Flavors of Puerto Rico: Where You Should Eat Around the Island

This post was written by someone that can throw down in the kitchen, JustAddHotSauce Blogger, Alex Hill. For some tasty recipes, and beautiful pictures, check out the link to her blog at the end of this post.



Ohhh, a Puerto Ricooooo, Ohhhh! (Pun intended)

Puerto Rico is one of the most beautiful islands, it is so rich in culture and the cuisine is out of this world.


The island's culinary influences come from Africa, Spain and its native Taino Indians offer aromatic ingredients to create unique flavors. My mother, who is Puerto Rican by way of Brooklyn, New York, has been cooking authentic Puerto Rican food since I was little. So think, - a lot of onions, tons of garlic, peppers and herbs galore. Whenever I would come home from school and walk through the door to our kitchen, I knew she was cooking Puerto Rican food from the amazing aroma.

If you ever have the chance to visit this gorgeous island, you MUST visit these restaurants for the most authentic Puerto Rican experience. You may just want to relocate!

Café De Angel – Condado Beach

Café De Angel is not your fancy ‘shmancy’ restaurant but is known for traditional Puerto Rican Food. Honestly, anything is good here. If you see locals enjoying the food then you know it is good! The best dish to get is none other than one of Puerto Rico’s famous dishes, Arroz con Pollo (Chicken with Rice) or Mofongo Relleno de Jueyes (deep-fried green plantains mashed together with seasonings topped with pork or seafood).

A plate of Puerto Rican arroz con pollo.
A plate of Puerto Rican mofongo relleno de jueyes.

Carlis Fine Bistro & Piano – Old San Juan

If you want to switch it up a little and listen to live Jazz with a mix of Latin cultures, Carlis Fine Bistro & Piano is your place. All the seafood entrees are from local fisherman who deliver fresh fish daily. The crab cakes are to die for!

Candela – Isla Verde

A fun fact about Candela is it is co-owned by a Dominican Chef, so the influences from the Dominican Republic really shine through the food. One of the best dishes – a fresh whole Lobster in garlic sauce.

A fresh, whole lobster smothered in garlic sauce at Candela Restaurant in Isla Verde.

Metropol – San Juan

Metropol is a fusion between authentic Cuban and Puerto Rican cuisine. An unknown fact about Puerto Ricans is that they are not keen on black beans but red beans so you will have the best black beans here at Metropol. You do not want to leave without getting the classic Cuban dish, Ropa Vieja (Shredded Beef in a spicy tomato stew).

Cuban-inspired ropa vieja and black beans at fusion restaurant Metropol in San Juan.

Lote 23 – Mirimar, San Juan

Lote 23 is literally an empty lot where 12 local food trucks park for the night and serve up the best Puerto Rican cuisine from food trucks. Friday through Sunday, they have live music for you to enjoy while you eat your food. Each food truck is managed and owned by alumni of The Puerto Rican Culinary School.


Lote 23, an empty lot in Puerto Rico where food trucks park at night to serve tasty Puerto Rican food to hungry customers.

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About the Author:

Creator of the food blog "Just Add Hot Sauce," Alex Hill, drinking a glass of wine.

Alexandra Hill | @AlexandraGloria

Better known as Alex, Al or Ally to my close friends & family. I am an Entertainment Marketing Manager specializing in Feature Films based in Washington, D.C., while traveling around the country for work. Creator of food blog, Just Add Hot Sauce. Taco & Rosé Enthusiast.