Coffee has long been one of Guatemala's top exports, but only recently has the country cultivated a café culture of its own. Nowadays, shops brewing locally-sourced coffee are easy to find in most corners of the nation—and cultural hotspot Antigua is no exception. Here's a roundup of the top cafés in Central America's favorite colonial town.

Fernando’s Coffee and Chocolate Shop

Fernando's Coffee and Chocolate Shop

This locally-owned shop is an Antigua institution, known for its expertly crafted coffee and chocolate sourced from Guatemalan farms. Beyond espresso drinks and confectionary treats, Fernando's Coffee and Chocolate Shop has an impressive food menu ranging from breakfast dishes to handmade chocolates and savory empanadas. Do the right thing: order a crepe with house-made chocolate sauce and seasonal fruit, and eat it in the café's courtyard garden. You can thank us later. 

7a Avenida Norte, #43D

Bella Vista Coffee

Iced latte at Bella Vista Coffee (photo courtesy of Bella Vista Coffee)

Though Bella Vista Coffee offers passable coffee and free wifi, those aren't the reasons it earned a spot on this list. What makes it extra special is the café's incredible rooftop deck with a jaw-dropping view of three (yes, three) volcanoes in the distance. On a clear day, you'll want to sit up here for hours, lingering over your alfajores and writing a round of postcards for the poor suckers back home.

6a Avenida Norte, #1

GuateJava Roastery and Coffeehouse

GuateJava Roastery & Coffee House (photo courtesy of GuateJava)

It doesn't look like much, but this hole in the wall makes up for its diminutive size in more ways than one. First thing's first: GuateJava takes great care in selecting, roasting, and brewing their beans. But the owners also prioritize supporting small coffee-growing communities, buying from farms that need extra help getting into the international market. Given how small the space is (and how uncomfortable some of the chairs can be), you probably won't want to hang out longer than your cup of coffee lasts—but they do have great wifi, so it's a good place to hit send on a few emails.

6 Calle Poniente, #26

Refuge Cafe

Refuge Café

After trying out a few locations, Refuge Café finally seems settled in just a couple of blocks off Antigua's main plaza. Their coffee game is strong and their baristas are well trained—this is the best place in town to order a latte. While their selection of baked goods and pastries aren't made in-house, they're reliably worth the calories. The wifi is good, too, and the layout is conducive to staying a while. Lounge on the couches, park at a bar stool, or just grab a drink and a slice of carrot cake to go.

7a Avenida Norte, 18A

Fat Cat Coffee House

Fat Cat Coffee House (photo courtesy of Fat Cat Coffee House)

Great location, great vibe, and most importantly: superb coffee. There's no lack of options at Fat Cat Coffee House—on a hot day, you'll want to try their Japanese iced coffee or the El Coyotazo, a cold brew infused with hibiscus syrup. New to the specialty coffee world? Don't fret—the staff are friendly and happy to chat about the local beans and dizzying array of brewing options. When you're done here, stroll to some of the nearby sites of interest, like Plaza Mayor Park and the Colonial Art Museum.

4a Calle Oriente, #14A

Thanks to our Guatemala specialist Chris Gwinner for providing his local expertise for this article.