A couple of days ago I wrote to encourage tourism to San Juan as a way to boost the Puerto Rican economy in the wake of a series of natural disasters. It’s a great place to vacation, with beaches, history, natural beauty, and (my focus) great places to eat.
I mentioned Orozco’s, a great place for Puerto Rican food, with what may be the most complex and delicious hot sauce around. Let me give you a bunch of other options in Old San Juan and the Condado. Nancy and I stayed in the Condado, an area with some big hotels, the first area to get back to normal after Hurricane Maria.
Oceano, a very modern, chic place overlooking the beach. Its a great place to have lunch or a drink and a snack at sunset.
Another good place to eat is La Joya, within steps of our hotel. They have a sensational fried snapper — fried incredibly lightly — top notch morcilla, and an interesting menu. Just don’t go for the whole roast pig: it was roasted elsewhere and re-heated.
Mario Pagán is an upscale restaurant with an atmosphere of subdued elegance. The food is very sophisticated, with inventive and complex spicing that really, really works.
You can’t miss Ropa Viejo: 1950s architecture stands out.
You can have a wonderful, wonderful meal if you stick to the dishes they justly brag about on the menu. Ask for one of Fernando’s tables, and do as he advises, even to the risotto with pork skins. Really. Otherwise, you’re on your own.
In Old San Juan, Princesa Gastrobar has delicious food in a lovely tropical setting. They also have wonderful service, and a huge selection of rums and rum drinks. It’s an easy walk from the cruise terminal.
A very pleasant surprise in Old Town was Bari. It’s said to have the best pizza in San Juan, but it also has a lovely courtyard, well cooked fresh fish, and the best rice and beans I had in San Juan, and I had a lot.
These places are just a few of the many great places to eat in San Juan — and then there’s the rest of Puerto Rico. It’s a lovely island with lovely people who could use a break, The island is in rebuilding mode, and you can help in so many ways, and not least of these is to head down there and spend some money. You’ll get value for your money, and more. Go, spend, and have a wonderful vacation.
And while you’re at it, click “follow” on our front page to receive blog posts in your email box. Or bookmark us and check in from time to time. If you’re planning a trip, you can “Search” the name of the destination city, state, or country for good restaurants (in Europe, often close to sites, like the Louvre or the Van Gogh Museum, that you’ll want to visit in any event). Comments, questions, and suggestions of places to eat or stories to cover are very welcome. And check out our Instagram page, johntannerbbq.