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San Juan- looking for hidden/secret/local bars/restaurants/cafes

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Heading down in a few weeks, doing some research. Already on my list to check out, fitting this category, I have:

Casita Blanca, Kasalta, Hacienda Don Pedro, Vino/Factoria, Cafe Celeste, Marrero, El Churry, El Coco de Luiz, Taberna los Vazquez, Aqui se Puede, El Adoquin del Patio, Tresbe, Rivera Hermanos, La Sombrera Rosa, El Farolito, El Jibarito, El Batey, Small Bar, El Barril, St. Germaine Mezzanine, Colmado Bar Moreno, Cafe Manolin, various places around La Placita de Santurce.

Any other suggestions that I'm missing? Only San Juan, no car unfortunately.

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  1. Your list is very bar heavy but based on the number of places listed it seems like you did your research and would know this already.

    Cafe Cultura is some of the best coffee and bfast in old san juan. Cafe Cuatro Sombras is another great cup of coffee in OSJ.

    There are several killer restaurants in La Placita including Jose Enrique (PR food), Santaella (upscale PR), El Pescador (seafood), and Vittorino (italian). If your looking for action head to placita on a Thursday or Friday starting at 5:30 or so, hang out and grab dinner at one of these places.

    A few other good local restaurants would be La Cueva Del Mar on Loiza, the PR food place next door the CDM, and Che's in Punta Las Marias. Also, the same owners of Casita Blanca have a place called Casita Miramar which is open for dinner i believe every night and is in a nicer neighborhood.

    On the bar side their is a bar in La Placita near Santaella that is the new hot place. Dont know the name just look for the crowd. Moon Bar in Condado draws a good crowd and La Taverna Lupulo in OSJ across form Factoria is also a good spot.

    2 Replies
    1. re: iwechtex

      Thanks iwechtex, a couple of those are new to me! I also just heard about Gallo Negro, have you been there? A couple legit cocktail bars would be good for our crew to have in the lineup as well...

      1. re: phipsi102

        Phipsi

        Gallo Negro is an ok place. They make decent cocktails many with whiskey. The food can be hit or miss.

        For legit cocktails I would say the best bar would be the bar at Santaella in La Placita. Favorita in OSJ is good and the bar and the Vanderbilt Hotel in Condado is also very good. The VB is pricey and a very sophisticated crowd. Across the street at Budatai are also good cocktails.