The Central Mountains are home to one of Puerto Rico's most distinctive culinary traditions, famed for charcoal-simmered meats, roadside chinchorros (food kiosks), and locally grown coffee. You'll find all of that and more in Ciales, a picturesque town in the heart of La Cordillera Central.

Whether you're staying the night or just passing through, here are some of the best restaurants in Ciales. Whatever you do, don't pass up the chance to savor locally grown coffee with your meal!

A plate of pastelillos from ASAO smokehouse in Ciales

Be sure to try an assortment of pastelillos and other frituras when visiting Ciales. 


It’s no secret that you’ll find amazing food during your visit to Puerto Rico, but if you really want to eat like a local, you need to discover the art of chinchorrear, which is the term for going restaurant-hopping to sample lots of different dishes and drinks with family and friends.

Ciales, known for its picturesque topography, is a perfect setting to enjoy a good chinchorreo. In addition to the roadside kiosks and restaurants, there are also food trucks located on the Paseo Lineal Juan Antonio Corretjer (a lovely park with amazing views). There, you can pair a snack with a coffee or a frappé, and a panoramic view of the mountains and the Río Grande de Manatí.

Mofongo and meat platter from ASAO  Smokehouse

ASAO Steakhouse in Ciales has the best selection of meat cuts in the area. 

ASAO Smokehouse

This restaurant, which has abundant space for families and groups, reflects the typical menu for the mountainous areas of Puerto Rico. It offers grilled and smoked red meats, juicy ribs, tasty roasted chicken, and spit-roasted pork, served in large portions ideal for sharing and passing around the table. To accompany your choice of meat, add rice and beans, tostones, mofongo, and more.

ASAO Smokehouse is popular with locals, and during the weekends they usually host live traditional music. The atmosphere is familiar and fun. There is plenty of parking right in front of the restaurant.

Rancho El Desahogo

A short stroll from the Ciales town plaza, Rancho El Desahogo boasts ample outdoor seating with views of the meandering Río Grande de Manatí. Feast on platters of succulent meats and Puerto Rican sides, golden-crispy fritters, and sweet treats like fried cheesecake.

Mountain views outside the windows at Casa Vieja Restaurant in Ciales.

A meal at Casa Vieja comes with a view.

Casa Vieja

This is a small and simple restaurant known for its great customer service and outstanding views. Casa Vieja is an ideal place to visit if you're in the middle of a chinchorreo and want to try traditional dishes such as longaniza, beef stew, delicious pasteles, and more. The atmosphere is peaceful, with an outdoor terrace area decorated like an old-fashioned Puerto Rican house, where you can appreciate beautiful views of the Central Mountain Range. The restaurant's friendly staff will make you feel at home. Among the favorite menu items is the palanganas, which is a sampler of local favorites such as morcillas, longanizas, fried chicken, tostones, and beef stew. The mojitos are also crazy good.


A sports game is nearly always on the TV and the atmosphere is always festive at Chalan's, which is popular among locals for birthdays and other gatherings. Some nights, you'll find music and dancing on Chalan's expansive open-air terrace. The mofongo plates are a safe bet, and the steaks come highly recommended.

A woman and a young child stand on the rooftop of El Caney, a restaurant in Ciales, Puerto Rico.

The views are almost as good as the mojitos at El Caney.

El Caney Restaurant & Bar

Find some of the most stunning mountain views from the rooftop of El Caney, a family-friendly restaurant situated just outside the center of Ciales. Order hearty Puerto Rican specialties, such as asapao de camarones and arroz mamposteao, to enjoy al fresco with a cool cocktail or beer. Insider tip: try the mojitos, which have taken the top prize at Puerto Rico's annual Mojito Fest.

Don Carlos Restaurant

Just down the road from Paseo Lineal Juan Antonio Corretjer is Don Carlos Restaurant. It has its own park-like vibes, with lush tropical plants, mountain views, and an open-air dining room framed with billowy curtains. On the menu, you'll find everything from churrasco to fried fish stuffed with shrimp.

People sip coffee on an outdoor terrace at the Museo del Cafe de Puerto Rico in Ciales.

The Coffee Museum of Puerto Rico also boasts its own coffee bar.

Museo del Café de Puerto Rico

Though it's mainly a museum, the Museo del Café de Puerto Rico also boasts an outdoor coffee bar where you can sip delicious Don Pello coffee, grown right here in Ciales. 

Aromas D'Cafe

This local gem is located inside Paseo Lineal Juan Antonio Corretjer, and is a perfect place to grab a morning coffee, frappe or acai bowl before your nature stroll. If you're looking for something more substantial, Aromas D'Cafe also has a menu of pancakes, breakfast sandwiches, omelets, and more.

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