Breakfast for me tends to be a cup of coffee chased by another cup of coffee. But I do love my French Toast, my salmon benedict, my quesito (a flaky pastry filled with sweet cheese), and my mallorca (a buttery breakfast toasted bun dusted with sugar).
And when I'm in San Juan, I know just where to go to get all that, and a lot more. When I want breakfast, I check in at these restaurants. With one exception, I'm skipping the hotel restaurants, because I figured most people looking for a place to eat in the morning will have already left their hotel.
Located on 401 San Francisco Street just off Plaza Colón, Caficultura fills a much-needed void in the old city. The restaurant caters to those of us who love hanging out with our laptops, free wi-fi, and a great cup of coffee. A terrific breakfast menu doesn't hurt either, from delicious open-faced sandwiches on rustic toast to the scrumptious coconut French toast, pictured above.
2. Rick's Cafe
Located in the lobby of the elegant throwback Casablanca Hotel, Rick's Cafe welcomes guests and outsiders for gourmet breakfasts that rank among my favorite ways to start the day in all of Puerto Rico. Whenever I have to struggle between crepes with nutella, poached eggs with organic spinach and blue cheese, and eggs benedict with salmon (my eventual choice), it's a good thing.
There are plenty of panaderías in San Juan, many of them hallowed ground for locals. But Kasalta is the most easily accessible in the city, and for many, it holds its own quite well. From 6 am, come here for the wide variety of pastries, a strong cup of coffee, and toasted breakfast sandwiches.