Restaurants in San Juan
San Juan’s role as a U.S. territory means that the city boasts many of the same restaurant chains you would find in the United States, but make sure you take full advantage of the colorful, local food scene while visiting this seaside city. Local restaurants in San Juan are numerous and accommodate every taste.
One of the best restaurants in San Juan is Marmalade, an eatery and wine bar near the Port of San Juan and in the heart of the Old Town. This dining spot offers a multi-course meal, all with perfectly matched wine pairings. Even though the restaurant offers pasta and other great dishes in spades, their seafood dishes are the star of the show, so be sure to order from the “Flavors of the Sea and Land” section of the menu.
If you’re looking to dive right into the richness that is Puerto Rican cuisine, make a reservation at restaurants in San Juan like Santaella, which specializes in highbrow takes on classic Puerto Rican food. Of particular note are the alcapurrias, stuffed fritters with blue crab and herb salad, and the goat cheese quesadillas, topped with honey and white truffle oil.
Classic cafeteria serving delicious mofongo, fried pork chops, and rice and beans.
Located at the Caribe Hilton Hotel, Lemongrass is an upscale, Pan Asian restaurant serving inventive Latin and Asian-inspired fusion dishes, including red snapper in orange-carrot sauce with plantain spiders and sweet plantain and chorizo wontons with goat cheese.
Neighborhood place near San Juan's La Placita.
Located on Calle Cristo in the historic Old San Juan district, Bodega Chic is a casual restaurant serving French and Algerian cuisine with a Caribbean and Mediterranean influence.
The 160-year-old restaurant is known for its family-style cocina criolla, or traditional Puerto Rican feasts: seasonal favorites include lechón (suckling pig), arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas), and pasteles (yucca and meat wrapped in a banana leaf).
Pamela’s, located at the Numero Uno Guest House in Ocean Park, serves Nuevo Latino and Caribbean cuisine crafted by chef Esteban Torres, who draws on the European, Asian, and African roots of Caribbean culinary traditions.
Tucked away in an unassuming building down a quiet Miramar side street, Chayote is San Juan's see-and-be-seen restaurant. Here's where the local glitterati can be found, decked out in European designer labels and speaking old-world Spanish.
Named after a rich Puerto Rican sauce used on meat and fish, Ajili Mójili prides itself on serving and celebrating the island's traditional cuisine.
This 105-year-old lunch counter and bakery, a stone's throw from the port in Old San Juan, is where to come for a perfect café con leche (poured from a 1940's coffee maker) and a plate of mallorcas (light, buttery pastries, sprinkled with powdered sugar).
This venue is closed.
Founded in 2002, Aguaviva serves what it calls seaside Latino cuisine crafted by chef Hector Crespo. The menu has a selection of seafood dishes prepared with Latin and Caribbean spices, as well as six different ceviches and colossal seafood towers.
The local scene here is as hot as the wood-fired grill in the kitchen. Carnivores go for the parrillada, a savory selection of chorizo, pork tenderloin, short ribs, sweetbreads, and blood sausage (the faint of heart can opt for the fresh grilled vegetables).