Suggestions for eating out in Puerto Rico
I am hoping some of you can give me some recommendations on where to eat in PR. I will be going from San Juan to Luquillo/El Yunque to Esperanza/Vieques and hopefully to Guavate to "Pork Highway".
Id like to eat at at least one "fancy" restaurant since it will be our honeymoon but I am mostly concerned with going to places that have authentic cuisine. Anywhere that the locals frequent. Definitely looking to find some good fried food (cuchifrito or frituras) and of course some good seafood/roast pork
Bumping this up since I'll be in PR in January. Sadly won't make it to the "Pork Highway" but will be in San Juan, Luquillo and mainly Vieques. Would love to hear about good local eats, less interested in fancier stuff.
I went to PR about 1.5 years ago and my favorite restaurants were:
The churrasco (grilled skirt steak) is great. Homey restaurant with really friendly service. I also liked the corn stick appetizer (like corn dogs, but without the hot dog. in other words - awesome). And sweet plantains (although, I don't think anyone can mess up sweet plantains). The shrimp dish and desserts were meh, but def try the steak! I also really enjoyed the mixed mofongo (green plantain, sweet plantain, and yucca). While I was in PR I noticed there were two styles of mofongo - one that had a more fried crispy exterior and one that was more like hearty mashed potatoes. Casa Dante had the latter and it was very good.
Not as fancy as Jam Rum Bar & Bistro (see below) in terms of decor, but the food is better conceived. Kind of a modern Puerto Rican cuisine. There's no sign, but it's the only bright yellow building on the street. They also have complimentary valet parking. Recommend: cangrejo (pastry cups in crab), chillo deshuesado (whole fish with bones) sweet potato puree, papaya and avocado salsa) - our favorite dish of the evening - it's a whole fish, relatively deboned, lightly deep fried with a delicious "salsa" of papaya and avocado and a sweet potato mash. Tembleque for dessert - a typical puerto rican dessert made of coconut cream. The chocolate bomb was fine, and if you're a big chocolate fan you'll like it, but not particularly special.
Jam Rum Bar & Bistro
This could qualify more as your "fancy"restaurant - and a big plus is that it's 50% on Mondays (or was when I went). I wouldn't pay full price for it, but it was definitely worth it at the discount. Very hip kind of restaurant, lots of attention to plating. What we enjoyed most were the mango salad, seared grouper, red snapper and chocolate mousse
Lechonera Los Pinos
Lived up to the hype for the lechon (roast pig). Recommend: Lechon (roast pork) - super crispy skin, tender and ridiculously flavorful meat, sweet plantains, yellow rice and beans - best rice and beans i had in puerto rico, tostones - like crispy plaintain chips. The sweet potato/yam was simple but somehow it tasted better than sweet potatoes i've had stateside. I also tried the blood and sausage but honestly found them a bit dry. I'd skip them and just get more lechon.
Huge selection of sweet and savory baked goodness. Mallorca was delicious. They also had this cheese danish thing (that wasn't a cheese danish) that had real chunks of cheese in it. Tembleque is awesome (traditional coconut cream pudding spiced with cinnamon). We also enjoyed the coconut flan, guava cheesecake, empanadillas and pastelillos (meat-filled pastry things). We went a few different times ;)