Glass display of El Verde's roasted chiken

El Verde BBQ is the perfect road-side stop to savor spit-roasted chicken and the bbq ribs. 

Where to Eat in Río Grande

Creole, BBQ, seafood, or sushi, Río Grande has options for your belly.

From elegant dining to roadside dives, Río Grande is jam-packed with friendly establishments that highlight Puerto Rican gastronomy and other international flavors. This municipality between San Juan and Fajardo offers everything from local specialties like yuca al mojo to fresh-caught seafood and sushi.

Here are some of Río Grande’s top culinary offerings:

Locals sit around El Verde BBQ and savor staple dishes

Sample authentic Puerto Rican cuisine and mingle with locals at the foothills of El Yunque. 

El Verde BBQ

One of the town’s most beloved spots is located on the side of the road on PR-3, right off Route 66. This no-frills dive at the bottom of El Yunque National Forest has a shop window-style presentation where eaters can choose their food right out of the display. Slow-roasted chicken, yuca al mojo, baby back ribs, arroz con gandules, and morcilla are some of the Puerto Rican staple dishes you can sample at El Verde BBQ. Be sure to combine your meal with an ice-cold Medalla (a popular local beer) and mingle with locals on the open-air patio area.

outside view of Ekelekua Restaurant

Morning, noon or night, Ekelekua will have something to please your palate. 

Ekelekua

This family-friendly restaurant will hit the spot — morning, noon or night. Ekelekua has a large breakfast menu with everything from eggs benedict over arepas (South American corn cakes) to sweetly satisfying dulce de leche French toast, which pairs perfectly with a cup of coffee or a house mimosa. For lunch or dinner, standout dishes include the seafood paella, chicken pesto pasta, coconut rice, burgers, and tapas, such as chorizo turnovers.

The W Sushi bar and Don Pepe are right next to each other.

A corner where Asian and Puerto Rican food meet in Río Grande with Don Pepe restaurant and W Sushi bar. 

Don Pepe

A joyous place from opening to closing, Don Pepe is a must-stop when visiting Río Grande. Their dishes showcase the richness of Puerto Rican and criollo (creole) cuisine. Offerings include chuletas can-can and arroz mamposteao; deep-fried red snapper stuffed with crab meat served with tostones; mofongo stuffed with conch, shrimp, skirt steak, chicken, breaded steak, chicharrones de pollo, and deep-fried pork; and much more. As an added bonus, the restaurant is packed with Puerto Rican memorabilia, and offers live music on weekends.

Richie’s Café

At Richie’s Café you'll come for the food, stay for the view! With a romantic and rustic setting, the panoramic sight of the Atlantic Ocean will captivate you as soon as you walk in. Feel the breeze while you enjoy delicacies such as lobster-stuffed tostones or conch and octopus cocktail. After appetizers, move on to some exquisite lobster tails in garlic sauce, stuffed mofongo, whole fresh red snapper stuffed with seafood, paella, and much more, all fresh and locally sourced.

W Sushi Bar

For sushi aficionados, W Sushi Bar is the place to go. Choose from a long list of flavorful sushi rolls, including the El Matador (shrimp tempura, cream cheese, crab meat, and smoked salmon) or the Bacalaíto Roll (tuna, crab, and cream cheese, deep-fried in a codfish batter). And if you don’t see the roll you want, the accommodating staff will make it for you. Beyond sushi, there’s a varied menu that fuses Asian techniques with traditional creole cooking, making any meal here a true culinary adventure.

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