Fine *outdoor* dining in Puerto Rico?
July 29, 2021 1:37 PM   Subscribe

I'm finding myself unexpectedly in Puerto Rico in two weeks and would love to do an evening of fine dining. Eating inside is not within the risk tolerance of the group. Is there some place that has a fancy meal that can be eaten outside?

I'll be on the north-eastern tip - San Juan is about a half hour drive and is perfectly doable and further away is probably a possibility.

I'm not looking for molecular gastronomy but something elevated beyond a standard nice meal. A local/regional theme or fusion would be good. We don't want a plain US style steakhouse or authentic French; we can get that at home. Bonus points if they can accommodate a gluten allergy.

We will be business casual at most, so any place that requires formalwear is out.

P.S. I know it will be hot and humid eating outside, but it is what it is. If they have a later in the evening option so it can cool off, that's a possibility.
posted by Candleman to Travel & Transportation around Puerto Rico (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Unclear whether they have indoor dining, but Marmalade in Old San Juan is one of the best restaurants where I have ever eaten. Moderately casual, I wouldn't be comfortable in short and a tee shirt, but doesn't require a tie. Do not miss their white bean soup
posted by rtimmel at 3:22 PM on July 29, 2021 [3 favorites]

Best answer: El Pescador is eatiing outside on plastic tables and chairs, but OMG is is good.
posted by COD at 3:27 PM on July 29, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If a semi-enclosed 3rd floor open patio counts as outdoor, Santísimo, on the western edge of Old San Juan is both very nice and not obnoxiously fancy. They have really good $15 ceviche and similarly priced cocktails. Six weeks ago, the staff were very careful about masks. The patrons less so.
posted by eotvos at 4:42 PM on July 29, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Yeah, if Marmalade has any outdoor dining opportunities, I second the recommendation. My wife and I went back a second night to try options we didn't try the first time around and it was all fantastic. The locals were better dressed than we were, but the staff understood that tourists' sartorial options are limited.
posted by Kyol at 3:27 PM on July 30, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: We ended up being paranoid enough not to make it into San Juan but if I make it back I'll be sure to look for Marmalade and Santísimo.

El Pescador was good and they've stepped up their décor apparently. The food was very good - best mofongo we had that week.

The other restaurant we tried and really liked was La Estacion, also in Fajardo.
posted by Candleman at 7:42 PM on August 25, 2021

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