Bay Islands Original Cafe is located on the main road between Gibson Bight and West End (those on Roatan: between Shorkie’s horse pen and the white church on the Mangrove Bight road turnoff, right next to the pink apartments that have the seahorse fence. Yes, these are totally legit directions on Roatan.)
Ms. Donna, the owner, is a born and raised Islander. Mr. Douglas brings his friendly service and New York style flair to the menu, which consists of both American and Island style food at incredibly reasonable prices (for Roatan!). For your reference, the exchange rate is about 20 Lempira to the dollar…so the 100L priced items are about $5, and 200L priced items are about $10.
I had walked and driven by this place on my way to West End plenty of times and never stopped because the sign says “Information Center” even though the name is Cafe. Until they hung a sign with the daily special outside, I didn’t realize they served food as well. When my friend Michele and I both moved near Bay Islands Original Cafe at about the same time, this was the logical choice for our regular Saturday morning brunch!
I went for the eggs benedict as I’ve been craving them since I left Canada last summer. I subbed out the Canadian bacon for tomatoes and got the best hashbrown I’ve ever had in my life on the side. Everything except the English muffin was from scratch and it showed. I also had fresh tamarind juice which was really tart and refreshing. Michele went for the “Typical” or island-style breakfast, which got good reviews from both her and her boyfriend who just tried it today when we went again for a second time…’quality control’! During our second visit Michele went for the mixed plate (1 banana pancake, 2 pieces of french toast, bacon and eggs any style) and while I was sticking to freshly squeezed grapefruit juice (amazing) because I had just eaten, I tried some of her banana pancake and it was delicious. You guys, I don’t even like bananas… and I loved that pancake.
The atmosphere here is really chill, despite it being on the side of the ‘highway’. The little outdoor seating area is shaded (crucial in rainy season or the hot summer) and the fresh flowers on the tables are a nice touch. Douglas is super friendly and gives great personalized service (with a nod to those of us living on the island, whether born here or expats, which is appreciated) while Donna is a whiz in the kitchen and clearly proud of her little cafe. I love seeing strong local female business owners succeed here and am more than happy to keep going back again and again, and send everyone I know there too!
What you need to know:
- contact info: they just got on Facebook (check through their ‘Guests’ album…you may see a familiar face!) or you can call 9938-0487/9619-4581
- hours of operation: a bit whether-dependent (as in ‘whether they feel like opening or not’, which is totally normal and accepted on the island) but generally 7am-4pm every day except Sundays so it’s a solid choice for breakfast, brunch or lunch, or just to stop and rest with a freshly squeezed lemonade, tamarind juice or grapefruit juice
- they have parking right in front – follow the white signs
- make sure to tell them Rika sent you!
Rika’s Rating: winner, winner, chicken dinner. I love this little spot. It’s right by my house, great food and service, good prices, what more can you ask for?
Disclaimer: I was not hosted by Bay Islands Original Cafe for this review and did not receive any comped food or beverages. Well, I did get a free juice in exchange for no bacon on my benny, but I don’t think that counts 🙂