This restaurant dates back to 1902 and offers exceptional value at affordable prices. Known for its homemade pastries and endless cups of coffee, for ... More
This restaurant dates back to 1902 and offers exceptional value at affordable prices. Known for its homemade pastries and endless cups of coffee, for decades it was a rendezvous for the island's literati and for Old San Juan families. Today, the food remains authentically Puerto Rican, including rice with squid, roast leg of pork and seafood asopao. For dessert, select an apple pie, or one of the many types of flan. Service is polite, if a bit rushed, and the place fills up quickly at lunchtime.
After waiting at the bar for more than 10 minutes watching the waitreses attend people that arrived after me, but whom they obviously knew or were friends with, I decided to skip breakfast and order only coffee. I could'nt believe my eyes when the waitres took a used coffee cup from somebody who had already finished, whent directly to the coffee machine, filled it up and set it in front of me. I called him twice and after ignoring me, went into the kitchen and stay there. I just put a folded paper napking into the coffee and headed to the door. This is a dirty place attended by arrogant and unclean people.
I am ashamed that this establishment is run by my people. I'm horrified that people think this is what Puerto Ricans are like. I read wonderful reviews of this place on the internet and decided that this was the first stop my family and I needed to make while in PR. I thought it would be a perfect beginning to our vacation especially since we arrived in the morning. I was looking forward to a nice cup of cafe con leche and a pan de mallorca. When we arrived at this establishment we were instructed to sit all the way in the back right, as this was the only table available at the time, under the A/C unit. We sat and patiently waited for a server for more than 20 minutes. While we were waiting we watched as two other couples, non locals, were seated directly across from us and served within 20 minutes. I got tired of waiting and went up to the counter where there were several waiters just standing there talking amongst themselves and asked if someone would please wait on us. We waited another 10 minutes and saw that a table across from us became available and switched to that section hoping to be served. The waiter at that section, a short blond haired man in his 50's, would not even speak to us. I was ready to leave but my husband really wanted to experience the food here. Finally a waiter was sent to serve us. My family was so hungry that they decided to have lunch instead of just pastries, which was a HUGE mistake. My daughters, ages 12 and 16, ordered the fried chicken platter while my husband ordered a ham, egg and cheese sandwich. I ordered a cuban sandwich. My sandwich arrived and it was just a cold pernil sandwich. My husbands arrived with no egg and my poor girls bit into chicken that was overcooked on the outside and bloody raw on the inside. My family is accustomed to traditional home cooked Puerto Rican meals so they were looking forward to the same, if not better, while in PR. A few minutes after serving us the waiter realized that he had not given me a cuban sandwich and gave my sandwich to the nice tourists two tables away. He took my daughters chicken platters back into the kitchen to be cooked...long story short it was terrible; the service, the food, the experience. I had to walk out before the waiter returned and asked my husband to deal with them. I do not recommend this place. This is not a good example of Puerto Rican home cooking or our hospitality. This place is a mockery! A disgrace! You'd be better off with the vendors along the side of the roads than eating here.
Visited quickly on our way to the beaches while in port on a cruise vacation. We asked a local where to get good Puerto Rican food and he recommended La Bombonera. We went in and were greeted by a very nice young woman who recommended if we wanted to taste food her grandmother might serve at home, to have the Red Beans and Rice and the ham.
It came out about 8 minutes later, steaming hot and smelling wonderful! We took some plastic silverware and went to the beach for a picnic. It was amazing! The unique seasonings in the beans made them very memorable - the rice was fluffy, warm and substantial and the pork complimented the meal beautifully! My very picky children cleaned the to-go box and left nothing behind! (notice the pork was a compliment to the beans and rice?!)
We finished the lunch with a mallorca, still warm and sweet - we'll never forget the unique flavor. If a Puerto Rican native opened a store in our hometown, they'd be a millionaire in no time! These sweet bread rolls beat anything in our bakeries Hands Down!
This is a locals classic! On Saturday and Sunday morning it's almost impossible to get a table! Try it week days, and you'll be eating in one of San Juan's historic places to eat. It's best known for breakfast food. You have to be open minded as this is not a high end place. It's simple, yet very popular. Try the "mallorca" with butter!
I had seen a 40 dollars a day program by Rachel Ray talk about this place, so i decided that the next time i went to Old San Juan, Puerto Rico this would be my first stop and it was. I went about two weeks ago with my boyfriend for vacation and stoped at La Bombonera. I asked for a Mallorca with American Cheese and a coffee with milk...yumm oohh!!. The bread was so full of flavor, the sweetness of the bread with the butter, the cheese and the powdered sugar on it...then the coffee, nicely brewed...just perfecto!!!The ambient made you feel like if you were in a cafeteria of the 1920's... This is one great place to go when visiting Puerto Rico...and if you just feel guilty about the extra calories like me, dont worry you have many blocks full of history to walk and beautiful things to see...Enjoy!!
The food was excellent! My recommendation is the Mallorca which is a grilled sandwich with confectioner's sugar to which you can choose to have plain butter or my fav was cheese and bacon. So crispy and savory. The cafe is so sweet! Also have some jugo de china (or fresh orange juice) so good. But again, go around 10 am or 11 am - the crowds will be lessened.
Also note to all you mainlanders: This place works on "island time" which slower by every way imaginable. Enjoy the ambiance.
My husband and I (from Austin Texas) were visiting our daughter in Puerto Rico. She asked the locals where to go in Old San Juan. They recommended La Bombonera. It met our expectations. The coffee was great, the flan terrific, and I loved the ham, cheese and egg Mallorcas. Ummm, I could smell the butter in the air. I'd go again in a heartbeat.
My familiy and I stop here every trip we have to PR. It's where the locals go, so you know its good. If you're looking for REAL food, this is the place. You can watch them squeeze the oranges for your orange juice. Try their mallorcas, the cuban, or just a plain old pancakes and eggs bfast. Don't leave without picking up some of their pastries up front. Its cheap, good and authentic.
If you want the feel of Old San Juan then don't miss this cafe. The food is good and reasonable in price compared to other area cafes. We were allowed to share an entree and then indulged in some of the baked goods. The "waiters" are very helpful and work hard to make sure your experience is a good one. We definitely would go back.
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