Second Cup Of Coffee

Actually, second installment of our presentation of local coffee houses. There are a chingo of them around here
BY: REN DRAKE HILL

Coffee Houses in Rosarito Beach, west/ocean side of the boulevard

CHE CAFÉ – next to Vince’s fish restaurant. Easy to miss if not looking for it. Monday – Friday, 7 to 10, Saturday and Sunday 8 to 10. Credit cards accepted; Wi-Fi; parking usually available. A bit noisy, due to the fish tank next door. Great service. Very comfortable atmosphere. Indoor and outdoor seating. Newspapers and magazines for reading.

Coffee served rich and creamy above the cup rim. Che Café’s Norma Alrudio toasts their own Vera Cruz beans. They also sell to some baristas and restaurants in town. Voted Best of Baja 2014 (as Aromas Del Che Cafe). Hot teas, smoothies, and frappes also available. Pre-packaged edibles, cakes, muffins and bagels offered. Excellent service. Facebook: Aromas Del Che Café

BALAM CAFÉ – in the courtyard across from Susanna’s. Open daily (except Tuesday) 9:30 to 11. Tuesday:  5:00 pm starts a night of music and entertainment. Cash only; Wi-Fi: parking can be a problem. Books, magazines, and games available. Inside and outside seating. Comfortable, though a little bit too much sun during part of the day. Ambient music gives the feeling that you really are in a foreign country. There is often an artist, writer, or musician present. Service was excellent. Extensive menu of coffees in two sizes, including macadamia, xibal, and a kirsch cherry almond that I highly recommend. Sometimes the barista will offer a sample of a new coffee that they are sampling before adding to the menu. On the days I visited I was given samples of coffees flavored with ginger and lavender. Lemonade (5 pesos) was a refreshing break from caffeine on this warm day. Salads and sandwiches, (35 to 45 pesos), are also available. A great place to meet up with the intellectual and artsy crowd. Facebook: Balam Kafe Rosarito BC.

SPAZIO – at the Festival Plaza Hotel. Daily, 7 to 10. Cash only; Wi-Fi; parking is satisfactory. Seating inside and out of this “construction zone” décor (concrete floor, bare plywood walls, corrugated metal façade and chain link fencing.) No ambience and no reading materials, but the coffee is very good. This café is a well-kept secret. Coffees include Turkish, Parisian mocha with chocolate and raspberry. That one opened my eyes and my taste buds. Also offered are teas, frappes, bottle sodas juices, and Italian sodas. This is one of the only cafes in town that offers tiramisu and biscotti, really good biscotti. But their specialty is crepes – about 30 styles, (69 pesos and up), with about any topping or filling you could desire. Salads and soups (30 to 89 pesos), or bagels and sandwiches for those a bit more hungry. Facebook: Spazio Café & Crepes.

ROSARITO BEACH HOTEL CAFE – in the lobby of the Rosarito Beach hotel. Sunday – Thursday 8 to 10, Friday and Saturday 8:00 to 11:00. Credit cards accepted; Wi-Fi (available for the café area only, no can do in the hotel lobby); excellent parking and they do validate! Seating is available in the café area and the lobby. It’s a busy atmosphere and not conducive to just hanging out and relaxing. You could of course take your drink poolside.

The coffee isn’t spectacular, but it’s much better than that served in the RBH restaurant. But there are 30+ Torani flavors to help it out. The cold blended coffees and frappes are excellent. My favorite is the toffee-mocha latte. All drinks are .50 to $5.00. US. Sandwiches are available on three types of bread; also pre-packaged pastries, muffins and cake. It’s worth the stop even if you are not staying at the hotel.

Whew! That’s a lotta coffee, and we’re not done yet. Next week we’ll tour you through the coffee jungle of south of town.