When Tom, the charismatic man from Baltmore who's behind cafe and bistro Bread and Chocolate, first visited Puerto Viejo de Limon, he never imagined he'd become a long-term resident of the small Caribbean community that he is is today. Nor did he think he'd be baking cakes and undertaking an extensive remodeling of the cafe's kitchen. But the easy smile on his face says that he has no regrets about leaving big city trappings behind for the simple, natural charms of Costa Rica.
A special occasion cake at Bread and Chocolate — Photo courtesy of Bread and Chocolate
First, as so many of us do, he fell in love with the tiny enclave known as "Puerto," a village set against a jungly rainforest and a turquoise sea. With the area's warm vibes and tropical weather all year, it's tempting to start imagining staying forever.
At Bread and Chocolate, a tiny cottage-style cafe just off of the main drag in the center of town, Tom felt right at home. Since taking that plunge and making Bread and Chocolate his own, business has continued to be bustling. This led to the recent kitchen revamp to suit a busy bakery, an enterprise that keeps Tom and his friendly staff on their toes from sunrise to sunset, six days a week.
On rainy days, the tables at Bread and Chocolate stay dry up on its wooden deck. This is a nice place to enjoy your own French Press of Costa Rican coffee and some of Bread and Chocolate's delicious offerings.
In addition to a full breakfast and lunch menu with memorable dishes including French toast and sandwiches on homemade bread, Bread and Chocolate offers their own decadent truffles and brownies, created with local organic cacao.
Most recently, Bread and Chocolate has been making specialty cakes drizzled in tropical flowers, meeting a demand for the growing number of folks who are choosing to celebrate a special occasion in Puerto Viejo. If you're in town for Valentine's Day, consider reserving a cake in advance as a special souvenir. Unfortunately, the kitchen has had to turn away last-minute requests in recent years.
Whatever the weather or your agenda may be, Bread and Chocolate has something worth stopping by for - even if it's just a chocolate chip cookie and a small slice of la pura vida ("the pure life").
Find Bread and Chocolate down a side street off of the main road in the center of Puerto Viejo de Limon. Look for the hand-painted sign and bikes parked out in front.
Bread and Chocolate's Hours: