La Bombonera reopens in Old San Juan


Melissa Cruz Ríos (El Vocero) made me very happy this week with the news that one of my favorite coffee and pastry shops, the iconic La Bombonera, has reopened after remaining closed for four years. Here are excerpts (my translation) of Cruz Ríos’s celebratory article:

On Tuesday May 10, just four years after that sad closing day of La Bombonera—on San Francisco Street in Old San Juan—on 10 May 2012, Isabel Obrador, granddaughter of the founder, Majorcan Antonio Rigo, announced to a select group of guests and journalists that the café would open on Friday May 13, from 7:30am to 5:00pm. [We] were able to enjoy the beauty of its newly renovated interior, the magnificence of its famous Royal brand espresso machine, and the rich taste of a Mallorca bun [. . .]. The café revived its traditional look while adding a hint of modernity.

As soon as guests open the doors, they can enjoy the beautiful interior complete with its original mezzanine, evoking the years since its first opening in 1902. The walls are decorated with original photos of the place and recipes hand-written by Don Antonio—all had been jealously guarded in the safe of this restaurant and pastry shop and were discovered by Isabel. There are all kinds of recipes with notes and reminders—from butter cookies, breads, Majorca buns, and galletas nenas, the darlings of La Bombonera! “We are sure that from heaven my grandfather approves of what we have done,” said Isabel. Here they have not skimped on revamping every detail that makes it unique historic place, those that arouse nostalgia of those who have visited since childhood and we welcome its reopening. [. . .]


The coffee will still be brewed in the Royal coffee maker, which has been used for nearly a century; it has been restored to perfection by Aolis Aguilar, so it will continue to delight the palate of coffee lovers. La Bombonera opens Tuesday through Sunday from 7:30am to 5:00pm. So if you are fans of the delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, a cup of hot chocolate, among other delights, you should know that now the place is better than ever because the staff will follow the original recipes.

This historic restaurant—which operated continuously for 110 years—reopened its doors for good to please future generations of sanjuaneros, Puerto Ricans, and tourists with the legacy of a glorious era, as an example of Majorcan influence on the island and as ambassador of local cuisine.

For original article (in Spanish), see

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