Restaurants in Puerto Rico’s cosmopolitan capital have become increasingly diverse over the past few decades; you’ll now find all sorts of tastes here, from Asian and Middle Eastern flavors to the classic comida criolla (creole food), an authentic Puerto Rican taste. Here are the best spots to dine out in San Juan.
El Jibarito serves affordable, traditional meals every night. The restaurant takes pride in the traditions of Puerto Rico, celebrating it in everything it does, from its name to its colorful decor. For a casual night out with friends, come here to enjoy the delicious churrasco (skirt steak) and mofongo (a dish made with plantains).
Aguaviva is the place to go for seafood. Dishes are a unique blend of international and Caribbean flavors and techniques. The creative bar has ocean-inspired decor, complete with jellyfish-like lights that hang from the ceiling, adding a nautical blue sheen to the restaurant. The blackened tuna steak with truffle-dusted fries is one highlight from the menu.
Bakery, Restaurant, Pastry Shop, Pastries, Dessert, Vegetarian, Fast Food, Puerto Rican, $$$
Kasalta is a local favorite and a great place for weekend brunch. It’s a few blocks from the beach, and many people say it has some of the best coffee around. In addition to the pastries, coffee and toasted breakfast sandwiches, you can also try the caldo gallego (a type of soup with cabbage, potatoes, beans and pork) or the octopus salad.
Restaurant, Puerto Rican, Vegan, Gluten-free, Contemporary, $$$
With its elegant oceanfront location and overall historical setting in the Condado Vanderbilt Hotel, 1919 Restaurant 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. It offers a four-course prix-fixe dinner menu, allowing you the chance to taste a little bit of everything.
If you’re looking to enjoy some authentic Puerto Rican cuisine, then The Parrot of Old San Juan (formerly The Parrot Club) is the place for you. The 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. As for the drinks menu, it offers a variety of fresh juices, soft drinks, beer and cocktails.
Located in the heart of Old San Juan, 311 Trois Cent Onze serves classic French cuisine. Some menu highlights include the onion soup, fresh foie gras and bouillabaisse; however, the wine list is also incredibly unique, offering wines from as far afield as Italy, Hungary and New Zealand.
Be prepared to be full for half of the day after your visit to Café del Angel for an affordable brunch. Despite being surrounded by its fast-food counterparts, you’ll find Puerto Rican classics, such as pastel (tamale) and mofongo.
Spend your first night in historic Old San Juan with the magical food at the Marmalade Restaurant and Wine Bar. With an innovative menu from a restaurant veteran chef, Marmalade is one of the ultimate food experiences in the area. Try the risotto with lobster and the salted-caramel corn crème brûlée.