Our cab driver on the way to San Juan (an immigrant to PR from New York City) suggested this amazing restaurant well-known by the locals. After we visited the Fort, we just asked for directions going to it and it is actually near where the cruise ship docks.
We ordered the 2 specials for the day - the fried pork chop which was okay, and the fried chicken which was awesom. You already know this restaurant is nice when you enter and are greeted by a nice lady wearing the all white Puerto Rican dress and turban, and the male servers wear a hat and PR outfit. The diet coke I ordered was also amazing since it came in a nice tin cup! It kept it cold.
My wife liked the custard dessert - it was yummy. The kids wanted Kitkat and bout outside and it was melted due to the heat when we arrived, but the waiter was nice enough to put it in the refrigerator and gave it to them at the end. Great service, Local favourite dishes...
They also have a branch in Caguas - (787)258-1570, Villa Turabo H-31
One of the first places I stopped to eat was at Kasalta. Jason and I ended up coming here just about every day for either breakfast or dessert. What can I say, the food here is fantastic. They have every kind of pastery one's heart could desire plus a few I had never heard of. Jason fell head over heels for this one dessert that was a sort of yellow jello/cheese cake like texture. It was extremely tastey. Kasalta also has a great selection of soups, sandwitches, coffees and freshly squeezed juices. Did I also mention the wonderful marzipan treats? Kasalta was a mere half a block away from the guest house we stayed in. How lucky for us. The seating here is very informal, often requiring you to squeeze in between perfect strangers. If you don't like that, you can always get your treats to go. Kasalta is open 7 days a week 6 AM to 10 PM.
Favorite Dish: Don't know what it's called, but it reminded me of a turn over, but square shaped. It was delcious.
Can a restaurant be sexy? That's how "Dragonfly" is described in travel blurbs!! A nearby competitor of the Parrot Club is "Dragonfly." Opened in 2000, this restaurant offers a mix of Asian and Latino dishes and sushi, this restaurant should be given a try for its uniqueness if nothing else! But there's a lot of else! Frommer's describes the decor as that of Old Bordello in San Francisco. It's the hippest and hottest place in town not only because of the atmosphere, but the food is said to be some of the best to be found.
Don't be surprised if you have a long wait to be seated--try calling ahead for a table because this is THE SPOT in SoFo (South of Fortaleza). This restaurant is considered moderately expensive and attire is dressy, and not a good choice for children.
Appetizers are in the neighborhood of $12 and entrees average $20 or higher.
Open Monday to Wednesday, 6pm -11pm;
Thursday to Saturday, 6pm to Midnight.
Credit cards accepted.
Favorite Dish: For something different, try the Peking Duck nachos, Mongolian Beef, seared tuna with szechwan peppercorn sauce, tapas and other innovative dishes. The chefs are known for their genius use of root vegetables in succulent dishes.
When I first walked into Pinky's I was a bit worried about what I was going to get, simply cause the place looks like a dive. Everyone here is very informal and casual. I ended up ordering a wrap bade with ham, turkey, cheddar and swiss cheeses. It was toasted which made it all the more yummy. I also got Pinky's version of a smoothie. What a delicious treat that was. I got the traditional which was made with bananas, mangos, apple juice and other fruits. I was expecting a glass, but instead was served an entire blender pitcher full for a mere $3. I would come back here just for the smoothie. The names of the wraps and sandwhiches here are hilarious, Eat Me, Eat Him, Eat Her. I giggled out loud just reading them. Pinky's is open from 7am to 4pm Tuesday through Friday & 11a to 4p Saturday and Sunday. Closed Mondays. Pinky's will also deliver to the beach from 11a to 4p.
Favorite Dish: The Smoothie, although they call them something else. Sorry I can't remember the name.
One of the yummiest places we stopped at was Uvva's. It's a great eclectic/fushion restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. The restaurant itself is located inside of El Hosteria Del Mar, one of the many guest houses you'll find along the beach. Uvva's serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and is open from 8 AM till 10 PM seven days a week. My favorite part about dining at Uvva's was the atmospher. It was very quiet and relaxed. The sounds of the ocean and the light ocean breeze made the evening great. I also got some great pics of the sun set from our table.
Favorite Dish: I decided to order 3 appetizers as opposed to one main dish that way I could sample a variety of foods. The first thing I got was fried yucca chips with nut crusted goat chesse. It was absolutely delicious. The other item I got was fritters made from rice flour and served up with a blueberry compote. Finally a different kind of fritter served with a mango relish. All three were yummy, yummy, yummy.
Since our hotel was located in the Condado area, we decided one night to have dinner at one of the numerous restaurants located on Ashford Avenue. We picked Yerba Buena mostly because I love Cuban food, it wasn't too expensive, and there was a really nice atmosphere in the restaurant. As soon as we sat down we ordered two mojitos, and they were excellent. I decided to order their ropa vieja dish, and it was absolutely delicious - the best meal I had in San Juan, and there were many, many good ones! I also very much enjoyed the little Cuban touch all around the place, from the old newspaper clippings posted on the walls to the bill that came in a box of Cuban cigars. I would definitely recommend this place for a good meal in the Condado area.
On our first day in San Juan, we got to Plaza de Colon early in the afternoon and were immediately tempted to have lunch at one of the many restaurants located in the area, especially since many of them had little sidewalk terraces. After looking at some of the menus, we decided to eat at Cafe Puerto Rico. We ordered two rum punches - made with Don Q rum and fresh fruit juices - and they were really good. I then decided to try one of the local specialties that Kristi (VTer Dabs) had recommended and went for the chicken mofongo. It was delicious, the perfect introduction to Puerto Rican cuisine! In fact, based on how good the meal was, I was surprised to see this restaurant wasn't more crowded - until I went inside to use the restrooms and realized the place was packed! I guess only Canadians in desperate need of sun and heat will eat out on a terrace when it's 30°C outside...!
We stopped by the Waikiki restaurant early one evening because we felt like going out for drinks before dinner and we could see from the street that there was a nice outdoor terrace at the back of the restaurant. As soon as we walked in, we were surpriced to see how charming and cosy the restaurant was (with a name like Waikiki we were expecting something rather tacky), and we decided to give some of the appetizers a try. The menu was kind of eclectic with lots of interesting meat, chicken, fish and seafood options, and Sylvain and I both agreed that their Spinach dip was the best one we'd ever tasted. We eventually struck up a conversation with a fellow Canadian visitor out on the terrace who told us she'd been to San Juan numerous times, and that the Waikiki was her favourite restaurant in the Condado area. Next time we'll make sure to go back for dinner!
Another great restaruant/bar/lonuge located here on Calle Fortaleza!! This place is not only gorgeous and upscale, but the food is fantastic!!
I love their tables and whole decor which invites an intimate and relaxing environment. The food could only be described as unique and inspiring. The appetizers are excellent and their drink specialties just complete the whole night. You can also enjoy some excellent wine (always my favorite with such a yummy meal)!
Favorite Dish: Start the evening with an appetizer...the gnocchi and calamari salad are my favorite or have a tuna tarter or their paella bytes or main lobster rolls, for dinner I had the baked jumbo main scallops always my favorite.
La Bombonera has been around for over 100 years and has been enjoying ever growing popularity, first with the locals and now with international visitors. The atmosphere is like that of an old diner - nothing too fancy or flashy. When we met with VTer JosueGonzalez, both he and his daughter recommended going to La Bombonera for breakfast to try one of their mallorcas. They also gave us a really good tip: to sit at the counter, where service is much faster! Mallorcas are little round pastries originating from Spain. For breakfast, you can order a mallorca sandwich: they stuff the pastry with ham, bacon, egg or cheese, and sprinkle powdered sugar on top. The result is a sweet and salty combination that goes really well with good a cup of coffee or a glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice. We liked it so much that we ended up going back the very next day!
Favorite Dish: We tried a few mallorca sandwich combinations but my favourite one was the ham & cheese mallorca.
We had the pleasure of getting together with VTer JosueGonzalez on our very first night in San Juan. When I suggested having dinner together, he in turn suggested going to Bebo's Cafe for great Puerto Rican food. This restaurant is located on Calle Loiza, just one street down from Ashford Avenue. Even though it's within walking distance from most of the Condado hotels, the clientele is mostly local. In fact, I was really glad that Josue was there with us to interact with the waiters and translate some of the items on the menu, otherwise I might have felt a little lost! The atmosphere of the place is first and foremost that of a family restaurant - we enjoyed it very much because we were with Josué, but even though the place was very crowded, we might have felt the lack of ambience if it had been just the two of us. As for the food, I ended up ordering the chicken fricase, which Josué described as a Dominican dish. It was quite good, the chicken was very tender and tasty. Sylvain ordered the shrimp soup and raved about it during the rest of the trip! So if you're looking to get away from the more touristic Ashford Avenue and try a real local restaurant, with good food at a decent price, Bebo's Cafe might just be the place for you!
By the way its not Don Pee Pee, its Don PePe's, you would be surprised how often that mistake is made. This is one of the most authentic places for Puerto Rican food and at a economical prices. Be sure to try their fresh plantains that come from the fruit market next door and don't miss out on trying their black bean appetizer. I tried just about everything off the menu and every item left me wanting more, sadly its been six months since I visited so I have to simply live with the memories. The ambience of the restaurant is a plus as the walls are covered with autographed photos of the many famous athletes that have eaten at the restaurant. The only downside is the wait time for your food, but since they cook to order all the entrees I would have to say its well worth the wait.
Before leaving for San Juan I'd read a number of good reviews about "Raices" so one day we decided to stop there for lunch. Again, we found the fact that the restaurant offered outdoor seating very appealing. Our waiter was nice and friendly, and he quickly brought us a pitcher of sangria, which came in an old-fashioned tin jar with tin cups. The sangria was good, and we immediately thought our meal was off to a good start until our waiter came over to warn us there was an electrical problem and it would take more time for our food to be ready. We weren't in a rush or anything so it wasn't really a problem for us, especially since he soon brought us some salads to apologize for the delay. When the food finally came, however, we were a bit disappointed. It wasn't bad, but compared with the other local dishes we'd tried before, it was rather bland. My chicken creole was a little dry, and so was Sylvain's onion beefsteak (one of the daily specials). Maybe it had to do with the electrical problem? At least we enjoyed the sangria!
Great light lunch fare, excellent setting, super friendly staff, solid drinks, very reasonable prices
Favorite Dish: Eat on the patio, split a sandwich with a loved one, try the Mojito, enjoy the park/beach setting with sculptures and fountain
Probably one of the most popular restaurants in San Juan and deservedly so. For some bizarre reason, Dragonfly does not take reservations, so just turn up and prepare to wait (although expect to be annoyed when locals / friends of the door girl get preferential treatment) - a larger than expected dining area though, thanks to the lower basement level, not visible from the bar.
Decor is opium den meets Shanghai brothel, making it one of the sexiest, atmospheric restaurants we've ever eaten in - although we were waiting that long to be seated we spent a tidy sum on Lemongrass cocktails in the bar.
Favorite Dish: Cant go wrong with Dragonfly, although when you get the cheque, you'll realise why. More expensive than most places we've eaten in Manhattan. Menu on the website, so I won't bore you with descriptions.