If you are visiting Old San Juan in Puerto Rico, whatever you do, don’t settle for hotel food, for you have definitely come to a place where fine dining meets Caribbean cuisine to make for a taste sensation that you won’t find anywhere else.
Top of the list for daytime dinning would have to be La Bombonera. La Bombonera is a family-run bakery and coffee shop that has been around since 1902. If you walk through the bakery you’ll discover a full-blown café where many locals come to spend their lunch hours and where some of the best traditional breakfasts and lunches to be had in Old San Juan can be found. If you try nothing else, give the mallorca con mantequilla a try.
This is a round rather flatish pastry that is covered with sugar and comes with butter for dipping; absolutely awesome! But it’s not just about the coffee and pastries. You also get huge plates of rice, beans and fried plantains as well as sandwiches so thick they are almost impossible to bite into.
The Parrot Club is both a bistro and bar. It’s owned by a married couple and is considered to be one of the best restaurants in Old San Juan. They’ve taken fine dining to a whole new level by mixing traditional Puerto Rican cooking with both Taino, African and Spanish flavors. Truly a unique dining experience and one you won’t want to miss, but make sure to call ahead a few days for a reservation! Dragonfly is probably one of the most unique dining experiences you’ll ever have. Imagine if a Francisco bordello was crossed with a Shanghai opium den, and then imagine that this cross of atmospheres served some of the most awesome food.
Definitely a restaurant that you will want to dress up for, you’ll shell out a good bit on dinner, but it’s a dinner you’ll be talking about for years to come. Pamela’s is set right down on the ocean and has a flavor to match. Very much into Caribbean cuisine, Pamela’s takes some of the best Caribbean food concepts and mixes it with regular continental foods to make truly unique dishes. You can eat indoors or out where you can see the ocean and enjoy the fresh air. You get your best food and service here in the evenings, but if you don’t mind waiting a bit during the day you’ll find it a very enjoyable place for lunch as well.
There is nothing keeping you from enjoying some of the best in Caribbean, Spanish and native Puerto Rican cuisine while you are visiting the Island, and of all the places in Puerto Rico, Old San Juan very definitely has it made when it comes to awesome restaurants that will give you some lovely memories of your days in the sun.