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Food Crawl: Puerto Rico!

Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico
12 Kudos
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From casual dining to fine dining, Puerto Rico has so much choices!!! My friends and I were able to try some great places during our short stay on the island!

We did however find it a little hard to navigate around the island to some of the newer food places. Despite the traffic jams and the fact the we speak very little Spanish, we went on an adventure for the love of food! We definitely saved the best meal for last when we went on a drive up the mountains to check out all the lechoneras! This is a must when visiting Puerto Rico!
Story Details

Points of interest

El Yunque National Forest
This is a perfect stop after a hike at the El Yunque. Unfortunately due to bad weather from the night before, we didn't get to hike the trail, but we stopped by here anyway after taking pictures near the waterfall! They didn't have electricity when we stopped by, so they didn't have ice to make the coconut juice cold. Still, we purchased a couple of coconuts for $3 each! Once we hydrated ourselves the ladies here gladly sliced our coconuts open for the meat! They also serve food at this stand, but they didn't have much available so we went somewhere else to eat! Get here early so you can beat the crowd and enjoy the view/scenery! *Parking is also limited*

Restaurants

Bar Gitano
Bar Gitano saved the night for us! This trendy, dim lit, and popular spot is located on the busy street of Ashford, so parking can be difficult! I liked that they have patio seating, but be prepared to wait long if you wanna be seated there. We ended up getting a table inside Gitano! Our server was nice and we were told that their menu varies every week highliting dishes from different parts of the world! We thought the food quality was okay.
New Taste
Overpriced Asian food in the Condado district! I'm sure it's because it's the only Asian restaurant in the area! We landed in San Juan around 11 PM and New Taste was one of the few restaurants opened late that night. Their menu is mostly Chinese but they also offer sushi rolls! OKAY WHY NOT! Prices were steep $16 for honey walnut shrimp and $12 for the CA rolls. No thanks! Anyway we skipped on their food that night but returned here two days later to try their boba drinks/smoothies after going to the beach. We got their watermelon smoothie and watched the girl who works there pour SOOOO much syrup in our drinks. It turned out soooo sweet, I couldn't finish mine after several sips! *SKIP*
Raíces
My friends and I ventured to this part of Old San Juan to try some mofongos! Restaurante Raices seemed to have a good variety of Puerto Rico's most popular dish so it seemed like the perfect choice! The restaurant was super busy when we arrived, but we only waited about three minutes to get a table! The restaurant is actually pretty roomy inside and it has a very local Puerto Rican-ish vibe to it, specially with the waitresses dressed in their traditional dresses. We were a little disappointed with the mofongo but the chuleta kan kan was sooooo good! I recommend it!
Ceviche House
Ceviche House is located a few blocks away from Isla Verde beach so we had lunch here beforehand. Parking is very limited, but the food is worth a try! Friendly service also makes this restaurant a must when visiting this part of Puerto Rico! Get the pisco drinks and also the paella was delicious! the mix ceviche was so refreshing and yummy! The perfect meal before we went to the beach!
Pikayo
Pikayo's got you covered if you're looking for fine dining in Puerto Rico! We stayed in the Condado Hilton, so we decided to check out Chef Wilo Benet's Pikayo on our last night on the island! You can't go wrong with Pikayo's classic tasting menu! It was delicious from beginning to end! Classic Tasting Menu included: - Tuna Tartare w/ Jalapeno and Cold Miso Broth - Delicious starter on their classic menu. The jalapeno and miso broth def elevated the tuna tartare. - Foie Gras w/ Ripe Plantains & Black Truffle Honey - I really liked the sweetness of the plantains and the truffle honey's with the foie gras! I wanted more!!! - Scallop Ravioli w/ Asparagus and White Wine - Not my favorite, but I did enjoy the ravioli by itself. - Shrimp, Coconut Milk Polenta in Guava Sauce - This was delicious! The guava sauce in this dish gives it that Puerto Rican flavor to the prawns. - Mini Cheese Souffle w/ Guava Sauce - The souffle was soooo good! I could've finished it even without the guava sauce! Overall, this place stands out from the other restaurants in the area! Don't forget to try some of their cocktails also! *Two thumbs up Pikayo*
Lechonera Los Pinos
We saved the best for last! On our last full day in Puerto Rico, my friends and I did a day trip to the mountain town of Guavate! Guavate is known for the lechoneras lined up on the side of the road! We got here early enough to beat the weekend crowd and found Lechonera Los Pinos with it's open space seating waiting for hungry customers like us to get a piece of their lechons! The workers here are really nice and were very patient with us while ordering food! Besides lechon they also had plenty of soups/stews & side dishes to choose from!

On The Map

4 Comments

by zonacat31

01-22-2016

wow that looks awesome. what are lechoras?

by glennlaz

01-23-2016

@zonacat31 --- Thanks! Lechonaras are referred to the restaurants that specializes in lechon (suckling pig). There's a town in Puerto Rico that is known to have a bunch of them!

by mgregorzek

01-27-2016

Great post bro! I'm going in April any other advice is greatly appreciated!

by glennlaz

01-28-2016

Cueva Ventana is a must!