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Jan 3, 2010 09:47 AM

First time to Puerto Rico! Where to go... what to eat...

The man and I are heading to Puerto Rico for the first time next month and will be staying at the Caribe Hilton. We will be renting a car to travel around the island but I am not really sure of the geography or how far apart things are. What are some places that we should try near our hotel? Where are some destinations that we may want to explore? We are interested in good food, but not gourmet. I am a vegetarian and the boy is not! Thanks!

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  1. La Casita Blanca. A tiny hole-in-the-wall family place in San Juan, smack dab in the middle of a regular neighborhood (away from hotels and chains...) Not sure about the vegetarian fare, but it was my fave when I lived there. Excellent home cooking. You may have trouble with the veggie thing as most Puerto Rican cuisine is chicken or pork based.
    There was also a great place at the base of the rain forest. Can't remember the name but yummy just the same. TALK TO THE LOCALS -they will steer you right!

    2 Replies
    1. re: vlnmom1

      I was hoping for a few more suggestions! Anyone else?

      1. re: lkmuller

        See my post here:
        There are a number of suggestions around this board if you do a little searching...

    2. If you like the beach, on the northwestern side of the Island, especifically Aguadilla, is the Crashboat or Playuelas (one of the best); close to Caribe Hilton is El Escambrón (another beach), Old San Juan has two forts (El Morro and San Cristóbal) and a lot of shopping boutiques and souvenirs stores. Visit Casa Galesa (corner of Calle Luna and De la Cruz) and Puerto Rico Arts and Crafts (Calle Fortaleza 204). Two streets behind Calle Fortaleza there is a vegetarian restaurant, Verde Mesa. (They are open four days a week only. You must call ahead of time.) St. Jermaine ia another excellent restaurant which is on the same block as Casa Galesa, but at the next corner. Then you have El Yunque in Rio Grande. In Ponce (South of the Island) you have the oldest firehouse, and the Museum of Arts. (There are two other Museum of Arts in Santurce.) You have a few other museums close to El Convento Hotel in Old San Juan.

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