Restaurants in Puerto Rico’s cosmopolitan capital have become increasingly diverse over the past decades; you’ll now find all sorts of tastes here, from Asian and Middle Eastern the classic comida criolla (creole cooking), an authentic Puerto Rico taste. We list the 10 best spots to eat out in San Juan.
Come to Budatai for a delicious fusion of Asian and Puerto Rican flavours. When you can tear you eyes away from the food, be sure to appreciate the carefully designed decor, with Buddha statues dotted about the room. After dinner, step out onto the balcony of this two-storey restaurant and bask in the incredible views of sea, sand and palm trees.
El Jibarito serves affordable, traditional and delicious classics every night. The restaurant celebrates the traditions of Puerto Rico in everything they do from their name to their rich decor. For a casual night out with friends come here to enjoy the churrasco (skirt steak) and mofongo.
Aguaviva is the place for seafood lovers! Dishes are a unique blend of Caribbean and International flavors and techniques. The creative bar has ocean-inspired decor – you won’t be able to miss the jellyfish-like lights which hang from the ceiling, adding a nautical blue sheen to the restaurant! The fried calamari sandwich is the definite lunch highlight.
You will not leave a single crumb on your plate from anything you order at Pikayo. Chef Wilo has a gift for making anything he touches taste magical. Many say the tuna “pegao” and foie gras with sweet plantains & black truffle honey are the best things to order on the menu, but you’ll have to pay it a visit to decide for yourself!
Kasalta is loved by locals and is a great place for weekend brunches. It’s a few blocks from the beach and many people say it has some of the best coffee around. In addition to the variety of pastries, great coffee and toasted breakfast sandwiches, you can also try the caldo gallego or the octopus salad while you’re there. Maybe if you’re lucky President Obama will stop by while you’re enjoying your brunch!
With its elegant oceanfront setting and the overall historical setting in the Vanderbilt Hotel, 1919 offers an exciting yet modern dining experience. Although you’ll still taste the flavors of Puerto Rican ingredients, the dishes here are focused on being a bit more upscale. 1919 offers a four course prix fixe dinner menu allowing you the chance to taste a little bit of everything.
311 is right in the middle of Old San Juan and serves classic French cuisine. Some menu highlights include the onion soup, fresh foie gras and bouillabaisse, but the wine list is also incredibly unique offering wines from as far afield as Italy, Hungary, and New Zealand.
The Parrot Club, Calle Fortaleza | Courtesy of The Parrot Club
If you’re looking to enjoy some authentic Puerto Rican cuisine, then The Parrot Club is the place for you. Staff are quick to point out their favorites, but trying the plantains is a must. The restaurant has a great atmosphere that makes the meal even more enjoyable. The house drink is the Parrot Passion, a frozen blend of Bacardi Limon, fresh orange and passionfruit juice, and is one the best drinks you’ll find on the entire island!
Be prepared to be full for half of the day after your visit to Café del Angel for brunch. Despite being surrounded by its fast food counterparts you’ll still find Puerto Rican classics like pastel and mofongo served here at very reasonable prices.
Spend your first night in historic Viejo San Juan with the magical food at the Marmalade Restaurant & Wine Bar. An innovative menu from a restaurant veteran chef, Marmalade one of the ultimate food experiences in Viejo San Juan. Try the Risotto of Lobster and Chocolate “Tripleta” while you’re there.