The more popular panaderías (bakeries) in Puerto Rico are meeting places and community centers where the neighborhood gathers, especially for breakfast and lunch. Caminos de Michoacan certainly seems to fit this bill. Opening at 7 a.m. every day except Wednesday when they are closed, it offers a bright, happy space for up to 70 people.

Bakery cases filled with treats (eclairs, small sugar cookies shaped like hearts and stars, giant sugar cookies with squiggly happy faces or sprinkles, gingerbread pigs, croissants, and chocolate donuts with sprinkles, to name a few) line the wall. A separate cooler once used for flowers houses parfaits and flans. Large pizza pans are stacked on a shelf underneath where customers can serve themselves with a pair of tongs. Caminos de Michoacan also does special-occasion cakes. Laminated cards with theme options can be found at the counter, and there are several sample cakes lining the tops of the bakery cases. (My favorite was a cake surrounded with ice cream cones.)

The taqueria offers gorditas, tortas, tacos, burritos, platillos, quesadillas, mariscos (seafood), and caldos. The caldos, or soups, are their specialty. Try the "Caldo de 7 Mares," a super-special seafood soup with shrimp, octopus, fish, clams, crab, calamari, and more. And don't forget to try the horchata — a spicy, milky treat.

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