April 13, 2016

5 Must-Visit Specialty Coffee Shops in San Salvador, El Salvador


There are few things more heavenly than sipping a cup of specialty coffee while sitting in a San Salvadoran café. Whether you’ve been visiting farms, whether you’ve come back from a day trip to the beach or a hike up a volcano, or whether you’re getting a cup of coffee before work, it’s sure to be one of the highlights of your day.

And San Salvador happens to be home to an increasingly widespread specialty coffee scene. Over the past five years, the third wave has hit our shores, and now there’s a new generation of coffee shops serving first-rate – and often home-grown – coffee.

So if you’re travelling to El Salvador’s capital and wondering where to grab a drink, I’ve decided to help you out. Read on for my list of five must-visit coffee shops.

Spanish Version: Recorrido por Cafés de Especialidad en San Salvador, El Salvador

Why These Five?

Choosing the “best five” coffee shops is an impossible task – especially when everyone’s preferences are slightly different. So instead I’ve shortlisted five of my personal favourites. Each one of these will offer up excellent coffees, as well as a new insight into Salvadoran coffee culture.

1. Biscuit Factory Cafe

Biscuit just happens to be the only pet-friendly coffee shop in San Salvador but, whether you have pets or not, this place is well worth a visit. Biscuit specialises in espressos, and I full-heartedly recommend ordering one. They also offer a wide selection of hand brewing methods, from pour overs like the V60 to full immersion devices such as the AeroPress. Their coffee is carefully roasted by Barista Pro Roasters.

Where Avenida El balsamar #5-R, Jardínes de Merliot, Nueva San Salvador
Espresso Machine Nuova Simonelli Appia
Espresso Roast Light with proper development
Filter Roast Various light roast single origins
Must-Try Drink Espresso
Food & Pastries Various pastries made in house

biscuit coffee shop san salvador

2. 4 Monkeys Coffee Roasters

4 Monkeys is the child of 2011 World Barista Champion Alejandro Mendez and three of his friends. Here they roast and brew a wide selection of coffees from all over El Salvador, making this a serious coffee spot for serious coffee lovers.

Where Col. La Sultana II, Final Av Albert Einstein Pasaje 11 #1 Antiguo Cuscatlán
Espresso Machine Victoria Arduino Lever
Espresso Roast Medium
Filter Roast Medium
Must-Try Drink V60
Food & Pastries Banana bread

4 monkeys coffee shop san salvador

4 Monkeys’ interior demonstrates their passion for coffee.

3. S&P Coffee

From seed to cup is the motto here at S&P Coffee. This roastery-café roasts their own beans, rotating coffees regularly. You can purchase all the standards coffees at S&P coffee – espresso, cappuccino, latte, americano, and mocha – hot or ice cold. Yet you’ll also find some more distinctive drinks on the menu.

Where 3A calle Poniente #2-5 Barrio el Centro, Sonsonate
Espresso Machine Nuova Simonelli Aurelia
Espresso Roast Medium
Filter Roast Various light roast single origins
Must-Try Drink Vietnamese coffee
Food & Pastries Cheesecake

S&P coffee shop light decoration

S&P Coffee offers drinks even more magical than the décor.

SEE ALSO: 5 Specialty Coffee Shops to Visit in Barcelona

4. 1,200 Cafe

If you love the outdoors and you love good coffee, this is the perfect spot for you. Located on the slopes of the San Salvador volcano, 1,200 Cafe has a stunning view of the entire city. Their coffee is supplied by 4 Monkeys, and is from a wide range of Salvadoran coffee states.

Where Calle al Boqueron km 17 1/2 Mirador don Pedro Feliz, San Salvador
Espresso Machine Nuova Simonelli Appia
Espresso Roast Medium
Filter Roast Medium
Must-Try Drink Latte
Food & Pastries Sandwiches

1,200 Cafe in san salvador

1,200 Cafe, a coffee house with a sublime view.

5. Viva Espresso

At Viva Espresso, they believe that good coffee should be simple, profound, and approachable. The former home of the 2011 World Barista Champion Alejandro Mendez and the 2014 El Salvador Barista Champion William Hernandez, it’s one of the country’s oldest specialty coffee shops. They offer a wide selection of coffee states from El Salvador, along with “Cafe Brujo”, a coffee blend that has gained national fame.

Where Plaza Futura, San Salvador
Espresso Machine La Marzocco GB5
Espresso Roast Medium
Filter Roast Various light roast single origins
Must-Try Drink Cafe Brujo
Food & Pastries Sandwiches and pastries

Viva Espresso coffee shop san salvador

Bonus: Academia Barista Pro

Why have I given you a bonus listing? Because Barista Pro isn’t a coffee shop, but it is one of the foundations of the specialty coffee scene in El Salvador.

academia barista pro san salvador

This is a barista school and wholesale roastery that provides specialty coffee to many coffee shops throughout El Salvador, and its impact is two-fold. As a barista school, its dedication to educating has made a great impact on the country’s coffee scene. And as a roastery, it helps shine light on some of our best coffee.

All views within this opinion piece belong to the guest writer, and do not reflect Perfect Daily Grind’s stance. Perfect Daily Grind believes in furthering debate over topical issues within the industry, and so seeks to represent the views of all sides.

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