The Parrot Club
If you’re looking to enjoy some authentic Puerto Rican cuisine, then the Parrot Club is the place for you. Authentic, local cuisine is served with a modern twist to create new and exciting flavours. The restaurant itself is a feast for the eyes, with its high archways and tall, beamed ceilings. With the long, blue bar and palm trees potted in every available space, you’ll really feel the Caribbean spirit in this popular, atmospheric restaurant.
With an ideal location right near the entrance of Old San Juan, El Asador is an essential part of Viejo nightlife. This sophisticated bar/restaurant has one of the loveliest indoor patios in town, for drinking and dining in style. The high ceilings and elaborate archways hint at it’s past life as a monastery of San Juan, something which your waiter will gladly tell you about while you choose your meal. With some of the best food and best mojitos in town, do not miss out on dining at El Asador.
Aguaviva is the go to place for seafood lovers. Dishes are a unique blend of Caribbean and International flavors. 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. Expect warm introductions from your waiter, as well as recommendations from food and drinks to local highlights. The seafood at Aguaviva is as fresh and delicious as it gets, so don’t miss out.
311 Trois Cent Onze
For authentic French dining in the heart of Caribbean, look no further than 311 Trois Cent Onze. Everything about this elegant French dining room is the real deal, from the French-Puerto Rican owners Sylma Pèrez and Christophe Gourdain to the delicate Andalusian-style iron rosette above the door. They prize their wines as highly as their food, so expect the perfect compliment to every dish from all corners of the globe in this chic and luxurious establishment.
El Picoteo is the signature restaurant of the El Convento Hotel and offers a diverse menu of Spanish tapas. Located on the third floor, the space is open and airy with the bright yellow exterior complimented by deep reds and soft lighting inside. In addition to devouring their hot and cold tapas remember to give their famous paella a try since it has been voted the best on the island. Servers will also help you find the perfect wine to compliment your meal.
Panza is located inside Chateau Cervantes, a European-style hotel in the heart of Viejo, and is named after Don Quixote’s sidekick. Opened in 2006 in a restored 18th century townhouse, Panza serves up unique, tropical dishes with a modern twist. Expect small tables, crisp white table cloths, soft lighting and beautifully presented dishes at this special San Juan gem.
Marmalade Restaurant & Wine Bar
Spend your first night in the historic Viejo San Juan experiencing the memorable dining at Marmalade Restaurant & Wine Bar. Marmalade is led by the innovative Chef Peter Schintler, who has been all over the world searching for new flavors and ways to reinvent old classics. Prizing sustainable and non-modified ingredients, the food at Marmalade really is first class. For romantic evenings, try and bag a corner seat with silk cushions to cozy up and share dessert.
El Jibarito serves affordable, traditional and delicious classics every night. The cheerful, turquoise exterior is your first hint at the relaxed and fun atmosphere of this welcoming restaurant. El Jibarito celebrates the traditions of Puerto Rico in everything they do, from their name to their rich decor. The perfect destination for a casual night out with friends.
Dragonfly has found success by mixing Asian and Latin flavors to create an exceptional menu. Splitting a few rolls and a couple of specialities is a great option for groups, and absolutely must be paired with a couple of their famous cocktails. Perhaps best renowned for its exceptional service, Dragonfly is a perfect first stop on any trip to San Juan, for delicious Asian tapas served with a smile and travel advice for free.
Barrachina is one of two San Juan establishments vying for a prestigious title: the birth place of the Piña Colada cocktail. Though unlike its competitor The Caribe Hilton, Barrachina is so sure of its claim it has had a plaque installed outside. Whether historically accurate or not, there’s no doubt that Barrachina’s Piña Colada is one of the best you will ever taste. And if you order on a Friday or Saturday evening you’ll get to enjoy it while watching a live Flamenco show.