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San Juan restaurants

San Juan's dining scene is one of the most exciting in the Caribbean, with a handful of young chefs updating local dishes with Asian, French, and Italian influences and ingredients. Some of these Puerto Rican fusion restaurants have become modern classics, such as Pikayo; up-and-comers include Toro Salao and Marmalade, and the bevy of trendy restaurants in the SoFo (South of Calle Fortaleza) district of Old San Juan.

In the Condado and Isla Verde neighborhoods, look past the Chili's and Subway outposts to find unique restaurants of every style, ethnicity, and variety: Peruvian, Japanese, Thai, French, Italian, and, of course, Puerto Rican. Santurce is another great area for exploring local cooking in tiny home-style restaurants. For traditional fare, head to any restaurant called a fonda. These storefront eateries serve comida criolla, the local Puerto Rican fare made with recipes passed down through generations. You'll find many of these places—Tasca El Pescador is a favorite—in and around San Juan's Plaza del Mercado, a fruit and vegetable market near where Santurce meets Condado. (It's a bit hard to find, so take a taxi.) Just don't expect much in the way of decor.

San Juan restaurants fill up on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, so call for a reservation and try to get a time slot at 9 pm or later, when the locals dine.

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Toro Salao, Old San Juan

The latest addition to the collection of OOF Restaurants (owners of the much-celebrated Parrot Club and Aguaviva), Toro Salao forgoes the trendy fusion movement...more

Editors' Pick
Tasca El Pescador, Santurce

The restaurants of Condado are always crowded—with tourists. If you want to live it up with the locals, head a few blocks south to the Santurce...more

Editors' Pick
Raíces, Old San Juan

At first glance, Raíces looks as if it caters to the Old San Juan cruise-ship crowd: The waitresses wear Ye Olde Island kerchiefs on their heads, drinks...more

Editors' Pick
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Pikayo, Santurce

Long before it found its current home in the Conrad San Juan Condado Plaza Hotel, Pikayo was considered San Juan's most innovative restaurant. Credit Wilo...more

Editors' Pick
Pamela's Caribbean Cuisine, Ocean Park

Like the Numero Uno Guest House, the hotel in which it's housed, Pamela's is both surprisingly high-end and reasonably affordable. In posh Ocean Park—one...more

Editors' Pick
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Marmalade, Old San Juan

The restaurant certainly looks the part of a late-night celeb hangout, with daybeds piled high with glimmering silk pillows, and a sculptural orange lantern...more

Editors' Pick
Kasalta, Ocean Park

It's little more than a coffee shop, but Kasalta serves what may be the best café con leche in the Caribbean. The espresso has inspired a sort of communal...more

Editors' Pick
Il Perugino, Old San Juan

It's a few blocks from the trendy eateries on Calle Fortaleza, so this elegant Italian restaurant in Old San Juan is off the radar of the cruise-ship crowd. A...more

Editors' Pick
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Dragonfly, Old San Juan

Dragonfly is decorated something like an opium den—sitting inside the crimson dining room, beneath light fixtures draped with fabric, you might just find...more

Editors' Pick
Hotel Photo
Aguaviva, Old San Juan

At the end of Calle Fortaleza in a spacious, brightly lit blue space, Aguaviva anchors SoFo and gives visitors a taste of the district's energy. The restaurant...more

Editors' Pick
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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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