The Best of San Juan Del Sur


We spent two fabulous weeks in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua with Al’s sister and her husband.  Before we went, we agreed we were not going to go back to any restaurants.  Well, that didn’t happen.  Although San Juan Del Sur has an abundance of restaurants, we did find ourselves going back to a few favourites.  We also found a number of other favourite places.

And here they are…

Coldest Beer – The Vintage Restaurant at the Victorian Inn had their beer fridge set to -6C.  Plus there is the bonus of being able to sit on their front deck and enjoy the ocean view.

Best Caesar – Not Caesar salad; the Caesar drink.  There are a lot of Canadian ex-pats in San Juan Del Sur, so several of the bars serve Caesars.  We found Dale Pues on the day they had Caesars for $2US.  Best Caesars that we had and reasonably priced!

Caesars at Dale Pues

Best Sangria —  Each glass of sangria at Parlour is made individually with great attention to detail.  It looked fabulous, and Lisa assured me it tasted fabulous. If only I could drink red wine without getting a migraine.

Best Pizza – Sauced is owned by a Canadian named Jenny from Ottawa.  She described herself as a party girl who loves pizza.  She serves likely the best thin crust pizza that we’ve ever had.  Great pizza served in a funky garden.  Delivery is available.

The Garden at Sauced

Best Wings —  Our favourite wings were at Vivian’s which is right on the beach.  They offer some wings on their small plate specials, but the best wings come from the regular menu.  Large meaty wings with sauce on the side.

Best Shrimp Ceviche – Hands down, Harry Iguanas!  Large serving with just the right amount of heat.

Best Bakery —  Fabulous bread, croissants and cinnamon rolls are the norm at Panaderia Alemana.  It’s mostly a takeout place, but there are a couple of small tables outside.

Panaderia Alemana

Best Breakfast – Rojo Loco serves a variety of breakfast items, including a Greek yogurt, fruit and granola bowl that could easily feed two.  I really enjoyed trying the fried Nica cheese – it’s a bit like Feta.  And, all with a view of the ocean!

Coffee at Rojo Loco

Best Dessert – We went to Simpleton’s Fish & Chips for the fish and fried chicken.  Fish and fried chicken were good, but the key lime square was fabulous.  They have a small courtyard behind the restaurant which is a bit nicer place to sit than in the restaurant itself.

Best Salad —  Al and I ordered the salad to share with our entrees at the Vintage Restaurant at the Victorian Inn.  Everything was very, very fresh with a really nice salad dressing.  The menu said nuts were included in the salad, but when it arrived it also had M&Ms – not a usual salad topper, but they were actually okay – I mean, who doesn’t like M&Ms.

Best View – The view from the statue that overlooks the bay is the best.  It’s almost a hundred uneven steps up the hill to the statue of Christ of the Mercy, but the view makes it all worthwhile.  There is an entrance fee to visit the statue; the price for foreigners was $2US.

View of San Juan Del Sur from Statue

Best Tour Guide – We happened upon Discover Nicaragua Travel & Tours and booked a day trip with them.  One of the owners, Luis, was our tour guide.  Excellent English and gave us a fun tour of Granada, a boat trip on Lake Nicaragua and a visit to Masaya Volcano.  We also used this company for our shuttle back into Managua at the end of our vacation.

Best Pool Area – Jenny from Sauced told us about a couple must see places and TreeCasa Resort was one of them.  They have a beautifully landscaped pool area, including a water slide, that is overlooked by a huge tree house.  The restaurant serves fabulous coconut shrimp.  Note:  TreeCasa is about 30 minutes outside of town so you’ll need a car to get there. I’d recommend a 4-wheel drive vehicle (we rented a Toyota Helix truck).

Pool Area at TreeCasa

Best Fruit and Vegetable Market – There is a small market just across and down the street from the main church in town.  It doesn’t have a name posted outside, but that is where we bought most of our fruits and vegetables.  Prices are super cheap compared to Canada.

Best Small Grocery Store – For beer, wine and staples, we found that Miscelan Sanchez was our go-to store.  Prices at the small grocery/convenience stores didn’t seem to vary much and were also in line with Pali, which is the bigger store on the way out of town.  Miscelan Sanchez was convenient during our regular wanders into the downtown area and carried most of what we needed. 

If you visit San Juan Del Sur, I’d love to hear what you think of our favourite places. Or tell me about your favourites!

Happy travels!

Vanessa

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