Though dining in Puerto Rico’s restaurants is always exquisite, some of the best food on the island can be found at food trucks, and as with so many places around the world, Puerto Rico’s municipalities are developing food-truck parks where people can gather and enjoy local food. These are some of the best food trucks on the island.
En Las Papas
Restaurant, Fast Food, Mexican, Street Food, Gluten-free, Vegetarian
En Las Papas on Ponce’s plaza is the go-to spot for delectable comfort food, specializing in loaded baked potatoes. Your chosen toppings are piled high and include different cheeses and cheese sauces, delicious chicken or pork, lettuce, onion, tomato, bacon, sour cream – you name it. These papas won’t leave you hungry and the truck also makes tremendous burritos with savory meats, all of which are always freshly prepared. Try the lunch special or swing by late on a Saturday night.
At kilometer marker 30.4 on Carretera 110 in Aguadilla, you will find a remarkable variety of food at the Aguadilla Food Truck Park. The sushi at Tako-G is outstanding and Bluefin is good for American fare like cheeseburgers or French toast (if you fancy having breakfast for dinner). Try the Thai food at Tuk Tuk or the barbecue at Ribs Smoke Shack, then round off the meal with coffee and ice cream at Demitasse. This park is great if you want something a little different than your usual food-truck fare.
La Sambuca in Mayagüez serves sambunachos, sambutacos, their twist on quesadillas which they call a sambudilla, and a version of tripleta (a sliced-meat sandwich) called a sambupleta. They also have brownies for dessert and refreshments for only $1. With fast service and excellent food at reasonable prices, La Sambuca is a great place to stop on your way to the beach; if you’re really in a rush, you can call your order in and pick it up.
No street-food list is complete without a hot-dog cart, and Puruko Hot Dogs in Cabo Rojo serves some of Puerto Rico’s best. Work up an appetite with a brisk walk around the Rebekah Colberg Sports Complex and maybe even try a workout at the open-air gym or some practice in the batting cages, then stop at Puruko on your way out of the park. Choose from a regular hot dog or a salchicha polaca (Polish sausage), and then ask for your favorite toppings. A fully loaded dog will come with onions, sauerkraut, chili, mustard, ketchup, cheese sauce, and potato sticks. Wash it down with an ice-cold drink and you’ll be in hot-dog heaven.
Just as no street-food list is complete without a hot-dog cart, a Puerto Rican street-food list is not complete until you’ve added in a pincho stand. Located in Plaza las Delicias in Ponce, Jumbo’s Pinchos offers tasty pork or chicken pinchos on the weekends. The truck’s owners have mastered a marinade that makes the meat wonderfully tender and flavorful. Great with or without sauce, you can enjoy these pinchos for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as a snack in between meals. Don’t wait too long to stop by – they are only open until the pinchos run out, and they go fast.
Restaurant, Fusion, Seafood, Sushi, Japanese, Street Food, Gluten-free, Vegetarian
A bento is a a Japanese-style packed lunch consisting of items like rice, vegetables, and sashimi (raw fish with condiments). Bento Box PR in Guaynabo is the street food take on this Japanese classic, and though the truck’s boxes change daily, they are always amazingly delicious. Try the panko-crusted salmon or Korean-style short ribs, both of which are served with Nishiki rice topped with black sesame seeds and a side of nutty Japanese slaw. Chicken and shrimp boxes are also available and make for a great healthy meal.
Fast Casual, Casual, Fine Dining, Outdoors, Relaxed
Food Truck, Street Food, Caribbean, Puerto Rican, $$$
According to the truck’s own slogan, El Ñaqui is “casual gourmet food on wheels.” The menu is a little more upscale, offering delights like Korean-style chicken, sweet soy-braised short ribs, and guayaba honey chicken wings. If you like ribs, try their cherry wood-smoked ribs with bourbon barbecue sauce.
Food Truck, Seafood, Caribbean, Italian, Street Food, $$$
Nestled in the mountains in the municipality of Coamo is the YucaJú Food Truck, where you’ll find a little bit of everything including pork chops, fish, mofongo, chicken wings, tostones, and even chicken parmesan. The truck also makes its own lemonade from freshly squeezed lemons, and it’s perfect for quenching your thirst.