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Puerto Rico Dining Help - San Juan

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I'm traveling to Puerto Rico for the first time and am VERY interested in eating local, "you can't miss" type of hidden gems. I'm staying in San Juan but definitely want to travel around the area. Anything I shouldn't miss? Any recommendations are welcome!!

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  1. If you are in Condado, consider Ropa Vieja on Ashford Ave, open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. Its on the bus lines 53 & 21. RV serves PR and Cuban food and been there for years. I am not a fan of mofungoes or the heavier cooking but RV is authentic cooking and the local workers at the Marriott were salavating when I mentioned I was going there (eyes lit up and were very enthusiastic). Not my cup of tea but this might be a good option for you.

    I read a lot of good press about El Pesador, a PR fish restuarant, next to the Santurce Market and was told it is a nice experience at dinner but I did not try it. You might research both here and on the Internet. I just returned from SJ after a week in late Feb. 2011.

    1. Local-cant-miss stuff in Puerto Rico is primarily mofongo and lechón + morcilla and everything that comes along with that.

      For mofongo the best we've found was at the food court next door to Cafe Berlin, I think it's at Plaza Colón. The stand is the back is the one you are looking for. Argentinean empanadas at the one in front can be quire good too. Don Pepe on Hwy 3 also has good mofongo but more expensive.

      For lechón, pollo asado, morcilla etc. you go to either the Guavate area in Cayey, or if you go on Hwy 3 towards Fajardo there's a few lechoneras that way also, and I'm sure there's many of them in other areas as well.

      If you have a specific area in mind other than San Juan someone could give you pointers.

      2 Replies
      1. re: quimbaya

        quimbaya, do you have a favorite in Guavate...
        do you ever got to Dos Bocas???

        1. re: RONNIENJ4

          We drove through Guavate a couple times, but weren't hungry either time, so no experience there. We stay at a guesthouse in Ceiba when in PR, that's on the Fajardo side.

      2. A long thread with lots of suggestions (search is your friend):

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/759158