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
We’re going to kick our list of the best places to eat in San Juan with 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? The Mallorca’s.
What’s a Mallorca you ask? Well, to keep it simple, it’s a sweet and savory pastry.
Coming in vegetarian or meat option, fillings like egg, cheese and bacon are a popular choice. The fillings are pressed in between two sweet and powdery-sugar-topped pieces of bread.
Guys, it’s delicious.
Address: 259 Viejo, Calle San Francisco | Price: $ – $$
For Breakfast or Brunch
Waffle-era Tea Room, Caficultura and of course, La Bombonera (as we mentioned above) are excellent breakfast spots in the San Juan area. For us, we landed at Cafe Cuatro Sombras where we had tasty breakfast sandwiches along with a cup of authentic Puerto Rican coffee.
A perfect way to fuel up for the day ahead.
Address: 259 Calle Recinto Sur | Price: $ – $$
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. From fresh smoothies and great lunch options, if you’re in Santurce, stop by El Patio De Sole.
Address: 718 Calle Cerra | Price: $
For A Farm To Table Dinner – Verde Mesa
One of our favorite places to eat in San Juan is Verde Mesa. Offering an array of freshly sourced items that are vegan and vegetarian friendly as well as something for all the meat lovers, Verde Mesa is truly one of the best restaurants in Old San Juan.
Their theme is simple. Fresh ingredients purchased from local fisherman and farmers, made beautifully and brought to your plate.
Address: 107 Calle Tetuan Esq | Price: $$-$$$
For a Local Vibe – Lote 23
Quite possibly one of the most local things you can do in San Juan is heading over to Lote 23 for dinner. Lote 23 is food-truck like experience with a variety of food stall vendors offering different cuisines.
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: $ – $$
For Tasty Bar Food – La Taberna Lupulo
What does a Cuban sandwich and chicken sandwich have in common? Absolutely nothing besides they’re both delicious and La Taberna Lupulo makes both to perfection!
If your looking for a great bar that has a killer soundtrack, an endless selection of craft beer and flavor packed pub-fare, then La Taberna Lupulo is your spot.
Address: 151 Calle San Sebastián | Price: $ – $$
For The Best Mofongo – El Jibarito
Looking for the best Mofongo in San Juan? Well, El Jibarito has it. El Jibarito is an eating establishment staple that is located in the heart of Old San Juan.
Locals make up majority of the patrons and it’s easy to see why. El Jibarito offers some of the best authentic Puerto Rican cuisine that speaks to the island’s Spanish, African, and Indian heritage.
Open everyday from 11am – 9pm, El Jibarito needs to be on anyones “San Juan’s Must Eat List”
Address: 280 Calle Sol | Price: $ – $$
For Late Night Food Eats – Pirilo
If you’re looking for some late night eats, a big delicious pizza from Pirilo is it! Open till 12pm on the weekdays and 2am on the weekends, Pirilo serves up pizza to tourists and locals alike.
A friendly heads up that you can expect a line and wait. No joke, this pizza is good.
Address: 207 Calle Tanca | Price: $ – $$
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.
Address: Calle Comercio | Price: $$ – $$$
For Upscale Dining – Jose Enrique
If you’re looking to dine with one of the best Puerto Rican Chef’s, you must check out Jose Enrique. Born and breed in Puerto Rico, Chef Jose opened Jose Enrique and soon after opening was ranking as one of the best places to eat in the world.
Go see for yourself why so many rate this one of the best restaurants in Puerto Rico.
Address: La Placita, Duffaut St. 176, | Price: $$ – $$$
For Something Unique – La Ruta de Lechones
If you’re looking for something REAL local, you’ll need to rent a car to get you 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.
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.
- 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)