San Juan offers an electic choice in dining, from traditional Puerto Rican/Caribbean fare, to ethnic cuisines, to cutting edge nouvelle cooking. 

CONDADO

Budatai:   This hip restaurant run by Iron Chef Robert Trevino offers a delicious array of Asian inspired nouvelle cuisine dishes. Set across from the new Ventana del Mar park in Condado on Ashoford Avenue with a full glass wall and several outdoor terraces, it offers enticing views of the park, Ashford Avenue and the ocean. This place is very expensive but the food, ambiance and service do not disappoint. Be sure to make a reservation as this restaurant is the place to be and be seen right now, and you won't be able to eat there without one. Or, just hang out in one of their bars, they offer a great selection of specialty drinks. Look for the champagne bar opening on the ground floor in February. 1056 Ashford Avenue | Condado, San Juan 00907, Puerto Rico.  (787) 725-6919.   http://www.budatai.com/ 
 

Niche:  Located in the Acacia Seaside Inn on the Condado/Ocean Park border,  this tiny new restaurant (opened 10/2007) serves modern cuisine such as spring rolls with duck sausage, port braised veal cheeks, ostrich served atop risotto with green grapes, fresh Grouper atop penne pasta, dense lemon layer cake and house-made banana and tomato ice creams. Excellent.  (Appetizers: $10-15; Entrees: $20 - $40; Desserts: $3-$10). 8 Taft St | Condado, San Juan 00911, Puerto Rico.  (787) 722-0626.

Ajili Mojili:  Serving tourists and locals since 1989, Ajili Mojili serves fantastic local dishes such as arroz con pollo,  whole fresh snapper and steak churrasco.  The portions are large, the staff friendly, and the food authentic. Entrees $10-$25.  Dinner for two, $60. 1052 Avenue Ashford | Condado, San Juan 00926, Puerto Rico.  (787) 725-9195. http://www.hdmdesigns.com/ajili/main.htm

OLD SAN JUAN 

Aguaviva:  This modern restaurant conjures up images of the sea with its aqua and white tile motif.  Seafood is the specialty, and they specialize in ceviches, crab cakes, swordfish & shrimp or oyster po-boy sandwiches, lobster mashed potatoes and fresh whole fish.  Excellent..  (Appetizers: $8 - $17; entrees $10-$25). Calle Fortaleza 364 | Old San Juan, San Juan 00901, Puerto Rico.  (787) 722-0665. http://www.oofrestaurants.com

El Jibarito: This inexpensive family-owned and family style restaurant offers authentic Puerto Rican country fare in an unpretentious atmosphere.  Dishes include pork tamales made with plantains, Puerto Rican style pot roast, and other home-cooked delicacies.   Good home cooking.  Calle Del Sol 280 | Old San Juan, San Juan 00901, Puerto Rico.  (787) 725-8375. http://www.eljibaritopr.com/

La Bombonera:  This 100-year-old family-run bakery looks like a Woolworth's lunch counter transported right out of 1961.  They serve great coffee, desserts and cafe food.  This place is high on atmosphere, low on price, and as their postcard proudly announces, "recommended by Rachel Ray on the TV show $40 a Day."  Calle San Francisco 259 | Old San Juan, San Juan 00901, Puerto Rico.  (787) 722-0658. 

Cafe Puerto Rico: Balconied colonial restaurant serving authentic local dishes in authentic setting.  Calle O'Donnell 208 | Old San Juan, San Juan 00901, Puerto Rico.  (787) 784-2281.

La Mallorquina: This local favorite has been serving fantastic local dishes since 1848.  Calle San Justo 207 | Old San Juan, San Juan 00901, Puerto Rico.  (787) 722-3261.

Trois Cent Onze (Restaurant 311): This award-winning French restaurant serves elegant dishes in a lovely bistro atmosphere.  Entrees $22-$35.  Calle Fortaleza 311 | Old San Juan, San Juan 00901, Puerto Rico.  (787) 725-7959. http://www.311restaurantpr.com/index....

Toro Salao:  Present creative versions of spanish tapas & raciones. The menu is an exiting culinary journey into the zesty flavors of Spain & Puerto Rico. Located in 367 Tetuán St. SOFO Old San Juan, Puerto Rico 00901. (787) 722-3330 Open 7 days from 12 noon. http://www.oofrestaurants.com/

Parrot Club:  Innovative Nuevo Latino Cuisine. Classic Latino dishes combined with modern culinary preparations. Excellent Caribbean food in a fun atmosphere. Located in 363 Fortaleza St. SOFO Old San Juan, San Juan Puerto Rico 00901.  (787) 725-7370. http://www.oofrestaurants.com

Dragon Fly:  Latin- Asian Cuisine & Sushi. San Juan's biggest spot for the chic & glamorous, for both the locals & tourists. 364 Fortaleza St. | SOFO Old San Juan, San Juan Puerto Rico 00901.  (787) 977-3886. Open 7 days from 5:30 pm until late. http://www.oofrestaurants.com

Raven Room:  Modern lounge that features a long bar with Anime projections in the main room. Is available for private parties & special events. Located at 305 Recinto Sur St. in Old San Juan.(787) 722-7117 http://www.oofrestaurants.com

Sofia: Italian Ristorante & Pizzeria.  Features a variety of Italian dishes which are the restaurant's main attraction.  Sofia is located on San Francisco Street #355 in Old San Juan. (787) 721-0396. http://www.oofrestaurants.com

OCEAN PARK

La Casita Blanca:  This 80-year-old restaurant serves authentic Puerto Rican cuisine in a wonderful old house.  Refreshingly unpretentious, this is some of the best local cuisine in San Juan. 351 Tapia Street,| Ocean Park, San Juan 00901, Puerto Rico.  (787) 726-5501

Kasalta:  If you didn't look at the menu, you might think you were in a Manhattan deli from the looks of this glass and stainless steel hot spot in Ocean Park.  Known for its coffee and pastries, Kasalta also serves homemade soups, Cubano sandwiches, and popular caffe con leches.  The deli case looks like it was prepared by the crew from the Silver Palate. 1966 McLeary,| Ocean Park, San Juan 00911, Puerto Rico.  (787) 727-7340.

ISLA VERDE

Metropol :  This small local chain serves inexpensive & delicious Cuban food in a family style restaurant. Isla Verde Avenue| Isla Verde, San Juan 00901, Puerto Rico.  (787) 791-4046.

KOKO:  Offer guests modern Caribbean dishes using Island ingredients, artistic presentations & traditional techniques. Koko feature an extensive Rumbar & Lounge. Located in San Juan Hotel & Casino. 1660 Isla Verde Ave, Carolina Puerto Rico. Open 7 days at 7:00 p.m. (787) 791-7078. http://www.oofrestaurants.com

 


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