great lengths and expense to procure the finest, organic ingredients for our menu items, My coffee shop has a unique menu, with items not offered anywhere else in Central America, and sometimes in the entire world. Our coffee comes from our own farm and from friends farms, is organic, and roasted in small batches every 2 days.

We are having an issue with service lately, as we are packed each day. I have hired additional staff, so that should get better.

We were the first foreign book store in Nicaragua and one of the largest in Central America. Importing new books from other countries is not cheap or simple.

If I had a problem with you having your feet too close to my table, then it meant that you "had your feet ON my table".

I hope this helps clarify some of your concerns.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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
 
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?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing