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Jan 17, 2009 07:43 PM

Seeking recommendations and info for San Juan dinner

My wife's birthday will soon be spent in San Juan and we would like to find a nice place for it. I have read a LOT of conflicting information on where to go, here and elsewhere, as well as many dissenting points of view. I think I am suffering from "analysis paralysis" and am honestly at a loss so I will describe what we are ideally seeking and see if it rings a bell with anyone.

We prefer a romatntic spot without tables on top of each other and not over-the-top noisy. No bonus points for overly trendy; classy and unique are more desirable. An outdoor dining option would be a plus. Food should be local or have a definite local influence. Pricing is less important than value; I don't mind paying a lot for top-notch food and service but I don't have a lot of tolerance for feeling "ripped off" or dropping a couple hundred bucks and going home hungry. Location should be in OSJ or Condado. Good wine list or memorable local drinks are a big plus.

Also, not familar with dinner scene in San Juan dress in San Juan, any tips on typical dinner dress at the nicer places would be helpful. Thank you.

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  1. I live in San Juan and love to eat good food. which is why I always recommend Pikayo if there is only one day to be spent in San Juan. It is my favorite restaurant.(had dinner there for New Years Eve and eat there about once a week)..amazing food with a local twist..beautiful setting (located in the Museo de Arte which is about 5 minutes by taxi from Condado but I would not walk there in the evening) and excellent service. It is expensive but you will definitely not leave hungry. Food is DELICIOUS . (Chef Wilo Benet was a guest judge on Top Chef) I think there are even tables available outside although I have never used them as I do not enjoy the humidity. As for typical dinner dress...locals definitely dress up a bit more..but I have seen many in khakis and a polo..nice short sleeve button down shirt or jeans and a long sleeve shirt. Anything goes (no shorts, t shirts or flip flops obviously). Staff really makes you feel welcome...Its a pleasure to dine at Pikayo..You wont be disappointed!!! (Am presently on a cruise where the food is incredible and am a bit sad it will soon come to an end but atleast I have Pikayo to return to!!! :-) (also..if you have more than one night I'd recommend Chayote...really good as well but not quite as good as Pikayo in terms of food or atmosphere. Hope this helps somewhat and Happy Birthday to your wife!

    1. I second, third and fourth Pikayo....Pamela's also at Numero Uno Guest House was pretty cool ..I have to say has anyone been to Tangerine at Waterclub? I need an update. It's pretty funky in there.

      To add to the dress, locals dress up. Lots of color and cleavage for women. Tourists stand out for sure, especially women.

      1 Reply
      1. re: phelana

        I was at Tangerine a few years ago..only once though...found it ridiculously overpriced and the portions were tiny. I actually left hungry which rarely happens. The chairs were hard and super uncomfortable. I eat out every night and never have returned...I'd say that speaks volumes about my experience. However..I know that things change, so if anyone has a favorable update, I'd be interested to hear as well.

      2. All, thanks for the recommendations. Pikayo keeps coming up and is a definite possibility, although my wife is leaning toward Rosario's. If anyone has been to both I'd love to hear a comparison. Again, thanks to those who replied.

        1 Reply
        1. re: svicious

          Rosario's? Have never heard of it. Where is it located? Have been here 26 years and have never heard of it.