A morning in San Juan

We got up this morning and decided to spend the morning in old San Juan.  Our first stop was for breakfast at La Bombonera.  La Bombonera is an old school diner.  Pastries in the window and a big griddle in the back.

Coffee machine
A huge coffee machine.  Fresh squeezed orange juice.  Decent eggs, a good cup of coffee which down here is called cafe con leche.  Black coffee served with warm milk already made for you. 

The house specialty is a soft dough, sliced in half, buttered and then pressed between a huge panini type presser and doused with powdered sugar.  It is more about the atmosphere than anything else.  A nice taste of local fare.

We strolled through the city.  Churches were having services and they all flow out into squares where people congregate.  The buildings, although most of them seriously falling apart, look beautiful as each building is a different color. 

One of the things that is unfortunate but real is that in San Juan, with all the rambling streets over looking the ocean is so quaint yet for all the beauty of the store fronts, inside the stores are the same shit you can get anywhere.  Crappy touristy t-shirts or a Sunglass hut.  Sure, there are a few local like places but they are just made for tourists.   There are huge cruise liners lined up.  The people who are on them are all walking around with stickers on their clothes.  I guess to get back on the boat or just in case they get lost?

We walked into the cigar shop, I loved how he displayed his wares on the side of the building, but inside was a mishmash of hats, cigars and trinkets.  Even the store across the way was filled with supposed Caribbean spices and bottled jars of food.  Kind of disappointing.  It has become harder and harder to go to places where the local stores have continued to exist.  There was 2 stores filled with linens which are definitely items that you won't find anywhere else but that was a rare find. 

Bird holes
After our stroll to the end of the town, to take a look at the ocean, and the millions of pigeons who have taken residence in the holes of a run-down building.  Then we grabbed a taxi back to the hotel.

More beach..

Comments (Archived):

  1. Christina Papale

    Just got back from PR last week. Was on a culinary tour of the island. (It looks like you ate powdered Mallorca rolls – YUM!) We stayed at El Convento Hotel in Old San Juan. Charmingly adorable. I agree the stores in Old San Juan are touristy and underwhelming (and most of the food we ate was also underwhelming). Went to Budatai in Condado and it was like shot-gunning a tub of molasses.Curious, did you find any other meals you LOVED?- Christina

    1. Gotham Gal

      Mallorca rolls. That’s it. Local but not that good. We walked into El Convento. Very charming. 3 weddings going on Saturday night. Unfortunately, no culinary hits. But great weather!!joanne [email protected]