I truly understand why Puerto Rico is called The Island of Enchantment. After spending five days on the island, it is no denying how intriguing the spirit is in the atmosphere.
I want to give you some snapshots of some of the places we ate and activities that we enjoyed. There were so many options and so little time.
But, if you are like me and my husband, then one of the most important parts of a trip that you have time for is the F O O D!
Here is a list of some of the restaurants we visited. There is no particular order of best to worst. Because, all of the food we had was good! I wish we would have been able to try some more places! There were so many more that I bookmarked on my Yelp app.
Truth of the matter is, there are just too many choices of places to eat…and NOT ENOUGH time in the day (or ROOM in my stomach). I will give you a fair warning, we did not eat at a lot of traditional places. This trip was for my husband’s birthday, and while we are both adventurous when it comes to trying new foods…I really tried to cater to the type of things I knew he would enjoy eating the most. Overall, we ate good…and neither of us were disappointed!
Where to eat?
I tried Mofongo for the first time here at Bebo’s. Plantains are very much a staple in PR. So, I wanted to try a dish that had plantains as a main ingredient. Mofongo is made by smashing plantains together and then deep frying them. Mine was topped with some shredded chicken. Overall, I thought it was pretty good. Not something I would eat on the regular though. Garrick had a similar dish, but his plantain was stuffed with ground beef and topped with melted cheese. We shared the side of rice and beans, it was filling but we did not leave feeling super stuffed on our first night.
This cute little waffle and coffee shop was adorable! One of the things that gave it a nice touch were the 2×1 mimosas – served all day EVERY DAY! If you are like me and think that SWEET and SAVORY are a match made in food-heaven, then this place will not disappoint you for breakfast in Old San Juan. I had a menu item recommended by our server. It was a half order waffle, with some bacon, spicy mayo, crunchy tortilla strips, and egg on top. All I have to say is…YES! Babe kept it simple with a half order waffle topped with fruit, and a side of bacon. This was a good way to get some energy to start our day.
Stopped into this cute cafe in Old San Juan after Garrick and I had been walking around for HOURS. I enjoyed a delicious rum punch. With Puerto Rico being the home of the Bacardi (rum) factory…rum punch is a specialty on the island. This place is Jamaican influenced. They had pictures of Bob Marley on the wall and played Reggae music in the background. I liked it a lot! Check out the snap that my husband took of me. I am not afraid to dance all by myself!
My husband loves Mexican food, so even though we were in PR…we had their take on Mexican food more than once. The Mexican food here is not the same as what we are used to in Texas (Tex-Mex), but it was still good. The nacho appetizer was large enough for us to share, so we did. I liked that it was so flavorful, and had tons of fresh ingredients on top.
BEST WATERMELON MARGARITAS I have EVER HAD! We went to this restaurant on the night of Garrick’s birthday. You guessed it, Mexican food, again. It was pretty good! Unlike Greengos, this place was more like the Mexican food we know from home. I would have to highly recommend the chicken fajitas. They were seasoned so well, and I was able to finish the entire order by myself. Garrick had a Mexican sandwich called a Torta. He said that it was good!
La Cueva Del Mar
We went to this place for me. Because. SEAFOOD. Our Uber driver told us how good it was, and after looking at the fish sandwich on Yelp, the decision was pretty much made. I needed that fish sandwich. The fish was served on a soft, sweet loaf. I ended up deconstructing it, because it as way too much bread for me. But, when I tell you that the batter on this fish, and babe’s fish tacos was so good! Oh. My. Goodness! I honestly could have eaten here more than one time. The passion fruit mojitos were also a hit in my book.
So, let’s talk bomb breakfast for the low low. The serving size at this restaurant was pretty substantial. Garrick had french toast with a side of thick sliced ham. I had a breakfast sandwich with ham, egg, and cheese. Combined, our food total was about $15. Seriously, not bad for a breakfast for two. This place also had some healthier alternatives, life fresh fruit smoothies and juices, made to order and brought to tables in the blender. I just was not in a smoothie mood. I was HUNGRY! Not to mention, any restaurant that has a fat baby on the menu is okay in my book. I left there feeling exactly like that baby looked.
Three words. RED. VELVET. PANCAKES. That is it…that is all. Wait, no…three more words. CREAM. CHEESE. ICING. Just go here. Don’t worry, you won’t regret it at all. Trust me, just go.
Cute little burger spot in Old San Juan. It was not anything extraordinary, but good burgers for sure. I liked that they had a whole display of different sauces that you could choose from. If you are like me and enjoy dipping your fries in all types of sauces, you will like this place and what they have to offer.
We went here on a night that we were not really hungry, but for the sake of Babe’s Birthday celebrations, and the fact that HE LOVES PIZZA…we went. It was good. We just got a simple pepperoni. They have plenty of house specialities to choose from if you want to get fancy.
Luquillo and La Pocita de Piñones Kiosks
The kiosks along the beaches were my favorite place to eat the entire trip. HANDS DOWN! The traditional fried Puerto Rican foods were everything that my taste buds needed. Although we did not venture out to too many traditional restaurants, eating at these kiosks alone made up for it. We tried Postelillos, Bocalaitos, the amazing chicken kabobs, Fresh Coconut water, and some other fried sensations that I can’t remember the name of. I would have to say, EAT AS MUCH STREET FOOD AS YOU CAN. Absolutely delicious!
It is pretty safe to say that we ate a whole lot of food. The good thing is, we walked around enough to burn those calories (at least a little bit of them). We stayed in Condado, so it is a great area for if you want to walk around and see the sights. A short Uber ride took us to Old San Juan, where we did even more walking.
What to Do?
San Juan National Historic Site
This place was amazing! An old fort. I have never even thought about visiting a fort, but I am so glad that we did. The history of this site was definitely something worth experiencing. The views were breath taking. We didn’t make it to the other fort (La Fortaleza), but admission to one fort is only $5 and gets you into both. The ticket is also good for the week, so if you don’t have time in one day, come back to finish up on another day on your stay.
Walk around Old San Juan
As I mentioned before, you will WALK A LOT on this trip. Just walking around Old San Juan was one of my favorite parts. It is just so beautiful with all of the colorful buildings and cobblestone roads. You will get wrapped up in the nostalgia of the city. It feels like you are taken back in time. I love that!
Beach Day at La Pocita de Piñones
The beach in Condado just was not doing it for me. It was just too CITY. I wanted a beach that felt like it was off the beaten path. I wanted something that felt COUNTRYSIDE. I wanted a beach that was not lined with hotels in the background. That is what a day at La Pocita de Piñones gave me. Located in the town of Loiza, this beach gave us the local island vibes that we were looking for. There was a long rock wall creating a safe shallow natural pool. This water was crystal clear and felt so amazing. We spent a few hours just basking under a palm tree. This is also where we had our first experience with the traditional street foods. Hands down, I would definitely recommend taking a day trip here.
But, WHERE DID YOU GET THAT CUTE SWIMSUIT?!
Ladies, I guess this is a good time to tell you where I got my swimsuit from. So, you know those ads that pop up on Facebook? Well, I clicked on one that lead me to Rosewe.com. I have to be honest, it looked kind of sketchy. You know, like I would order this swimsuit from somewhere in Asia, and it would come 3x too small for me. But, I took that chance with my $24 and it ended up fitting me perfect! The bad news is, I tried to find the direct link for you guys, and I could no longer find the suit. If I do though, I will make an edit to this post.
El Yunque Rainforest
Y’all. We went to a Rainforest. Now, if you know me then you know that I really do love the outdoors. I have always wanted to go to a rainforest and El Yunque is the only one in US territory. I promise you, as we hiked along the trail, I could not help myself for singing songs of praise to God. It was literally that beautiful and overwhelming. We hiked to La Mina falls, one of the waterfalls that is the highlight of the forest. I took a dip in the freezing cold water, and it is something I will never forget. This is a MUST see.
ATV Rides (4 Wheelers)
On Garrick’s actual birthday, we decided to go on ATV rides. We originally planned to tour the Bacardi Rum Factory…let’s just say, I am so glad we did this instead! We are low key adrenaline junkies…and because of him, I kind of have a need for speed. Speeding around the acres of land at Campo Rico Trails was so much fun. This place was located in Carolina, another neighboring town to Condado. We got to tour an old hacienda (large plantation home). I probably get the, “Wife Of The Year,” award for this treat, because this man could not stop smiling and saying how much fun he was having!
La Pacita de Santruce (nightlife)
Most of the days we were there were week days, so the scene is not popping on weeknights. However, locals said that from Thursday – Saturday, it is the place to be. Unfortunately, we missed that window. We were still able to hang out, have a couple of drinks, and good quality time and convo. This was actually really nice. Sometimes, you do not realize how much you just need to sit and talk as a married couple.
On our last night in PR we went to this cafe in Old San Juan. There was a live band, and locals salsa dancing the night away. So much fun people watching in here. We had to get up a couple of times to perform a pathetic little salsa together. We were in luck though, we had a couple come up along side us and give us a lesson on our cha-cha. After that, we got into the rhythm and got so many compliments on how good we did. I see some salsa classes in our future.
This was hands down one of the best trips we have been on to date. My husband thoroughly enjoyed his Birthday, and that really was the most important thing. Mission accomplished. I just can not wait to plan our next #Baecation! Any suggestions on where we should go? Leave them in the comments!
If you choose to use any of my suggestions on your own trip to Puerto Rico, don’t forget to let me know! I hope that it can be useful to you.