From Caña by Juliana González at the Fairmont El San Juan Hotel 

Culinary & Cocktails

With endless evolution and constant transformation, the Puerto Rican kitchen has evolved into a “foodie paradise” over the years, incorporating different influences and traditions.

Combining traditional and trendy flavors, merging international and local cuisine, and reinventing those abuelita recipes, the island’s chefs aim to take care of the people through food.

The island’s cocktail scene has evolved with equal care. Puerto Rico is the birthplace of the piña colada, and you’ll find that innovative approach to refreshing drinks continues to this day. Whether it’s one of the world’s top bars in Old San Juan, a brewery tour, a tasting of local rums, or just a poolside cocktail you’ll find plenty to enjoy there.

Culinary Experiences in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is more than rice and beans! Your trip to the island won’t be complete if you don’t sample staple dishes such as mofongo, made of deep-fried green plantains smashed with garlic and served with pork, creole, or garlic chicken, crab meat, skirt steak, among others; tostones, double deep-fried plantain wheels, usually served with mayoketchup and garlic; and lechón, a slowly spit-roasted pork dish with juicy meat and crispy skin.

Even though you will always find the distinctive spice that characterizes Afro-Caribbean cuisine, chefs and cooks throughout the island have inclined to infuse other cultures into their menus. So, if your palate is feeling a little adventurous, many kitchens around Puerto Rico offer a variety of plates inspired by Asian, Latin-American, and European cuisine that still highlight creole elements. If you won’t have time to sample the wide variety of local dishes, consider trying out a food tour to sample more flavors of the island.

Culminating in a traditional cooking lesson and the battle to end all battles - can Barry and Jamie beat Ben in making a traditional mofongo?

An expertly crafted cocktail from La Factoria.

El Peligroso cocktail at La Factoría in San Juan. 

Cocktails and Mixology in Puerto Rico

Did you know Puerto Rico is the Rum Capital of the world? Over 70% of the rum sold and consumed in the United States alone comes from this Caribbean island. From gold to white, spiced or dark, your preferred drink will be at its best when mixed with one of the many on-island distilled spirits.

And, while many establishments have their own interpretation of traditional cocktails like the piña colada, ask to have your drink crafted with award-winning Puerto Rican brands like Bacardí, Don Q, or Ron del Barrilito to see what all the buzz is about.

A great way to taste and learn about the over 70 brands under the Rums of Puerto Rico quality seal is to take a tour around Casa Bacardí or Serrallés, visit La Casita de los Rones in Old San Juan, or make time for a rum tasting excursion.

So, whether it is at a popular restaurant, a famous bar like La Factoría, a microbrewery like Ocean Lab, or the many establishments around La Placita de Santurce, there are plenty of beverage-related adventures you can enjoy while you’re visiting Puerto Rico.

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