For over a century, La Plaza del Mercado de Santurce – locally known as La Placita – has served as the farmer's market of the Santurce neighborhood of San Juan. During the day, when the main building is open, stands overflow with local fruits and vegetables. There's a tobacco kiosk (look up to see the longest cigar in the world hanging from the rafters), a butcher, and Puerto Rican restaurants serving lunch. The pace of life is slow, and older folks sit around the square playing dominos.

People having a good time at Taberna Los Vázquez in La Placita.

People having a good time at Taberna Los Vázquez in La Placita.

But when the sun goes down and the market shuts its doors, the streets around La Placita come to life. Music starts to play around every corner and locals and visitors arrive in droves to party the night away. In just a few city blocks, you'll find high-end restaurants and bars next to chinchorros (inexpensive bar-restaurants), craft cocktails and Medalla beer, people dancing salsa in the streets, and so much more.


La Placita Restaurants

Start your night out in La Placita with a delicious dinner at one of the many excellent restaurants. Explore the culinary scene, showcasing some of San Juan's trendiest and most sought-after dining establishments.

a beautiful dish featuring seared scallops at santaella restaurant in san juan

Seared scallops at Santaella Restaurant in San Juan. 


219 Calle Canals

If you're looking for a modern Puerto Rican dining experience with a tropical twist, Santaella is the perfect choice. Local chef José Santaella blends fresh ingredients, creative flair, and international influences to highlight the vibrant essence of the Island's comida criolla (creole cuisine). Sample their delectable tapas, such as the crispy Puerto Rican artisanal blood sausage.

Mai Pen Rai

303 Calle Canals

If you're looking for something radically different, a little further up the same street is Mai Pen Rai, an elegant Thai restaurant with a top-notch cocktail selection. The gin and tonic is particularly good.

Delavida Restobar

1361 Calle Iturriaga

Head in the opposite direction to Delavida Restobar, where you can sit on the wide covered deck and enjoy some authentic Puerto Rican food or decadent bar food like nachos and tacos. They also have daily lunch specials, brunch on Sundays, and salsa dancing on Thursday nights.

Fine Dining Experiences in Puerto Rico

Plate of Puerto Rican fritters with a cocktail.

Try authentic Puerto Rican fritters at La Alcapurria Quemá.

Asere Cubano Kitchen and Bar

180 Calle dos Hermanos

Around the corner is a two-story building called Asere Cubano Kitchen and Bar. The first floor is an elegant Cuban/Puerto Rican restaurant and the second floor is a cocktail bar called La Carnicería with a terrace overlooking La Placita.

La Alcapurria Quemá

251 Calle Duffaut

Just a block away you'll find La Alcapurria Quemá, a casual eatery serving Puerto Rican fritters like alcapurrias and pastelillos, as well as heartier dishes like mofongo, carne frita (fried pork), serenata (salted cod with root vegetables), and other traditional dishes.

San Juan Smokehouse

255 Calle Orbeta

You'll even find authentic American barbecue at La Placita. San Juan Smokehouse serves up heaping portions of pulled pork, brisket, BBQ chicken, and Memphis-style dry rub ribs smoked in hickory.

Plate full of seafood.

Tasca El Pescador offers a delectable array of fresh seafood sourced directly from local fishermen.

More Authentic Puerto Rican Restaurants

As you walk into La Placita itself, you'll come across a number of Puerto Rican restaurants with different specialties. Chicharrón (176 Calle dos Hermanos) is among the most popular for classic Puerto Rican food, while next door Tasca El Pescador (178 Calle dos Hermanos) is a family-owned restaurant established in 1995 that offers criollo with an emphasis on fresh seafood and fish. Boronía En La Placita (100 Calle San Rafael) also specializes in criollo food and has live music several days a week, including local jazz artists and acoustic duos.

Discover More Restaurants in San Juan

View of La Penúltima bar and restaurant in San Juan.

La Penúltima, a colorful cocktail bar and restaurant in Santurce.

Must-Visit Bars in La Placita

Searching for a night out with unique cocktails, fine whiskey, or local craft beers? The La Placita nightlife district extends for blocks around the main market building, but here are a few can't-miss bars to put on your list.

La Penúltima

1359 Av. de la Constitución

As you enter Calle Canals from Ponce de León Avenue, on the corner you'll spot an orange house with a yard full of communal tables. This is La Penúltima, a cocktail bar also serving creative bar food. Keep an eye out for their pop-up events where they bring in guest bartenders and chefs preparing one-night-only food and drink specials.

Jungle Bird

254 Calle Canals

Keep going down Canals to Jungle Bird, a tiki bar established by the same partners that opened La Factoría in Old San Juan. The menu is divided into tiki-inspired and tropical cocktails, with some zero-proof options as well. The wildly colorful and eclectic decor reflects this mash-up beautifully. Don't miss the Asian-Puerto Rican bar bites by Chef Paxx Caraballo.

Two hands clinking glasses in a toast.

Toast to good times with La Penúltima's signature cocktails.

More Bars in La Placita

You can enjoy a cigar with aged rum or single-malt scotch neat at Don Rey Cigar (1348 C. Roberts). On the square, El Deportivo (Plaza Del Mercado de, 205) has local craft beers, and El Coco de Luis (1348 Calle José M. Raffucci Morales) offers tropical cocktails and a great whiskey selection (try one mixed with coconut water). Indulge in refreshing drinks and delectable tapas at El Techo Rooftop Bar while enjoying stunning views of San Juan and La Placita. There are also numerous casual bars serving cold Medalla beer and standard mixed drinks all around La Placita. Find one playing the music you like and head into that one.

A couple dances in the street at night in La Placita de Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

On weekends the streets of La Placita de Santurce turn into a giant block party at night.

Nightlife and Salsa Dancing

La Placita is across the board one of the best places to go dancing in San Juan.

There are a few clubs, like Mijani The Club (256 Calle Dos Hermanos) with a house DJ, live salsa on Thursdays, and all-night happy hour. There's also Club Vibra (251 Calle Duffaut) which hosts all-night parties blasting reggaetón music, while also serving as a sports bar and hookah bar. Or experience an unforgettable night at TŪLŪM nightclub! With a spacious dance floor that is never empty, it offers a new experience in the heart of La Placita.

Most chinchorros, like Santurce Café, Trifongo Taíno, Taberna Los Vázquez, Garabatos, Aguardiente, La Bodeguita del Medio, and others, will have live bands or DJs several nights per week, and every night will play lively salsa, merengue, hip hop, or reggaetón music for people to dance to. These are typically small locales, so most of the dancing happens in the street, transforming La Placita into a giant block party.

Where to Go Out Dancing in San Juan

People talking and having a good time in La Placita de Santurce.

People having a good time in La Placita de Santurce.

When Do Bars Open and Close in La Placita?

If you like late-night, you'll love La Placita! Opening and closing times at bars and clubs in La Placita vary, but many bars open around 9 or 10 p.m. and stay open until 5 a.m. Bars and clubs are typically open Wednesday or Thursday through Sunday, with almost everything closed on Monday and Tuesday. 

Note: Since 2023, San Juan has implemented new regulations limiting alcohol service or sales for businesses from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. from Sunday to Thursday, extending to 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and Sundays if Monday is a holiday.

La Placita de Santurce

Enjoy a cold beer or a fresh cocktail at La Placita de Santurce.

Getting To & Around La Placita

La Placita de Santurce is about a 10-minute drive from Old San Juan and about 7 minutes from the Convention Center/El Distrito T-Mobile district. Because parking can be difficult in this popular nightlife area – and because you'll likely be sipping a cocktail or two – it is recommended you take a taxi or rideshare to La Placita. Be sure to tell your driver the restaurant or bar name you're going to – or, if you just want to bar-hop and have no specific destination in mind, ask the driver to drop you at La Plaza del Mercado de Santurce, which is the main market area and hub of nightlife.