Where to eat in San Juan
November 10, 2019 1:43 PM   Subscribe

I’ll be spending a few days at La Concha resort in San Juan, PR and would like to eat amazing food that locals eat. The nearer to the resort, the better. Where should I go?
posted by griseus to Travel & Transportation around Puerto Rico (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
El Jibarto in Old San Juan for Puerto Rican comfort food.

El Nuevo Acuario for seafood.

Both recommended to me by Mefites on a previous trip to San Juan.
posted by COD at 5:00 PM on November 10, 2019

We also enjoyed El Jibarito for lunch.

We had a nice dinner at Cocina Abierta after visiting Junglebird for cocktails.

Santaella has some great offerings and is a strong option if you like trying many different things.
posted by icaicaer at 6:31 PM on November 10, 2019

Kasalta is good.
posted by wicked_sassy at 6:00 AM on November 11, 2019

I ate at Nuevo Acuario, and it was good, and there was a large party of locals celebrating something. Excellent ceviche, my "el chillo" was lukewarm. Extremely friendly service but was very, very loud (almost impossible to speak due to the DJ) and very, very slow. We were there early while they were half full and barely managed to get out in 2 hours, eating 2 courses. And that was only because our whole party got up and left while one person walked to the cash register and waited for the bill. I think the fact is that most Puerto Ricans can't afford the "nice" places with access to the finest ingredients. There were a number of places next to Acuario that were filled with locals. Parking is tight. If you want excellent food that the locals eat, the food trucks are the way to go. We stopped at a random one on the way to Areceibo and had great pinchos and fish sandwiches. Not that easy to find on Google Maps, for sure.

I'd recommend Bebo's BBQ, 2352 Calle Celestial, Carolina, 00979, PR. It's by the airport, so an easy stop coming or going (no Uber from the airport, though), and open 24/7. Disorganized, just wait in either of the two lines, have a look at what other people are getting, and point. Excellent BBQ chicken and tostones. Plenty of parking.
posted by wnissen at 10:42 AM on November 11, 2019

It won’t be cheap but I had one of the most memorable meals of my life at Jose Enrique. about 6 or 7 years ago. And it’s still there. The crowd was a mix of foodie tourists and sophisticated locals. It is a world class place, well known. I was introduced to it by a very foodie relative who lived in San Juan at the time. It is seafood focused. And I can remember every single bite years later.

I’m not a foodie, although I was a professional chef for a number of years in my 20s. Nonetheless I’d go back there in a heartbeat if I was back in San Juan. Trust me, or read the reviews. They’re all stellar.
posted by spitbull at 5:35 PM on November 11, 2019

One last rec, Bistro Cafe in San Juan is excellent. Mix of locals and tourists, definitely get the stuffed avocado. This is not a dinky Haas, it is the size of a butternut squash. Fun decor, good service, long waits.
posted by wnissen at 11:34 AM on November 25, 2019

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