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Jan 25, 2007 08:39 AM

Dorado, Puerto Rico

Just a shot, it's a smallish town -- any suggestions for good moderate (i.e. not super-luxe, $30 entree) dining in or around Puerto Rico resort town of DORADO? Thanks!

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  1. Boy are you out-of-luck. I just spent two weeks in Dorado and hated everything about it. My family and I would drive the 50 min into San Juan just to have lunch. I suggest you combs the boards for SJ suggestions. BTW, I would be interested in what property you are staying. We did not see anything worth returning for. We actually ate at the Pizza Hut you can't miss in the center of town. And we NEVER eat chain food.

    Wait, Just thought of something. If you go into the actual heart of Dorado (which there would be no other reason to do) their is a rest. on the left side as your driving in that was very good. Can't remember the name. When I first saw it I thought it was closed. In fact most everything else in Dorado was closed. I yanked on the door and found that not only was it open but very crowded and fun.

    12 Replies
    1. re: shoeman

      hi, we stayed at the hyatt, the hacienda del mar. i have a time share there, so we try to get down every year or two for 4 or 5 days. since it's a condo-style set-up we ate a lot of meal 'in', and as i'd been to dorado i knew there wasn't much to choose from. the one dinner out was at "la terraza" which may have been the place you meant, or not... it's in a little strip w/ a few other small bars and places, and has a really nice outdoor patio under the trees. we ate there last year also and enjoyed it. not mind blowing, but fine, and modertately priced. i had a shrimp dish w/ the 'mofongo' (?), mashed plantains line a crock and they baked it with your choice of filling, w/ tomatos, onions, peppers etc. ...quite tasty. the hyatt is v. nice, but not everyone's cup of tea, since there's no nightlife (that's why we like it though..) and not much going on. but the grounds and pools are lovely and it's on the beach, which is all we wanted. we never even bothered going into san juan, although maybe an evening in town would have been OK.

      1. re: shoeman

        Wow, I wonder why so many other countries/people have such a bad opinion about American's. I know that Puerto Rico is part of the US but it's amazing how close-minded people are. I don't mean to be disrespectful, but I just read over the shoeman's response about Dorado and it kind of made me mad. I am from North Carolina and I just moved to Puerto Rico. Everything about Puerto Rico is great, the people, the culture, the scenery, the food. I guess you just have to be open minded and try some of the local restaurants because the food is AMAZING. Maybe the shoeman and his family would have enjoyed Dorado better if they would have asked some of the locals where to eat. I mean who goes on vacation to Puerto Rico and dines at Pizza hut. Way to be outgoing, adventurious! If you want to experience something different and adventurous, Puerto Rico is for you. But if you would rather eat at TGI Fridays then stay in the states. By the way they actually do have a TGIF here.

        1. re: nayotobin505

          hi there, so do you have recommendations in the dorado area then? we're heading back next week, cook many meals 'in' but last two years have gone to la terrazza, which we liked. but welcome more suggestions, especially seafood and/or on the water. tnx!

          1. re: bklynbiker

            I just came back from 10 days in Puerto Rico. La Terrazza was wonderful although its sad because they say business is pretty much non existent. Tourism is down they say. Unfortunate for them since they are top notch with their food as well as their service. Dorado however is another story. I've heard it called a tourist beach town but really its dead. Dorado public beach is terrible. Dorado is not convenient to anything. The Townhouse we rented in Gables Breeze is one to stay away from. Beware of rentals in Gables Breeze, the owner of the Townhouse really took us "first time to Puerto Rico" travelers. It was so bad we ended up leaving mid week and having to take a loss on our money. Once out of this poor excuse for a vacation rental our trip turned around and Puerto Rico itself , outside of this bad experience was wonderful. San Juan has plenty of great restaurants. We went to one Italian Restaurant that was just fabulous, Al Dente is the name. Veal to die for with desserts to follow, GREAT service. The owner is from Northern Italy, this is one to look for in Old San Juan. Also an Argentenian Steak House down the road from the Marriot on Condado Beach was good too.

            1. re: kgis

              I'll second the Argentinian Steakhouse, I believe it's called UMMO, good steak at a good price and outdoor seating if you'd like

          2. re: nayotobin505

            I lived in Dorado. At that time Pizza Hut was basically the only thing there. There was a small coffee shop, but if you weren't local it was next to impossible to get service. (No, not an "ugly" American & my SO spoke excellent Spanish & we always searched for local food - successfully in dozens of countries.) There were restaurants at the Hyatt facilities in the area.
            Other areas in PR we found great, accessible food - but not Dorado. I too loved much about PR. We did ask locals where to eat, we worked with locals & became friends with locals and these relationships helped us learn much about the food, culture, history & language. At that point in time there was no other viable option for dinner there except Pizza Hut. Pizza Hut has never been a real contender for our "night out" picks - but in Dorado it was the only choice you had if you wanted a dinner out!

            1. re: meatn3

              Going to be staying in Dorado at the embassy suites. When I travel to the Caribbean I always buy local fish and use local ingredients. I would love to be able to do this next week when I arrive. Can someone please provide a point of contact where I can buy local seafood fresh? I don’t care if it is one person who has boat. I will pay top dollar and will pick up. Don’t mind traveling to do this. I will have vehicle.


            2. re: nayotobin505

              Hey there nayotobin505 - I am going to El Conquistador in mid-August, do you have any ideas for LOCAL spots near there (we're renting a car). Seriously interested in some seafood and some baby pig. Also markets nearby. Totally agree with you about going to Pizza Hut. I'm simply looking for some local cuisine, not relocated Italian or French, etc. THANKS in advance.

            3. re: shoeman

     unfortunate your experience. Did you asked locals? Is almost not possible that you couldn't find anything. Anyways, these days there are more places to eat around, but back then too. Here is a list, just to name a few, that have been in the nearby area, recently and for some years too:
              La Villa de Alberto
              La Terraza
              El Ladrillo
              Sweet Ann Cakes
              Ole Cafe Dorado
              Zen Garden
              The Chop House
              Oriental Palace
              Rancho Mar
              BTW, one of the greatest chef in PR - Wilo Benet - started to publish a book (2008) of all restaurants and "chinchorros" in PR by geographical area, price, type of food, etc. It is call: SaL! and you can find it in Borders (there is one in PR in Plaza Las Americas).

              1. re: doradopr

                Can you recommend a good puerto rican seafood restaurant in the Dorado area. We used to eat at La Terraza but the last couple of times we didn't enjoy it as much as other years.

                1. re: doradopr

                  You are spot on and your 1st 3 places Villa de Alberto La Terraza and Morena are great. My personal favorite is El Ladrillo. I have been going to Dorado for the last 12 years and have a friend who has a place there. The golf is great and if you take the time to explore the town and people and get away from the tourist stuff it can be a great experience. I love Puerto Rico.

                  1. re: doradopr

                    Just got back from a week in Dorado and I'll second the recommendation for El Ladrillo. (I had the Jueyada, which is a crab-based plate of awesome, not sure how else to describe it). We also hit Villa de Alberto, which we found to be good but not excellent. I wish I'd had the time to check out the various places near it.

                    Also good, and apparently new in the past year or so, is Grappa, an italian joint right in the middle of town. Mostly prix-fixe, emphasis on fresh ingredients. We had brunch there which was a great deal of fun. The price included coffee or tea, a mimosa or bellini, fruit with granola, & choice from a big selection of entrees, all of which came out wonderfully. Plus, really good cafe con leche.

                2. The hyatt is now closed right?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: shoeman

                    well there were once 3 places, the dorado beach, the cerromar and the hacienda del mar. the latter is the only one operating fully. the dorado still has restaurants and golf, and the cerromar still has a restaurant and a bar, but that's it. but the hacienda del mar still operates fully.

                  2. Just had a great six days in Dorado.
                    We had lots of day trips and a kitchen in the condo, so we didn't eat out a whole lot in Dorado proper, but I'll mention two places. Also, the two grocery stores were more than adequate (Grande and Amigo).

                    Sweet Anne Cakes is a great little bakery with wi-fi...Besides the delicious pastries and cakes they also sell other puerto rican dishes, fresh bread and wine.

                    Our last night we went to Antojitos del Kitrinche, right across from the local beach (down from the Gulf station off the main road). In a quaint little spot with open air seating, this place was friendly with good service and very tasty food. We sampled a lot, and the menu allows for that, in addition to more expensive entrees. Perfect little seaside spot.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: rcburli

                      Hounds! Hounds! You MUST go uber local for at least ONE meal just before Sunset at Pinones beach for eats at the seriously old-school casual food kiosks (shacks) at Pinones Beach. $1 for the best Pincho (grill chicken on a skewer) and about $4 for a great homemade Pina Colada. Dress super casual as almost everyone there will be in bikini's and t-shirts enjoying the beach scene. Weekends are busy!!! Wepa!!!