A week in Puerto Rico: where to eat

I know I haven’t been posting much lately, but I swear I have a good reason behind my absence. If you didn’t know, I’m graduating soon, and so I’m a bit overwhelmed with the workload at the moment. But hey! I cannot wait until I’m free from university work so I can focus more on blogging and other exciting projects!

This post is about my favourite thing in life…you guessed it; food! As you can tell from my previous travel post, I recently visited Puerto Rico, and let me tell you, my favourite part was definitely the cuisine.

If you ever visit Puerto Rico, I would recommend you eat at the following restaurants and cafés. If you like seafood, you’ll be the happiest person in Puerto Rico. Fresh fish is everywhere! and it is quite affordable when compared to the prices we have here.

Since the meal I enjoy most in life is brunch, I’ll start with a café that had the most incredible coffee and breakfast/lunch (brunch) options.

Caficultura is located in Old San Juan, and it is always full of people for breakfast! If you find an empty table in sight, run, get it! I tried going there on my first day, and the wait was so long. So I went back again, and again. I ordered an iced-latte, mainly because of the 30 degree weather. I really wanted to try their other coffee options, but it was way too hot. Seriously. Oh, and the latté was delicious.

I also got a version of a caprese salad, which had fresh pesto, delicious mozzarella, and spanish olives. This was surprisingly filling, and so tasty!

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For lunch, we were in Fajardo – a city near San Juan- and decided to walk into the first restaurant we saw by the beach.

Costa Mia served local Puerto Rican and Spanish food, and so we had to try the seafood paella. The seafood was incredibly fresh.

The waiter was extremely helpful and friendly. He even brought us a sampling plate of their seafood to try before placing our order. If you’re in the mood for local food in Fajardo, this is the place to go to.

Also, they have delicious homemade tres leches cake. food10

For dinner, we were all in the mood for more seafood. I mean, who wouldn’t want to take advantage of the great prices and freshness of the fish!

Palmas restaurant is located in Old San Juan, where they also serve local food.

Before going to Puerto Rico, I had no idea what a plantain was. There, they use it in their cooking, a lot! It is similar to a banana, but is less sweet. I am not joking when I say they add plantains to almost everything.

What better way to indulge in Puerto Rican cuisine than to order mofongo (mashed plantain) that is stuffed with camarones (shrimp)? This dish was delicious as well, but I must say, after giving plantains more than one chance, I did not enjoy them as much as I would’ve liked. food11

Before visiting Puerto Rico, I was already obsessed with tres leches. I would be that person bringing tres leches cake to all dinners and parties. It is a cake that literally translates to ‘three milk’, because you add three types of milk to it, of course. It is so easy to make! I’ll post a recipe soon. When I went to San Juan, all I wanted to do was eat tres leches for dessert, which I did.

One of the best ones I had was at Chicharrón restaurant in La Placita, an area that is known for its nightlife, with its many pubs, restaurants, and clubs.

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Moving on to nicer places…yes, I actually went to some of those…Oceano’s was incredible. Seriously, I would fly to Puerto Rico right now just to go and order everything there.

My favourite dish was definitely, without a doubt, the ceviche. Fresh grouper w/ pickled onions, mango, cilantro & passion fruit reduction w/ plantain chips.

I honestly cannot put into words the goodness that is this dish. If you like shrimp, mangoes and lime, order it, right now! food6

We also ordered the surf + turf lo mein. A wok style shrimp and angus fillet w/ onions, mushrooms, snow peas, carrots, peppers, petit pois, cilantro & slightly spicy oyster-chilly sauce. I wish I had this in front of me right now.

I just realized how delicious the food was in Puerto Rico. Nothing would ever compare (you can tell that I’m a bit nostalgic).food7

The caribbean octopus – yes, octopus – salad was also quite good. Not my favourite thing on the menu. But if you’re a fan of octopus, I’d recommend it. For me, nothing will top the ceviche. food4

Another favourite was the boricua braised beef dumplings. They aren’t something that I’d usually order, but this is why we decided to order everything and just share the food. To experience all of the dishes. Without a doubt, it was also a tasty dish.

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No, I’m not done. We literally ordered the entire appetizer menu. The ahi tuna tartar was so yummy! It consisted of fresh yellow fin w/ spicy lime avocado cucumber & toasted sesame. Avocado, lime, and tuna? YES!

Moving on to some more deliciousness, La Casita Miramar had the most unique menus, atmosphere, and food. Why were the menus unique, you ask? Well, because they are actual chalkboards. They bring you the huge board to the table, lean it against the chair or wall, and tadaa! This place ain’t cheap, but it is definitely one to remember.

I ordered the stuffed avocado with mahi-mahi. Their avocado is the best on this planet. Something I never thought I would every say: I crave Puerto Rico’s avocados. Seriously though, their avocados put Canada’s to shame.

This dish was remarkable. I am starving. I can’t do this.

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Okay, so I don’t think I’m able to write more about food, cause I’m starving right now. But here’s a dish that I loved. More camarones! YES.

This place was called Bagua. The waitress told me the word from the native language, which I found to be quite interesting. The range of dishes they had was pleasing, and the amount of seafood on the menu gave me life. It is located near Ocean Park, the beach area with lots of villas and other restaurants.

The camarones dish was a mix of shrimp, fresh mangoes, and other fruit, oh and plantains, of course.  food9

I honestly wish I could go back right now. I did not think that I was going to enjoy the cuisine as much as I did. Also, I spent most of my money on food. No joke.

For specific recommendations, you can comment below and I’ll answer as soon as I can!

Let me know what you think. I hope you enjoyed reading this post, and looking at this delicious food.

Cheers!
– Dina

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