Puerto Rico Metro Area: Eat, Drink, Beach, Repeat
Food & Wine
Being born and raised in Puerto Rico, I can attest to the laid back-beachy mood-full belly-drink in hand kinda vibe that can be felt with each visit to the beautiful island. Puerto Rico offers deep layers of culture and many natural wonders. If you only have a few days to spare and want to feel like a local, this guide is for you.
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Where to stay in Puerto Rico
Hotel El Convento
Long-time favorite in Old San Juan, with a traditional look and access to a sister beach club.
$100 food / beverage credit.
Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.
O:live Boutique Hotel
A unique hotel of relaxed luxury and laid-back intimacy located by the natural reserve of the Condado lagoon.
Complimentary bottle of wine in room.
Complimentary welcome drink at bar.
Upgrade & guaranteed late check-out.
Fairmont El San Juan Hotel
Set on idyllic Isla Verde Beach, the Fairmont El San Juan boasts modern rooms and resort amenities including a casino, nine restaurants, multiple bars and a nightclub.
$100 hotel / resort credit.
Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.
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Things to do in Puerto Rico
Visit this beaches in the metro area
Balneario Isla Verde - Public beach loved by locals, with security and authentic chinchorros where you can find fried snacks that are perfect for beach day.
Playa Ocean Park - Locals and tourist can both be found in this beach.
Condado Beach - Beach front hotels are found mostly here.
La Pocita de Piñones - Shallow natural pool, perfect for relaxing with a cold Medalla beer.
Places to visit
Old San Juan and Castillo San Felipe del Morro - Founded in 1521 by Spanish colonials, Old San Juan really offers an amazing old world feel as you explore its cobbled streets. The fort known to locals as El Morro, considered one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, is well worth a visit.
Piñones - In the town of Loíza, this community celebrates Puerto Rico’s Afro-Caribbean culture. Visit ocean front chinchorros where you can try traditional fried treats like alcapurrias and pastelillos filled with different meats or seafood. Or try refreshing seafood salads. You can also try mofongo, a fried and mashed plantain local treat that is usually topped with meat or seafood and your sauce or choice (I’m a shrimp with a garlic butter type or girl… and don’t forget the pique).
Distrito T-Movil - This complex houses Music Festivals, DJ’s, 7 restaurants, Movie Theater, Indoor Zip-Line and much more!
Fun tours you could take from the San Juan area
Guided LED Night Kayak excursion in Condado Lagoon, Puerto Rico
Full-Day Culebra snorkeling adventure and Flamenco Beach from San Juan by ferry
El Yunque Rainforest
Places to eat & drink in Puerto Rico
Where to eat
La Casita Blanca - Authentic casita style and decor, where you can really feel the hospitality of the island. Enjoy a varying menu of blue collar meals accompanied by a free shot of chichaito (anise liquor and rum) to wash it all down. Located in Santurce.
Bebos Café - No frills, giant portions, local food. Really hits the spot, especially after a few drinks. Located in Calle Loíza.
Barrachina- Come have an amazing meal where Piña Colada was invented (allegedly).
Vianda- I highly recommend making a reservation here and enjoying the creative and sustainable cuisine. Their Ensalada de Mamey Sapote and the Bacalao… say no more.
Berlingeri- Vegetarian restaurant offering traditional and creative options.
Bistro Cafe - Very fun spot for brunch serving big portions and yummy coffee drinks.
Señor Paleta - Sweet and cool artisan paletas, perfect while walking around Old San Juan on a warm day.
Where to Drink
La Factoría - Amazing cocktail bar with speakeasy vibes in Old San Juan. Order a Guanábana Punch or a Papa Dole.
La Taverna Lúpulo - Located in Old San Juan, here they have plenty of local and foreign beers on tap with great vibes.
Antiguo 26- Another great cocktail bar in Old San Juan with fun new takes on classic drinks.
Esquina el Watusi - Located in the Santurce area, this cozy spot was once featured by Anthony Bourdain! This is where locals come mingle while reggaeton or salsa music plays in the background. Get a Tito’s con china (orange juice) and enjoy.
Superduper - Laidback joint with a wide selection of beers and outdoor seating in the Calle Loíza area. Surrounded by urban art and featuring a cutie resident dog.
Need to Know
For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Lona Cosmas’s guide, Solo Vacationing & Exploring San Juan, Puerto Rico.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Puerto Rico.