Where to Eat in San Juan
The constant evolution of Puerto Rican cuisine is on display at restaurants around San Juan, where the fusion of cultures with the island’s comida criolla (Creole food) has been elevated by talented chefs.
In this cosmopolitan city, you can find dishes that preserve the traditions of Puerto Rican and Caribbean cuisine, or taste creations from Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and beyond. From street food to fine dining, there’s something in San Juan to satisfy every craving and budget.
Merging Contemporary French, Caribbean, and Spanish cuisine with eclectic techniques, Marmalade is one of the most exciting culinary destinations in Puerto Rico. Chef Peter Schintler breaks kitchen trends with a new vision of what a restaurant can be, working with Puerto Rican farmers to take advantage of local produce in a sustainable way. Put yourself in the chef’s capable hands with a tasting menu, or build your own feast from the a la carte menu, with wine pairings from Marmalade’s well-stocked cellar.
The food at this upscale restaurant isn’t just farm-to-table — it’s ocean-to-table. Executive Chef Juan José Cuevas’ menu is full of sophisticated dishes, from crispy grain salad to braised veal cheeks over an apio polenta, passionfruit curd, coconut ganache, and pineapple-cilantro sorbet. If the food weren’t reason enough to visit 1919, the beachfront location inside the historic Condado Vanderbilt Hotel is enchanting.
Hecho en Casa
You’ll feel like you’ve been invited into an authentic Puerto Rican home at Hecho en Casa, which means “homemade” (and definitely lives up to its name). This family-owned restaurant focuses on comida criolla and showcases some of Puerto Rico’s most traditional staple dishes. At Hecho en Casa, they make sure that everything is locally sourced and made from scratch in-house — literally.
La Casita Blanca
Ask the many public figures and celebrities who are regulars at La Casita Blanca, or “The Little White House,” and they’ll tell you that this is the most authentic, traditional dining spot in the San Juan metro region. With a delightfully old-school setting in Santurce, this restaurant will not only satisfy your taste buds but warm your soul. Every day, a list of 10 to 12 Puerto Rican dishes are posted on a whiteboard, with items like stewed beef with rice and beans, codfish and mashed root vegetables, and crabmeat gazpacho waiting to fill your belly.
A friendly eatery where creole and seafood dominate the menu, Cayo Caribe serves up quality ingredients and deep, layered flavors in every plate. From savory mofongo with lobster to mahi mahi tacos to arroz mamposteao and chuletas (pork chops), this restaurant offers home-cooked Puerto Rican cuisine at its finest.
The translation of Cocina Abierta says it all: open kitchen. Not only can you watch the talented kitchen staff as they expertly craft the eclectic creations that will hit your plate, the menu takes an open-minded approach to food, sourcing flavors from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean and beyond. Located in the heart of the Condado, this lively, modern spot is close to many popular hotels — perfect for walking off a big dinner.
Acapulco Taquería Mexicana
You’ll think you’ve gone to taco heaven when you step into this Mexican joint in the trendy Calle Loíza neighborhood. The team at Acapulco pride themselves on using quality ingredients, and bringing an authentic South-of-the-Border flavor to the island. Whether you’re in the mood for chilaquiles, totopos, or tacos loaded with everything from carnitas to pollo al pastor, you’re in for a fiesta for your mouth.
This casually elegant establishment blends Asian and local tastes and techniques for something truly one-of-a-kind. Try Creole spins on tapas, miso mofongo, or sancocho (Latin-American stew) ramen — plus a sushi bar offering creative rolls and fresh-from-the-sea sashimi. The full bar at Shibo also offers fun, fusion cocktails, like sake sangria.