San Juan Restaurant Tips by gdilieto
San Juan Restaurants: 91 reviews and 121 photos
Comida Criolla at Restaurante El Jibarito
Located in Old San Juan, where it seems no restaurant opens nowadays but posh and expensive "fusion" and "eclectic" restaurants, El Jibarito is a terrific landfall for those looking for some good traditional Puerto Rican food.
The place is on the guidebooks and it is crowded with tourists and locals. Don't expect anything else than good food served in a rustic atmosphere. On the menu plates from Puerto Rico traditions such as sancocho, pernil the cerdo, camarones a la criolla, arroz con abichuelas, arroz con gandules and mofongo. I was totally satisfied of my lunch experience and found out with regret the same night, arriving past closing time, the restaurant at dinner closes at 9:00 pm. All in all, a great choice for a Puerto Rican traditional meal in Old San Juan.
I noticed the Restaurant has a colorful website that I am attaching for reference.
Comparison: less expensive than average
Other Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
I don't understand what is the deal about this Restaurant and I wonder why it is referenced in almost every guidebook. Location is certainly attractive (in one of the hottest spots of Old San Juan close to other bars, restaurants and clubs) but for the rest the Restaurant has the variety, the quality and the ambiance of a regular American Bar&Grill.
The Restaurant is made of a bar overlooking Plaza de San José and an inner dining lounge. On the menu sandwiches, burgers, salads and other American classics such as grilled chicken, grilled salmon, pasta, plus a choice of few Puerto Rican dishes. I decided to go with local food and tried bifstek encebollada (beefsteak with onions), and a stew made of chicken and rice. The plus is that on the menu there is something for every taste, on the other side the place lacks charm and character. It is centrally located in Old San Juan and, if around, you may decide to stop by, but I don't think it is worth to come here on purpose unless you are craving some American-classic bites in an American-classic atmosphere.
Comparison: about average
Breakfast Time at La Bombonera Cafe
In business for over a century, La Bombonera Cafe has been a local institution for decades. It caters today to a mixed crowded of locals and tourists, as the restaurant is referenced in every guidebooks. It is a cafe-type of restaurant, a good choice for breakfast and for light, unpretentious meals.
The ambience is rustic and the service informal. I came here for breakfast (that seems to be a must-do experience in Old San Juan). Do not expect a large choice on the menu, they serve Puerto Rican-style breakfast, usually made of a cup of coffee with a pastry or a sandwich. The specialty of the place is the "mallorca", a Spanish Danish, or a kind of sweet bread topped with powder sugar and filled with your combination of butter, ham and cheese. The place is also renowned for its coffee, apparently brewed into coffee-machines from Cuba in service for over a century. To my taste, coffee was great but be aware by ordering coffee they serve you "coffee with steamed milk" or cafe con leche if you will. Fresh squeezed orange juice is another item on the menu worth trying.
As said, breakfast at La Bombonera is an Old San Juan's classic, worth for checking out the place and the crowd better than for the good but not memorable food-experience.
Address: 259 Calle San Franscisco, Old San Juan
Comparison: about average
Other Contact: email@example.com
Price: less than US$10
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