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Vegetarian Chow in San Juan & Rincon, P.R.

j
Jackpot Apr 26, 2007 03:14 PM

Hi there. I'll be visiting Puerto Rico soon and staying in San Juan (Condado area) and Rincon. Does anyone know of any good vegetarian options? I'm not necessarily looking for vegetarian restaurants -- just places with something good on the menu that I can eat. The less touristy the better. I don't eat seafood.

Also, I've heard that some of the best chow in Puerto Rico is street food. Are there any veggie street food items I should seek out?

Many thanks,

Jackpot

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  1. l
    lyn RE: Jackpot Apr 30, 2007 05:21 PM

    I am here now and options seem somewhat limited as even "meatless" items such as beans and rice likely have meat renderings. You have an interesting challenge ahead! I would check out the Lonely Planet travel book for PR, they seem to pay special attention to vegetarian and note many places that are vegitarian friendly. I checked it out from my local library.

    As far as street type food you may want to check out Luquillo, a beach town just east of San Juan-lots of seaside and roadside shacks serving meat and seafood, but also plantain fritters. not touristy at all. dust off your high school or college Spanish skills the further you go from San Juan.

    I agree the best dishes IMO are the local, homestyle/ creole, street food and plantiful fresh seafood (esp whole snapper and crab), but sadly they really are meat heavy

    Plaintains esp the less popular "maduras" (sweet) are really tasty...you may eating a lot of them. I have had plantains in some incarnation at least once per day

    2 Replies
    1. re: lyn
      l
      lyn RE: lyn May 2, 2007 07:11 AM

      Ok we ducked in to Cafe Berlin on Plaza de Colon in Old SJ for a quick drink. they have an extensive meatless menu: apps (6+), pastas (3-4) and entrees (8). that said the place was oddly dead. the Mojitos were not that great and the beer was kind of stale. Still you may want to check it out based on the menu. Mostly tofu, eggplant, vegetable based. lots of good sides: plantains, basmati rice, grilled veggies etc. but again I did not eat there.

      Also there was a small/medium plate place called Baru ( I may need to check back on spelling) on the other end of Old SJ that has some meatless dishes- a little pricey, but great atmoshere and I noticed a lot of non tourists coming in (as they were personally greeted by staff andother patrons). We had a goat cheese app with mango salsa and plantain chips- went pretty well with sangria!

      1. re: lyn
        j
        Jackpot RE: lyn May 3, 2007 04:45 AM

        Thanks for your help, Lyn. I hadn't heard about Baru. I'll have to check it out!

    2. s
      spontelli RE: Jackpot May 13, 2007 10:33 AM

      Natural High in Rincon: www.naturalhighcafe.com

      There is the Natural High Juice Bar & cafe in Rincon. We have many tourists who eat at our natural foods restaurant EVERY day of their vacation because there is no other alternative. I have lived here for four years and started this restaurant so that we would have a place to eat. Almost all restaurants have one veg dish and its the exact same pasta primavera dish at every restaurant. Personally, I can eat that same dish so many times.

      Over the years, from cooking for ourselves, we began to create veg and raw-veg dishes that use the local tropical produce and spices that are abundant in PR and started making tropical dishes from other places around the planet that have same ingredients: coconut, pineapple, rice, beans, bananas, lemongrass, papaya, citrus. These ingredients, abundant in PR, also form the backbone of Thai, Malaysian, Indonesian cuisine. We wanted a place to go eat the kind of food that we were making at home. So we opened this restaurant.

      Since then we have hooked with local organic farmers and rare fruit growers. Our cuisine is unique tropical and delicious.

      Natural high is the only dining spot in the Northwest that you can get organic, vegetarian, or a raw vegan four-course gourmet dinner. You can also just hang out and have a smoothie and check your email.

      Natural High is located in Rincon 99 Calle Sol, Route 115 km. 14.3, between the two ends of 413. Check the website for hours: www.naturalhighcafe.com.

      Other Personal Recommendations:

      Asi Que Si in the South (Cabo Roja) www.asiquesi.com for a great variety of raw, vegan and organic; and for a quick vegan lunch (not organic) Long Life Deli at FreshMart in Aquadilla.

      Hope that Helps.

      1 Reply
      1. re: spontelli
        j
        Jackpot RE: spontelli May 16, 2007 11:34 AM

        Sounds like a great place, Spontelli. We'll be sure to drop by next month.

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