As the capital of Puerto Rico, San Juan is a popular destination where most visitors like to experience the vibrant nightlife. There are numerous drinking holes to choose from. Here’s a list of bars that are considered the best in the area.
This small bar is located on Calle Sol in Old San Juan and to find it, just look for the purple building in the area. It is a regular spot for local writers to come together and share food and drinks. The bar features walls lined with Puerto Rican artwork and chessboards that guests are welcome to play. At El Farolito Bar, the staff are welcoming and are always happy to suggest the ideal cocktail or beverage to suit each person’s tastes. When visiting, make sure to try the chichaito.
Nuyorican Café, located on Callejon de la Capilla Street in Old San Juan, is a very lively place particularly after 11pm. There is a $5 cover charge on entry, but free salsa lessons are offered on certain days and drinks here are quite cheap, with cocktails costing $7. Try the tamarind margaritas to cool down from dancing and if you’re feeling like a late night snack, food is also available until 3am. Opening hours: Wed-Sun 9pm-4am
El Batey meaning ‘gathering place’ is appropriately named as this bar really draws in a crowd. Located next to El Convento hotel in Old San Juan, this dive bar bar serves lots of beer at about $3 a pop as well as basic cocktails. Graffiti covers the walls and an old-time jukebox adds to the vibrant atmosphere that patrons love about this watering hole.
This local watering hole, located on Loiza Street, has a unique interior resembling a barber shop. Hanging lightbulbs are adorned with moustaches and the walls are decorated with similar hair-related artwork. At El Bar Bero, the fantastic cocktails are made to your specification. Bees knees is an excellent concoction made with gin that is highly recommended. To make sure you’ve made the right, and informed, choice, the bartenders give in-depth explanations about your drinks and the staff are able to answer any of your questions.
This intimate bar is located in Old San Juan and has a very romantic atmosphere. The award-winning bistro has won the Table Chef’s Hat Award for four years straight. To create the romantic ambiance, jazz pianist Carli Munoz serenades his patrons while they savor their cocktails. At times, he is accompanied by a cellist or a quintet. If you visit this venue, make sure that you sample the sangria and the excellent mojitos. Cocktail prices range between $8 – $13 dollars, making this bar very reasonably priced.
Bodega Chic is a sports bar, located just a stone’s throw away from El Morro in Old San Juan. The casual setting encourages guests to relax completely. The service of the wait staff is excellent and the drinks are of the same standard. Make sure you try the mojitos. The piña coladas are delicious as well and the bar is very well stocked with local and international brands of ice cold beers to boot.
Nono’s is a sports bar that’s located in Old San Juan on San Sebastian Street. The building has two floors with the bar on the lower level. Here, guests can enjoy a cool breeze whilst enjoying their preferred beverage. Drinks are relatively cheap and a rum and coke will set you back about $5. The coconut mojitos are very popular here as well as the cuba libre drinks. Televisions are always on so customers can catch up on the latest sports games. If you feel up to it, you can even play a game of pool.
This Mexican bistro is located in Old San Juan on Recinto Sur street. Lupi’s has a very casual and welcoming setting with friendly staff and attentive service. The margaritas served here are wonderful and are a definite recommendation. The tequila is also quite smooth and the mojitos are another brilliant choice, with the cocktails being served at very reasonable prices.
Bar Gitano is a very trendy and hip bar, located on Ashford Avenue in Condado. It’s best to visit this bar on Thursdays and Sundays, when there is a live flamenco show. When there, make sure you sample the sangria, which is available to order for only five dollars. Otherwise try a cocktail called French kiss. For event updates and deals on food you can updated on their Facebook page.
Oceano Bar, situated on Vendig Street in Condado, is a trendy oceanfront bar with lovely décor and an outstanding view for the guests. Mimosas are very reasonable priced, at just $9. One particular favorite amongst Oceano’s customers is the nolita, which consists of Belvedere vodka, pineapple juice, cucumber juice, mint, honey, St. Germain and lime. The servers are very approachable and go out of their way to make customers feel welcome here. Reservations are definitely required for this sophisticated and elegant bar as the space fills up very quickly.
La Factoria has twice been named as one of the top 50 bars in the world. The main bar, which is how la Factoria started, has three other smaller, more intimate bars behind it; VINO, Shing a Ling and El Final. The bar staff are very friendly and knowledgeable about their craft so drinks are made with a high level of expertise. Their refreshing signature drinks include the lavender mule (a ginger beer, lavender and vodka mix) and ginger tropical spritzer (a ginger ale, white wine, passion fruit, campari and cointreau concoction).