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“It's OK” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Dawn on the Amazon Cafe

Dawn on the Amazon Cafe
Ranked #2 of 101 Restaurants in Iquitos
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$5 - US$12
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Kids, Special Occasion Dining, Local cuisine, Child-friendly, Business meetings, View
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Breakfast, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: Taking care of the health of our client is our priority! That is why purified water and high standards of hygiene are the most important ingredients of our recipe for pure, safe, healthy meals!
Fort Pierce, Florida
Level Contributor
24 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“It's OK”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 June 2014

Nice view good for people watching. Food is average. Staff is friendly and try hard to make you happy.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank Susan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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529 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    294
    156
    51
    14
    14
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
27 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Great food, extensive menu”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 June 2014

We ate here at least once a day while in Iquitos! Being one of the only places that caters to gringos, it was a relaxing place for us as we barely speak Spanish. The menu was extensive and I always struggled to make a decision. We had the pancakes for breakfast twice in a row, and I have to say they were the best pancakes I've ever had in my life. Super fluffy, and topped with caramel and banana. The waitress brought over passionfruit marmalade, local honey, butter and orange juice mixed with honey. Easily the most memorable and delicious breakfast I've had in a while. :)

Great hygiene standards, fast and cordial service, yummy food and a great view of the river. Should not be missed!

  • Visited May 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Victoria L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, GA
Level Contributor
144 reviews
63 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
“Might not necessarily look it, but it's the one to beat. Amazing.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 May 2014

Iquitos really only has a few places owing a big share of their business to gringo travelers and catering mostly to them, and if you stay near the Plaza or Malecon for any length of time then chances are you walk by nearly every one (and of course there are many locals places to check out, but that's slightly trickier). This one appears as humble as the rest but also had the best food quality of any I tried.

A sign of a really good place is if you can get even a mundane sounding menu item or two and they really beat your expectations. In my case it was the pancake/egg breakfast, done well and in big portion, but also with some banana slices covered in syrup and two types of liquid to pur on the pancakes (not maple but some other kind of syrup likely derived from a tropical fruit).

That got the mental wheels turning, as few things are better with restaurants than the moment you realize they DO try to do everything on the menu really well, in contrast to the 97% of places that may feel obligated to list certain items whether they do them well or not.

Passion-fruit juice, for example. I was expecting something like you might get in Hawaii, i.e. from POG concentrate or something like that, but it was the real thing, tartness and all. Even if something's not destined to be an enduring favorite, getting the real thing makes for good word-of-mouth to friends.

That gave me confidence to order the "Peruvian hot chocolate" at 7 soles, which I'd rate a must-get. It's the soupy kind like you might get someplace like the Chocolate Museum in Cuzco, NOT the usual packet of mix plus boiling water we expect in the U.S.

Having it "dawn" on you that somebody is really taking this stuff seriously inspires subsequent visits and ordering things you wouldn't otherwise order just to see how they work out. A chicken parmigiana-type sandwich for lunch was fresh throughout, for example.

The real pinnacle, though, was on a dinner a day or so later. I ordered the "#76 Chef's choice: patarascha, fish filet, fresh from the river, wrapped in bijao leaves, steamed in own juices, + roasted potato (takes longer to prepare)" for s27.50 (around US$10). A foodie equivalent of swinging for the fences, and the didn't let me down. It was one of the most tender fish filets I'd ever eaten, and the combination of onions, peppers and spices on top added just the right flavor. The best single meal for me in Iquitos, and highly recommended.

Pricing-wise I wouldn't quite say it's at the backpacker preferred range, but most items are $10 or under, so it's a slight splurge on the stingy budgets and very comfortable on the midrange.

Most negatives are related to physical environment. As most seats are outside in front, you're exposed to all the tourguides, gum sellers, child beggars and anyone else wanting to approach tourists. I'd average four or five to turn away per meal. This is by no means the only place in town with this problem, and you either get customers a bit annoyed by it or, if you take a harder line as the rival Yellow Rose of Texas does, can risk looking like an ogre. For the owners it's a no-win.

I never had trouble getting a seat but I can imagine that demand there can outstrip supply at busier times of the year. And even though most tables are outside and like a sidewalk cafe to the malecon, you might get one between two tables of heavy smokers.

As with the malecon itself, the view can be really spectacular, what with boats gliding by on the wide, swollen river, the occasional rainbow and maybe a moonrise or great colors after sunset. The neighoring La Noche gets a bump in business thanks to a second-floor deck, which is only 3-4 tables wide but is popular for being insulated from the hawker problem and with enhanced views.

If Dawn on the Amazon could find a way to tear out and use upper-floor space with the even greater frontage it has it could be totally unbeatable. The model for it would have to be the legendary Foreign Correspondents Club of Cambodia in Phnom Penh, with a beautiful long second-floor view of the wide Tonle Sap River and all that's going on there. Ceiling fans, vinyl chairs and other elements add a relaxing, colonial sort of atmosphere. Best example I've seen of leveraging a great river view into a long-running franchise of a place to eat and drink (and open to the public), and Phnom Penh had/has the same problem with people being bothered at street level. Just a thought.

In the meantime, I think it deserves the top rating.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank ploughman8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
“Top Notch”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 May 2014 via mobile

Great food and drinks, great hygiene standards, wonderful staff - I received a warm welcome and consistently great service every time. In particular my thanks to Elliol and Gabriella!

Helpful?
Thank MackUK85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“So Good! - The Best Dieta food in town with friendly service”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 May 2014

The food here is amazing.. especially the fish.. At the time I was restricted by a ayahuasca diet, and Dawn... had some really amazing options that kept me feeling really good, and gave my taste buds some real satisfaction. The staff are really friendly and helpful with your choices, and you have a perfect view of the water as you sit back and sip on one of the many smoothie options.

Definitely the best place in town for a healthy and wholesome meal.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank nativeshell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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