Been gone for a minute, but now I’m back with the jump off! Wait, is that how that goes? *looks around awkwardly* Anywho, it’s a must that I recap the most amazing part of my recent trip to Puerto Rico! First of all, I loved everything about the Caribbean island: the welcoming and friendly natives; beautiful beaches; 80-degree temps; and most importantly, THE PUERTO RICAN FOOD! San Juan’s delicious edibles had me wanting to try every little food truck, hidden gem, and fine-dining establishment crossing my path. My vacation was short-lived, but my tastebuds encountered Puerto Rican food that left a long-lasting impression. I’ll definitely return for a longer stay (with more monies) to live out the rest of my foodie fantasies!Enough of my rambling…
Here are my top MUST-TRY Puerto Rican food places during your next visit, in no particular order:
I knocked two things off my bucket list while dining at this establishment:
- Going to jail and
- Cooking authentic Puerto Rican cuisine.
Actually, going to jail was NEVER on my list to begin with…unless a heaux tries me *insert intense side eye here*. Just kidding guys! Rosa de Triana, formerly a jailhouse (thanks Luli for the informative history lessons), is now famous for it’s cool atmosphere and authentic monfongo! This restaurant gives diners the opportunity to make monfongo table side. You’ll work up quite an appetite mashing plantains in garlic butter and might even gain a few muscles in the process. It’s a relief that this tapas restaurant offers quality inexpensive meals and a ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ pass, because Lord knows I’d struggle to pay the fines, lol.
One word: Popsicles. Nuff said, right?
Señor Paleta, a popsicle shop right in the heart of Viejo San Juan, seemingly had a quarter-mile line outside. Thankfully, me and my blogger boos were traveling with the Old San Juan Food Tour, so we were able to bypass the line and enjoy our popsicles almost immediately upon arrival. Our Fresas Mojito ice lollies (paleta=ice lolly) were not only tasty, but astoundingly refreshing. They were greatly appreciated after hiking the Mount Everest-like hill to get there. By the way, that’s my out-of-shape inner self exaggerating, lol. I can assure you that you can enjoy many of Señor Paleta’s treats while touring Viejo San Juan without breaking the bank!
Café El Punto, my favorite stop during the Puerto Rican food tour, is tucked away in the back of an art shop. It’s home to the best Ceviche de Pescado I’ve tried thus far. As we sampled alcapurrias (Puerto Rican fritters), I couldn’t help but salivate over the thought of devouring fresh fish ceviche. I imagined a flying carpet similar to Aladdin’s, gliding gracefully towards my mouth carrying the finest lime-flavored grouper in town. It was so delicious that we chose to stop in for more at the completion of our tour. I got some Ceviche de Carrucho (Baby Conch) to try as well and it was just as tasty, if not better! The best part was the affordability of the food in addition to unique artwork that covered the shop’s walls.
We stumbled across this little gem while exploring the area surrounding our home away from home. I was itching to try something new and went with whole red snapper. Boy, was it scrumptious! (Side note: Did I mention that I’m obsessed with seafood?! If not…I’m obsessed with seafood, lol.) Surprisingly, my favorite part of the dish was my side of avocado. It was super fresh and kind of sweet and HUGE! I’ve never tasted ANYTHING so satisfying before. Seriously. I’m pretty sure I spent less than $40 for both my drink and entree. There’s nothing better than leaving with a happy belly and wallet!
I hope that someone who is traveling to Puerto Rico on a tight budget finds this helpful. Definitely check out the Flavors of San Juan Tour to learn about the history of Old San Juan and experience great food at the same time. It’s sure to satisfy your appetite without leaving you to do something strange for a little pocket change!
You should be booking your flight by now and if you’re not, “What the hell are you waiiiiting for?!” *sung in my best Linkin Park impersonation*