Old San Juan

El Jibarito


280 Calle Sol, Old San Juan,
San Juan,

Puerto Rico,

Locals pack into this colorful restaurant at lunchtime for down-home comida criolla, the traditional Puerto Rican cooking that pulls from the island's Spanish, African, and Indian heritage. Ignore the slightly cheesy décor—e.g. ceramic conquistador plaques—and instead focus on the tostones (fried plantains) and the mofongo (mashed fried green plantains with red snapper), which are easily the best in Old San Juan. Everything's cooked to order by the owner's wife, Alda, and the portions are big enough that you might not need dinner.