Because of the numerous coffee bean plantations scattered along the island of Puerto Rico, you know you're going to get a fantastic cup of coffee wherever you go. Sip on a hot cup of cafe in the morning before you begin exploring the city. Enjoy the smooth, sweet blend while you wait for the caffeine to kick in and wake you up from a late night out enjoying San Juan.
You can also pair your cup o' joe with a crispy, flaky breakfast sandwich or a hot-out-of-the-oven pastry. Either way will be delicious! Enjoy your coffee alfresco or in a trendy cafe with the locals.
If you're looking for a monster of a sandwich, then you have to dig into a tripleta. This Puerto Rican favorite is usually made with chicken, ham and beef — yes, all three! It's the perfect late-night (or early morning) snack to soak up a night of heavy drinking. Because of this, the best places to find this colossal wonder is at a late-night food truck or bakery. Finish your night off right!
The street food staple is not only filled with three meats. It also can be stuffed with Swiss cheese, lettuce, ketchup, cabbage, tomatoes, onions, mayonnaise and potato sticks. If you're looking for added crunch, ask the cook to grill your bread once the sandwich has been assembled. This will result in the most delicious drippy, meaty cheesy meal you'll ever eat and definitely makes it a frontrunner for the best food in San Juan.
Cool off after an afternoon of sightseeing in the sun with an ice-cold, frosty pina colada. The official drink of the island since 1978, these are served up just about anywhere — find them in bars, restaurants and even roadside kiosks and order it with or without rum. It's refreshing either way and will hit the spot as you take it easy after your explorations.
If you're interested in trying the "original," there are two spots that claim the rights to that title. The Caribe Hilton says that they've been serving it since 1954, when Ramon "Monchito" Marrero mixed up his first one. However, the staff at the Barrachina Restaurant say the original pina colada was created there by Ramon Portas Mingot in 1963. Whoever is right, the delicious cocktail is a must for your Old San Juan food tour.
Start your day off the right way — that is, with a quesito. The warm, crunchy, flaky pastry is usually stuffed with cheese but not always. Flavors can include guayaba (guava), dulce de leche, salted caramel and even bacon.
The deep-fried snack is filled with the flavored paste and cream cheese and then stuck in a deep fryer so that every bite you take has the perfect amount of crunch. Be sure to add it to your Old San Juan food tour and try every flavor.
Like some of these other foods, you can often find alcapurrias at stands on the side of the road. To prepare this local Puerto Rican food, the fried fritter is made with a batter (called the masa) of green bananas and grated yautia, or Xanthosoma. It's often stuffed with crab, shrimp or lobster and deep-fried to achieve its delicious flavor.
If you're feeling adventurous (or just particularly hungry), you can also sample cuchifritos, which are stuffed with pork; almojabanas, which are cheese-filled rice flour fritters; and bunuelos, which are yam fritters. Try taking them along for a delicious lunch when you head to one of San Juan's beaches. You can pick some up on the way and then enjoy them while soaking up the sun (and try pairing it with a local beer or pina colada for a true Puerto Rican experience).