best places to eat puerto rico

¡Que Rico! 25 Best Places to Eat in Puerto Rico

When it comes to Caribbean food, Puerto Rico is one of the best. The Island of Enchantment is home to some of the best restaurants in the Caribbean from swanky oceanfront dining options to roadside barbecue joints. Whether you’re looking to chow down on a traditional Puerto Rican feast, have a Mexican craving for tacos and margs or are after some fusion, there are plenty of options. Here are the best places to eat in Puerto Rico.

25 Best Places to Eat in Puerto Rico

1. Gonzalez’s Sea Food Restaurant – Mayagüez

When it comes to excellent seafood that is fresh and loaded with flavour in a stellar setting, Gonzalez’s Sea Food is the place to be. Puerto Rico is home to some of the best seafood in the Caribbean from the lemony ceviche to the mofongo con camarones, and there’s no better place to indulge in it than here. Be sure to slurp up a side of their famous plantain soup and indulge in a hearty helping of their seafood paella.

best places to eat puerto rico

2. Casita Miramar – San Juan

Casita Miramar is hulled up in a Spanish villa-style setting that screams date night. Fairy lights, antique furniture and hanging plants aren’t all you’ll fin din this romantic restaurant, however. The food is incredible too. Long hailed as one of the best spots in San Juan for homestyle Puerto Rican fare, you’re in for a great meal any day of the week. Be sure to try their famous comida criolla: a traditional dish that blends the island’s Spanish, African and Taino cuisine.

3. Marmalade Restaurant & Wine Bar – San Juan

If Puerto Rican-international fusion is your thing, be sure head to Marmalade Restaurant & Wine Bar. Choose from their three tasting menus (no a la carte here!) including four, five or six courses with wine pairings. Their menu is constantly evolving with new innovations like Moroccan style ahi tuna tartar and roasted monkfish; so you can rest assured you’ll be eating a unique and unforgettable meal.

best places to eat puerto rico

4. Jose Enrique Condado Restaurant – San Juan

Born and raised in Santurce, PR, Chef Jose Enrique is constantly finding new ways to bring his love of traditional Puerto Rican fare to his restaurant. From the skirt state right on to the swordfish schnitzel, there are lots of innovative dishes to choose from. Don’t miss the famous crispy fish fillet on a bed of garlicky yucca, either!

best places to eat puerto rico

5. La Cambija – Rincon

La Cambija is the perfect spot for a family gathering or laid back date night. This casual open-air eatery is known for its charming picnic tables and outstanding seafood. From the Caribbean ceviche to the lionfish empanadas you’ll definitely be leaving satisfied. Be sure to load up on a few traditional PR sides too like rice and beans or fried plantains.

best places to eat puerto rico

6. Acapulco Taquería Mexicana – San Juan

This small family-owned restaurant is the place to be for all things Mexican food. From the cochinita sopes to tacos de lengua, Acapulco is the real deal. First and foremost are the CDMX style tacos al pastor. Overnight marinated guajillo and ancho marinated pork shoulder topped with a squeeze of lime and fresh cilantro and onion on a bed of corn tortilla? Si, por favor.

7. La Casita Blanca – San Juan

La Casita Blanca or “little white house” in English is every bit as charming as it sounds. Potted plants and quirky trinkets dot the walls, and old rum bottles make for cute table vases. And the Spanish only menu is roughly jotted on a chalkboard as old as time. Your meal starts with a big ol’ basket of complimentary bacalaitos and a bowl of plantain soup followed by homestyle portions of whatever you choose to order.

best places to eat puerto rico

8. La Guardarraya – Guayanilla

For a lifechanging Chuleta Can-Can, head to La Guardarraya. This massive slab of pork chop is the epitome of old school Puerto Rican cuisine, and nobody does it better than La Guardarraya. Set over in the cosy sea-hugging barrio-pueblo of Guayanilla, it’s well worth the drive. In addition to the classic chuleta, the chicken empanadas and papas fritas are also pretty legendary.

best places to eat puerto rico

9. Cafe Nativo – Jayuya

This cosy cafe tucked away in central Puerto Rico’s Jayuya is just what the doctor ordered. The warm and homey atmosphere, incredible food and world-class service are just a few things Cafe Nativo has going for it. Take your pick from their famous house waffles or load up on the mouthwatering sandwiches like the Doña Sol.

10. Coa – Dorado

Swanky waterfront dining full of signature dishes and rum-based cocktails? Yes, please. Sign us up. Named for Puerto Rico’s indigenous Taino people, the name Coa comes from the tool used to harvest the land. This speaks to the restaurants seasonal and locally sourced ingredients from local farms, and purveyors meaning what’s on your plate never comes from too far. Be sure to make a res for a sunset dinner and don’t forget to ask for a wine pairing from their extensive cellar.

best places to eat puerto rico

11. Rincon Smoke Shack – Rincon

For melt in your mouth barbecue that is bursting with flavour and Caribbean flare there is simply no better place than Rincon Smoke Shack. This small roadside smoke truck is known for its saucy ribs and lifechanging pulled pork. Be sure to get there early and load up on all the epic bbq you can. Don’t forget an ice-cold beer to wash it all down, either.

12. El Punto Sabroso – Cataño

With a name that translates to “the tasty point” you know you’re in for a good meal. Famous for their deliciously crispy papa rellena and melt in your mouth mofongo, you’ll be set for life after a meal at El Punto Sabroso. Start with the papa rellenas and then load up on a serving of hot beef stew with an ice-cold beer.

best places to eat puerto rico

13. Mario Pagán Restaurant – San Juan

This just wouldn’t be a list of best places to eat in Puerto Rico without a nod to the famous Mario Pagán Restaurant. Run by renowned chef Chef Mario Pagán, this San Juan eatery is known for its creative spins on traditional Puerto Rican dishes. Whether you opt for the fish fillet with truffled risotto or a classic steak, you’ll be hooked in no time. Be sure to ask for a wine pairing from their extensive wine list.

best places to eat puerto rico

14. La Estacion – Fajardo

This vintage gas station turned retro eatery is one of the best places to eat in Puerto Rico for its vibrant Caribbean flavours and eclectic menu lineup. The real star of the show is the barbecue. Take your pick from their slow-cooked brisket, fall off the bone ribs, smokey chicken or juicy pulled pork and get ready to devour. Whatever you decide, you absolutely must order an appetiser. We recommend the “poppers” made with three cheeses, smoked meat and a crunchy panko crust.

best places to eat puerto rico

15. Carbon Y Leña Restaurant – Quebradillas

Carbon y Leña is about as good as it gets when it comes to homestyle Puerto Rican fare in a family-style setting. Whether you clink a few glasses over some apps or go all out on a big Caribbean feast, it’ll be easy to see why it is one of the best places to eat in Puerto Rico. We recommend the shrimp in creole sauce followed by their famous guava flan.

best places to eat puerto rico

16. Vistas – Ponce

Swanky, chic and modern are just a few ways to describe this Ponce gem. In addition to a stylish atmosphere, the food is nothing short of phenomenal. Be sure to load up on their tapas and enjoy a few of their famous handcrafted cocktails. Pro tip: go at sunset and ask for patio seating, you won’t regret it.

17. La Alcapurria Quemá – San Juan

Named for the famous Puerto Rican fritters, alcapurrias, La Alcapurria Quemá is the place to be for deliciously crisp dough stuffed with your Caribbean faves. Whether you opt for the corned beef, vegetaraiana or bacalao, you’ll be raving for days about how delicious they are. To really dig into the traditional stuff, order the morcilla made with blood sausage.

18. Lechonera Los Pinos – Cayey

Located on La Ruta del Lechon (Pork Highway), you’ll find all your traditional Puerto Rican pork faves here. We’re talking spit roasted pigs and more chicharrones than you can imagine. Not up for pork? There’s loads of chicken to feast on too. Be sure to stop by on the weekend when the place buzzes into an improv dance party.

best places to eat puerto rico

19. Bodegas Compostela – San Juan

Sophisticated, Spanish and delicious are three words that perfectly encompass Bodegas Compostela. This swanky Spanish restaurant is known for its refined service, traditional Spanish fare and incredible wine line up. Load up on a variety of tapas such as the tortilla Espanola alongside some montadito de queso and croquetas. Or what about a feast of classic carne fidueá, either way, you’re covered. Oh and do not – we repeat do not forget the wine.

image: Chris Colloca/Facebook

20. Vieja Mesa – Gurabo

Fancy some classic paella or churrasco? How about a pizza with salsa roja, ropa vieja and frijoles negros? Vieja Mesa has all that and more. This cosy Gurabo favourite is known for its delicious dishes, hearty servings and warm Puerto Rican hospitality. Whether you come for a few tapas and drinks or stay for a huge dinner, you’re in for a real treat at Vieja Mesa.

21. Azalea Latin Asian – San Juan

Ever wanted to indulge in two of the worlds most diverse and tasty regions of cuisine? Azalea Latin Asian is the place to be. Here they combine the iconic tastes of Puerto Rican fare with the ancient traditions of Japanese cuisine to make for a truly unique dining experience. Sink your teeth into their famous pork bao, imperial duck or ceviche for a meal to remember.

22. Serafina San Juan Restaurant – San Juan

San Juan may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of world-class Italian food, but Serafina will surprise you. From the linguine vongole to the lasagna al forno to the classic bruschetta, Serafina San Juan Restaurant feels like a real Roman trattoria. Don’t skimp on the clams in white wine and be sure to treat yourself to a few glasses of Italian wine. We recommend a good ol’ prosecco.

23. Shibō – San Juan

Hankering for some Asian fare in the heart of the Caribbean? Shibō has you in mind. Here you’ll find all your faves like Malaysian curry, boa buns and fufu dumplings. That’s not all, though, there’s also a huge host of Latin/Asian fusion dishes to quell your hunger. Be sure to order a big hearty bowl of Tomkotsu ramen and don’t forget an apple pie eggroll.

24. SODA Estudio de Cocina – San Juan

SODA Estudio de Cocina is one of the best places to eat in Puerto Rico for its funky gastropub atmosphere and knock-your-socks-off good food. Throwback a few famous mojitos and dive into their famous Korean bbq pulled pork or chow down on a decadent bowl of mac n cheese. If there’s room, grab a chair outside on their charming patio. Either way, you’ll be a regular in no time.

25. MUSA – San Juan

Perched on the hip and trendy Cerra Street, MUSA is a fave in San Juan and Puerto Rico as a whole. If you’re after unique fusions that include skirt steak dumplings and ropa vieja mac n cheese, MUSA is the perfect choice. Be sure to pop in on Friday when they host what’s easily the best brunch in the Caribbean full of your sugary and savoury faves.

best places to eat puerto rico

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Melanie Hamilton
Melanie Hamilton

Melanie is an avid traveller with a passion for history and global foods. She is currently based in Tbilisi, Georgia where most of her time is occupied with qvevri wine and Soviet history. Having do-si-do'd her way across Europe and Latin America, she's enjoyed some of the world's most exciting places firsthand and can't wait to tell you about them.

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