The Best Places To Eat In San Juan: A Foodie’s Guide
Wondering where are the best places to eat in San Juan? Or maybe you’re wondering where are the locals eat? Well let us say that you will not have a shortage of restaurants to choose from when visiting San Juan.
From the best restaurants in San Juan to local favorites, we have an ultimate foodies guide to San Juan below.
Best Restaurants in San Juan
Old San Juan Bakery – La Bombonera
To kick off our list of best San Juan food spots is an Old San Juan food staple. La Bombonera restaurant was first opened in 1902 and is one of the oldest restaurants in Puerto Rico. Wondering what’s kept them in business for so long? It is without a doubt the Mallorcas.
What’s a Mallorca you ask? Well, to keep it simple — it’s a sweet and savory pastry.
Coming in vegetarian or meat option with fillings like egg, cheese, and bacon — these are a popular choice for everybody. The fillings are pressed in between two sweet and powdered-sugar-topped pieces of bread.
You guys, it’s delicious.
They do offer other tasty desserts to try, and the coffee is always good. Dining at the counter is great fun, but you can also sit comfortably in their table seats.
This little diner is something of a mix between an old-school American diner with the down-to-earth customer service of Puerto Rican restaurants.
Address: 259 Viejo, Calle San Francisco | Price: $ – $$
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For Breakfast or Brunch
Waffle-era Tea Room, Caficultura, an, La Bombonera are all excellent breakfast spots. For us, we landed at Café Cuatro Sombras where we had tasty breakfast sandwiches with a cup of Puerto Rican coffee.
Café Cautro Sombras is very popular among locals who cannot get enough of the delicious cappuccinos. Most of their food is served on beautiful timber boards, and everything looks equally as tasty as it actually is. You can tell they give a lot of attention to the way food is presented.
The décor of this café is also beautiful, and you can enjoy fine dining while enjoying the relaxing vibe of this diner.
Address: 259 Calle Recinto Sur | Price: $ – $$
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For A Hipster Lunch – El Patio De Solé
Located on Calle Cerra, in the heart of the beautiful Santurce murals, El Patio De Sole is a quirky, unique restaurant you have to see for yourself.
The entire place is an open-air restaurant with art and lush greenery every where. The most outstanding feature of this cozy restaurant is its décor. All walls are boldly accented with gorgeous murals that were painted by local artists.
The food here is also very good. They offer everything from fresh smoothies and great lunch options to traditional dishes that will leave your mouth watering for more. If you’re in Santurce, you will want to stop by El Patio De Sole.
Address: 718 Calle Cerra | Price: $
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For A Farm To Table Dinner – Verde Mesa
One of our favorite spots to eat here is Verde Mesa. Offering an array of freshly sourced items that are vegan and vegetarian friendly with something for the meat lovers too, Verde Mesa is truly one of the top restaurants in Old San Juan.
Their theme is simple: fresh ingredients purchased from local fisherman and farmers, made beautifully and brought to your plate.
The décor is a dream come true to any antique or rustic-décor lover. Everything from the seating to the ceiling is covered in beautiful traditional furnishings and handmade décor.
Address: 107 Calle Tetuan Esq | Price: $$-$$$
For a Local Vibe – Lote 23
One of the most local things you can do is head over to Lote 23 for dinner. Lote 23 is a food-truck-like experience with a variety of food stall vendors offering different cuisines. You can order all sorts of dishes that explode with flavor. Their sandwiches are described as a revolution, and you can also order traditional Puerto Rican dishes, seafood, fish tacos, steak, pastries, or cocktails.
The food trucks are all unique in style with some pretty fantastic designs to marvel at while you wait for your food.
Anything from authentic Puerto Rican food to Asian, BBQ, or Pizza — a stall at Lote 23 has it.
Address: 1552 PR-25, San Juan | Price: $ – $$
Check out: Santurce Street Art – A Guide to San Juan Graffiti Neighborhood
For Tasty Bar Food – La Taberna Lupulo
What does a Cuban sandwich and chicken sandwich have in common? Absolutely nothing besides that they’re both delicious, and that La Taberna Lupulo makes both to perfection!
If your looking for a great bar that has a killer soundtrack, an endless selection of craft beer, and flavor packed pub-fare, then La Taberna Lupulo is your spot.
La Taberna Lupulo has a peaceful vibe, and is a perfect place to dine at for a true Puerto Rican vibe.
Address: 151 Calle San Sebastián | Price: $ – $$
For The Best Mofongo – El Jibarito
Looking for quality Mofongo? Well, El Jibarito has it. El Jibarito is a staple that is located in the heart of Old San Juan.
Locals make up the majority of the patrons, and it’s easy to see why. El Jibarito offers some of the tastiest authentic Puerto Rican cuisine that speaks to the island’s Spanish, African, and Indian heritage.
Open everyday from 11 AM to 9 PM, El Jibarito needs to be on everyone’s must-eat list.
The restaurants décor is unique with bright colored walls and simple, stylish furnishings.
The food is also traditional yet beautifully prepared. The tasting menu offers a variety of dishes to choose from such as fried cheddar cheese balls, chicken turnovers, fried corn sticks, beef and pork soup, oven-baked Salmon, and many others. You can also order food types that are not found on your average menu such as blood sausages or octopus salad.
Address: 280 Calle Sol | Price: $ – $$
For Late Night Food Eats – Pirilo
If you’re looking for some late-night food, a big delicious pizza from Pirilo is it! Open till 10 PM on the weekdays and 2 AM on the weekends, Pirilo serves up pizza to tourists and locals alike.
You can expect a line and wait. No joke, this pizza is good.
The bar and diner also looks pretty fantastic with its heavy wood furnishings and classic décor. It certainly is a great place to visit if you want to enjoy fine dining as well as delicious drinks.
Address: 207 Calle Tanca | Price: $ – $$
For Something Close To The Water – La Casita
La Casita is a bright pink little abode located in the marina of Old San Juan. Watch cruise ships come in and out from their shaded patio as you drink house-made Pina Colada’s over a tasty meal.
The wonderful and cheerful atmosphere is one of the memorable features of this restaurant, and the drinks are strong yet perfect for beating the island heat.
They also have a long wine list, and their menu includes various foods such as crane frita, chicken chicharron, chicken pizzetas, dumplings, fish bites, pulled-pork sliders, and more. All of their food looks tasty and is served in a charming, unique fashion.
Address: Calle Comercio | Price: $$ – $$$
For Upscale Dining – Jose Enrique
If you’re looking to dine with one of the greatest Puerto Rican Chefs, you must check out Jose Enrique. Born and breed in Puerto Rico, Chef Jose opened Jose Enrique, which soon after opening was ranked as one of the top restaurants in the world.
Go see for yourself why so many rate this one of the best restaurants in Puerto Rico. The food they serve is beautiful, tastes fantastic, and their menu offers a variety of traditional and exotic meals to try.
Address: La Placita, Duffaut St. 176, | Price: $$ – $$$
For Something Unique – La Ruta de Lechones
If you’re looking for something truly local, you’ll need to rent a car to get there. Located in the central region of Puerto Rico, an area call Guavate, you’ll find the famous La Ruta de Lechones or “the pork trail.”
About an hour south of San Juan, and especially popular on Sundays, the area of Guavate is known for its open-air roadside stalls that smoke whole pigs.
If you’re a meat lover, this is well worth the trip!
Address: Guavate, Puerto Rico | Price: $
San Juan Coffee Shops
Cafe Don Ruiz, Gusto’s Coffee and Cafe Regina are three of the best coffee shops in San Juan. Home to some of Puerto Ricos’ best and authentic coffee beans, if you are needing a pick me up, any of these three coffee shops will gladly help you out.
Old San Juan Food Tour
One of the best things about Old San Juan is how proud the people are of their food and their willingness to show it to you.
If you want to take this “foodie guide” up a bit, consider booking the Flavors of Old San Juan food tour or the Puerto Rico Craft Cocktail Walk. Be taken on a culinary exploration as you learn about and taste some of the island staples.
Old San Juan Hotels & Accommodations
- The Luxury Inclined: Hotel El Convento is located in the heart of Old San Juan in a restored 350 year old building. Enjoy the pool and hot tube as you overlook San Juan Bay. Luxury at it’s finest.
- The Budget Conscious: Navona Studios is located right across from La Bombonera. Enjoy a balcony new of the bustle streets of San Juan below.
- Something in Between: La Terraza de San Juan is a boutique hotel that will have you swooning with it’s 19th-century Colonial style decor and vibe. A great location and roof top, it’s not wonder why so many people love staying here.
For more accommodation choices and places to stay in and near Old San Juan, you can check the latest place and prices here to secure an unforgettable Puerto Rican accommodation.
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– Lauren & Jesse Stuart (The Stüs)