#45 Cafe 55

Coffee…a morning essential.

Running errands in Guaymas, a town about 15 minutes outside of San Carlos, is almost always a longer than expected journey. I needed a coffee, pronto! My errand buddy, Amy, mentioned she had once been to a little hole in the wall cafe that she was fairly certain she could still find. Turning off of the main road we found ourselves on a narrow street lined with small businesses. Passing a tiny florist with buckets flaunting their vibrant blossoms we craned our necks looking for signs of a cafe. We noticed an orange building with Jesús Salva signage…probably not the place. Next we caught a glimpse of what had to be a dental office based on the very large tooth displayed on the roof.

On the way to Cafe 55 and perhaps a great stop to pick up fresh tortillas on the way home.

La Abuela Fina, The Fine Grandmother’s, tortilla kitchen elevated our hopes however easing past a boarded up business we began to question our location. We neared the end of the road and Amy made a sharp left where we found ourselves in what appeared to be a typical Mexican neighborhood where multi-colored houses with gated yards enclosed vehicles and yappy dogs. We fleetingly wondered if Google Maps had led us astray.

Does this look like a parking lot for a cafe?

But then, there it was, Cafe 55.

Parking on the empty street we donned our masks, verified we had hand sanitizer, grabbed our pesos and headed toward the wooden “cafe” sign swinging in the breeze.

A posting on the wall noted hours of operation. Cafe 55 is open Monday through Saturday 9:00 am to 1:30 pm and from 5:00 pm to 10:30 pm. Ahhh, business hours that consider the all important siesta, that’s Mexico for you. We ducked through the arched doorway of Calle Alejandrina 55 and discovered a diamond in the rough. 

Through this door relaxing things happen.

We were greeted by the eclectic decor of Cafe 55 including an aqua colored vintage refrigerator, cushy looking chairs, a variety of lighting fixtures and a scattering of empty picture frames dotting the walls. The aroma of fresh coffee filled the cafe and a young server greeted us in Spanish. Expecting only espanol we asked for a table for two, “Mesa para dos personas, por favor.” We were surprised when she responded in perfect English, “Inside or outside?”

While the inside looked intriguing with its cozy seating nooks and an inviting coffee bar, we elected for outside seating. Through another arched doorway and bright red door we found ourselves in a lovely courtyard filled with wooden tables and a collection of colorful chairs. The lovely area held no other customers, allowing us to select from many tables. We decided on one in the center of the charming space.

The courtyard was a garden of flowering plants. Baskets hung from Victorian style light posts and vines clung to the walls. Small glass bottles of flowers decorated tables while from pots lush greenery exploded. A once loved tricycle had been turned into a planter offering a precious touch.

Palm trees and a mango tree loaded with tiny, green fruits hoping to grow shaded the paver flooring. Umbrellas stood at the ready knowing they’d be necessary when the sun reached its peak and a canary yellow bird cage contributed a noticeable bright spot. Painted wall murals gave voice to local artists.

Upon settling into our seats, we were handed clipboard menus touting Cafe 55’s morning fare. For breakfast, desayuno, there were several styles of pancakes, multiple eggs dishes, breakfast sandwiches, simple yogurt parfaits and a variety of Mexican favorites served with frijoles and tortillas. The options sounded delicioso!

The menu had an entire page of drinks, bebidas. Frappes, coffee drinks, expressos, smoothies, homemade lemonades, juices and teas. Starbucks has nothing on this place.

We opted for a caramel frappe, an iced coffee with coconut milk and yogurt with fruit and granola. Excellent choices! While we indulged ourselves with tasty treats we were able to enjoy quiet conversation in this quaint little courtyard. Cafe 55 offered a tranquil spot as butterflies flitted by, hummingbirds sampled from feeders and birds called cheerily to their partners. 

Love this tree!

Off to one side of the courtyard there is a space perfect for a small gathering. Birthday parties, girlfriend lunches and bridal showers came to mind immediately. Behind a decorative iron gate a long wooden table reserves most of the space. A large tree winding its way through the center of the table provides both shade and a picturesque atmosphere for potential guests. 

Photo from the boutique days showing a busy lunch crowd.

Toward the back of the property a portion of a building was under construction. Asking, we found that the property once housed a dress boutique that maintained the same hours as Cafe 55. The shop had since moved and the structure was being remodeled as an onsite bakery that would provide desserts, postres, to the cafe. This little treasure just kept getting better.

I returned to Cafe 55 for a second time a week ago when my friend, Jane, came to visit from the states. I wanted to share this place with someone I knew would appreciate its uniqueness. During this visit, we found Dolce Bakery & Co was up and running. While the bakery itself was locked up tight at the time, I was able to peek inside through their window. A quick Google search led me to a Facebook page featuring photos of delicious looking cakes. The carrot cake looked incredible. My upcoming birthday perhaps?

Jane and I enjoyed a Mexican style breakfast and time to catch up on the goings-on in each other’s lives.

Ok, I admit, our breakfast did NOT look exactly like this.

Upon preparing to leave Cafe 55 after a second successful visit I was approached by an employee informing me that on Wednesday and Saturday evenings patrons can not only enjoy live music. They also offer selections from their lunch and dinner menu which included salads, nachos, tostitos, a few panini sandwiches, burgers and something called a “chinken sandwich”. I figure we will give the night time version a shot.

Someday…dinner. Maybe even chinken.

However, after checking Urban Dictionary for the definition of chinken*…I seriously hope that is a typo on the menu. If not, we are in for a whole new adventure.

Leaving Cafe 55 I promised to return. To once again take the time to enjoy Guaymas’s secluded little secret.

*If you’re concerned, I asked…it IS a typo.

June 24, 2020

“Coffee and friends are the perfect blend.”

– A quote is likely found in every cute coffee shop in the US.

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