As a confessed indoor cat, some of my favorite places to go are cafes and coffee shops. And the occasional bar. One of the many many reasons I fell in love with Arequipa was that it had not only a fantastic coffee shop, but also one of the best cafes I’ve been to in my life. And though both deserve their own blog posts in my heart, in real life we can talk about how wonderful they are together. First up, as happens most days- coffee.
Palacios Tostaduría and Coffee Shop.
Not only does this place have hands down the best coffee I had in South America, it is run by two guys that are so lovely and passionate about making great coffee. And the most welcoming, pleasant people to boot.
As the name suggests, they roast their own beans right in the shop. The beans are locally sourced in Peru from a single plantation. Single origin coffee is a nice change of pace from not really knowing where your coffee comes from in the states.
And it’s delicious. I don’t drink hot coffee, but they had several iced coffee options that were delicious and wonderful after going to so many shops where an iced americano is a cup of coffee with one ice cube in it.
By far my favorite was the coco loco… espresso, milk, coconut, caramel, and vanilla. It could improve any day. And starting a day with it? Invincible.
In addition to selling delicious coffee, they also sell packaged beans to take with you. And! coffee flavored lip balms and soaps and such.
But after you start your day, you have to head out again to Chaqchao.
Chaqchao Handmade Organic Chocolates
and Arequipa Beer Club
It is a match made in heaven. If someone tells you there’s a chocolate cafe and craft beer bar in the same place and you react with anything less than awe and excitement- I’m not sure we can continue being friends.
And even if you don’t like chocolate and beer (heathen) they offer so much more. There’s cheesecake, tiramisu, gin and tonic… and cider. Yes, Peruvian craft cider. Which is light and refreshing and wonderful. And they sell chocolate from the workshop downstairs, and tons of other chocolate flavored goodies like soaps, and body butters.
The cider is also named Crazy Llama… which is just adorable. And it’s made right in AQP. Yay local artisans!
(I ate half the carrot cake there… because it was so good, I forgot to take a picture…) As if you needed anymore reason to go, they also have a movie night every other Sunday night, the proceeds from which go to charity. They also have jenga that you can play, and a book/game shelf to help you occupy your drinking time.
So, they’re an art loving, philanthropic, chocolate cafe, with great craft beer and cider. Oh, and they can bake.
Lots of baked good options. And they’re all good.
It’s basically my dream guy, in cafe form. Literally a trivia night away from perfection.