San Juan’s Chicest Coffee Shops

San Juan’s Chicest Coffee Shops

How do you take your coffee? Frappe, filter or infused with a lavender syrup? In San Juan, coffee connoisseurs are switching up their classic cortados with adventurous alternatives and specialised brews. Here’s our pick of the best caffeine hotspots in the city.

In partnership withThe Discover Puerto Rico logo

sweet, rich and supple. Chocolate undertones or dry,
fruity notes. A hint of almond. A touch of caramel. There’s a lot
to taste in a cup of Puerto Rican coffee.

First brought to the island by Spanish colonists in 1736, the
arabica plant has left its mark on the island, cultivating a
centuries-old love affair with a cup of the good stuff – and not
just in the morning. Today, the island’s beans are still known for
their quality and flavour, which is why they’re exported globally,
but – if you’re asking us – the best brews are found close to where
they’re grown.

In the capital, we’ve ventured from kiosk to coffee bar, through
Old San Juan’s cobbled streets to the art district of Santurce, to
find the city’s best place for a mighty good coffee.

City roast: our eight favourite San Juan coffee shops

Cafe Regina, San Juan
Entrance to Cafe Comunion

Behind the counter at Café Regina, left, and Café Comunión’s
entance. | Photo credit: Joe Howard

Café con Cé

Head to San Juan’s quirky Calle Loíza to find this small but
perfectly formed coffee spot. Its facade is decorated with street
art, but you’ll spot the inconspicuous entrance by the fairy lights
strung across the door. Pick up an espresso from the sleek silver
counter, and browse the cake for a sweet-toothed accompaniment. Our
favourite? The sticky cassava slice. Don’t miss the mini shop in
the entrance selling the kind of souvenirs we will happily splurge
our pocket money on: artworks by San Juan creatives and bottles of
island hot sauce.

1765 Calle Loíza, San Juan 00911
+1 787 294 9604

Café Comunión

Looking for San Juan’s tote-bag carrying crowd? Join the
Carhartt crew crammed on the sun-soaked bench outside this edgy
Santurce caffeine spot as they linger over an artfully espresso-d
coffees. Headed-up by two-time Puerto Rico Latte Art Champion Abner
Roldán (our hero), you can expect masterpiece morning coffees on
the counter, where Roldán and his business partner Karla Ly
Quiñones García brew up a global selection of roasts. While
regulars tend to nab the front-of-house bench early, there’s always
space in the dappled shade of the leafy terrace out back.

1616 Avenida Ponce de León, 00909 San Juan

Café Regina

The brainchild of agro-activist Kali Solack – who works to
support hurricane-affected coffee farms across Puerto Rico – this
Loíza Street café started life as a kiosk. After making a name for
itself with adventurous takes on the morning brew, a second branch
was opened in Ocean Park. Don’t expect to find a 99p filter here.
From cashew-milk iced lattes and lavender-syrup-infused cold brews
to caffeine-spiked dark n’ stormy cocktails and chocolate-milk
cortados, this is anything but a run-of-the-mill coffee spot. Our
order? The espresso tonic, a refreshing, effervescent morning

58 Calle Taft, San Juan 00911
+1 570 498 9845

A staff member pouring a coffee at Filtrado, San Juan
The counter at Comunion Coffee

The counter at Café Comunión, top left, and a Filtrado
barista | Photo credit: Joe Howard

787 Coffee

Shh New Yorkers – we know, we know. When Brandon Pena and Sam
Sepulveda purchased a run-down coffee plantation in Puerto Rico’s
cloud-tickling Maricao region, they had little idea that they’d end
up running a country-wide coffee consortium. Now, the island’s
three ‘farm-to-cup’ coffee shops (plus a fair few in New York) are
critical in supporting efforts to improve employment opportunities,
gender equality and sustainable agriculture in the coffee growing
region. Our favourite 787 branch remains the San Juan original in
Santurce. Stop in to sample award-winning, single origin coffee in
all its rich, bold and zesty brilliance. Try a coquito latte – an
eggnog-like drink that blends milk, spices and espresso – or opt
for the team’s specialty roasts that use Puerto Rican rum-infused
beans for a bold-flavoured brew.

1669 Avenida Ponce de Leon, San Juan 00909
+1 939 945 8386


Unfussed about the nuts and bolts of barista work? Follow us on
a ramble through Old San Juan’s pastel-hued streets to sample some
of the city’s best filter coffee. We never say no to a café con
leche out of a Marzocco machine but sometimes, a fix of something
smoother, stronger and suitably well-rounded is required. Filtrado
provides the goods with remarkably good speciality grade filter
coffees to go (don’t worry, they serve cortados and cappuccinos,
too). Too hot to walk and drink? Order an iced filtrado, pair it
with a cornflake cookie and duck under the living curtain of
porthos-vines to indulge in both on their shady jungle-like

200 Calle del Santo Cristo, Ste. 5 San Juan

Lela’s Eatery

A hangout for local artists and worn-out musicians seeking
morning-after-gig remedies, this Condado-district café pairs
restorative breakfast plates (think, paprika-dusted eggs benedict,
avo toast and crispy tofu bowls) with welcoming staff and a buzzy
terrace. If you’re not a leche lover, fear not: they offer oat and
almond milk coffee options for all their excellent coffees.

1950 Avenida McLeary, San Juan 00911
+1 787 229 6506

The outdoor terrace space at Lela's Eatery, San Juan
An iced coffee and a breakfast dish at Lela's Eatery

The terrace at Lela’s Eatery, and a breakfast set up at the
café. | Photo credit: Jacob Elwood

Cuatro Sombras

Wafting heady aromas down Old San Juan’s cobbled streets, this
micro-roaster and caf offers an olfactory wake-up call to the
city’s early risers. Founders Pablo Muñoz and Mariana Suárez source
beans from a farm in the historic Yauco region of the island that
Muñoz’s ancestor, Domingo Mariani, first began cultivating in 1846.
The company still uses the traditional shade-growing methods of
yore, which are considered to improve jungle biodiversity, and also
gives the coffee its distinctive rich, chocolatey flavour.

259 Calle del Recinto Sur, San Juan 00901
+1 787 724 995

The Lowdown

Find a fix for your caffeine cravings and plan a pilgraimge
around the capital’s coffee shops at

A man sits on a wall beside a Puerto Rican beach

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