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where to eat in old san juan Wendsday - Friday

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wisconsin
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where to eat in old san juan Wendsday - Friday

We are staying in old San Juan from Wednesday - Saturday morning later this month and we have never been there before. We are looking for advise on where to eat. Are there any specific resturaunts that have Wednesday, Thursday or Friday specials? We are open to just about any kind of food. Thank you.

Rio Grande, PR
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1. Re: where to eat in old san juan Wendsday - Friday

Fortaleza Street: The Parrot Club has great food and a fun "vibe". Right across from the Parott try Tantra for fusion Latino / Indian cuisine (awesome!). Just down from there Tio Dannys is also great.

If you want a quick, inexpensive lunch...where the locals frequent...try Martins, which is just down from Plaza de Armas. They serve "plate lunch" type food, but it is excellent (especially for the price).

If you want a nice treat on Friday night go to Carlis Cafe Concierto. Carli Munoz is the ex-piano player for the Beach Boys. He has an exquisite place just in front of Banco Popular Plaza... great service, slightly high-end, but the BEST! He plays Jazz on the acoustic-grand piano starting at 8:00.

Puerto Rico
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2. Re: where to eat in old san juan Wendsday - Friday

For breakfast eat at "la bombonera" Its a very well known cafe in old san juan where u can eat mayorcas or any normal breakfast food at a very affordable price. The food channels very own show "40$ a day" selected this place as the breakfast stop because of the quality of its food and its prices. That same show selected "Aguaviva"(jellyfish in spaish) as the dinner stop, its a lil bit more expensive but the food is excellent and the restaurant is very nicely decorated.

Just ask anyone on the street for these two very well known restaraunts and the locals will give u directions.

For hamburgers I recommend "el hamburger" an affordable burger place on the main road to the capitol building when your coming to old san juan from viejo san juan. Very frequented by locals during the week.

Well hope these recomendations help.

Have fun in old san juan :)

wisconsin
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3. Re: where to eat in old san juan Wendsday - Friday

Thank you very much orleansblu and

Young_Nasty_Man. Your help is greatly appreciated!!

NY, NY
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4. Re: where to eat in old san juan Wendsday - Friday

We ate at "Tio Danny's" (at the suggestion of the guide books) and it was a DISASTER. Easily the worst food we had in PR (and we ate at the tourist stands in el yunque, so you can imagine) and perhaps the worst i've had in years. We tried several of their dishes and each one was awful and expensive. The seafood paella came out with the little lobster tail, squid rings, and shrimp overcooked into a rubbery oblivion, the clams and mussels were old (and somewhat overcooked). The Paella's rice was way too salty. We also tried a fish (i don't remember which) that we barely ate -- overcooked (again) and tasteless. The french fries were freezer burned, stale, and soggy, the vegetables were overcooked until the flavor had leeched out of them. For an appetizer we had the sampler: packaged, frozen fried things (is this fish? or plantain? i can't tell) that were hard and unpalatable. We dipped them until we couldn't taste the contents, then swallowed hard. At 20+ per plate, 311 next door (or even Ajili Mojili!) wouldn't have been much more expensive.

Marmalade, down the street, saved the evening -- especially their creme brulee -- but we'd heard it was best only for desserts and drinks.

Ajili Mojili is good. Not everything there is phenom, but it was worth going. In particular, the whole red snapper was crispy and done just right. There's two appetizers i'd also recommend: The shrimp in little plantain cups and the fried cheese in a coconut-y sauce. Their mojito is excellent, and you can just go to the bar in the front for drinks.

Finally, skip the big brunches and go over to the Condado Plaza Hotel; on their mezzanine level is a great italian place with a beautiful view. The eggs benedict are wonderful, with a light hollandaise sauce that didn't drown the egg (I had the irish E.B., and I heard the lobster was good too). breakfast was about $10/plate, and thus on a par with any buffet.

Other great places: Maria's (tropical drinks), Diez Mesas (calle de Sol? for local food/lunch), Toro-something-or-other for tapas -- its on Tetuan just south of Plaze de Colon, look for the umbrellas.

Puerto Rico
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5. Re: where to eat in old san juan Wendsday - Friday

Also Barachina, Baru, Ostra Cosa , Raises and the Courtyard Restaurant at El Convento is great for tapas

Puerto Rico
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6. Re: where to eat in old san juan Wendsday - Friday

Great recommendations from everyone above, with the good and the bad or just permissable. You do not mention pricing as an important issue, so I guess you aren't on a tight budget. It's perfectly safe to eat in San Juan, though as someone already mention, locals do love salt! Pepper and spicy hot "pique" is an acquired taste, not overly impossed, thank God. Must be asked for separtely, and it will be provided. Just checkout menus posted outside wall or entrance door. Dressing is casual unless you go to main hotels, which I do recommend for a change of pace, dancing at Lobby Bars with live bands for tropical music favorites. Mixed cocktails and wines, again can be expensive if you over do it. Do visit Supermax, at Plaza Colon, a small boutique supermarket. Both cheap, but not overly expensive compared to other places. They provide a comp golf cart ride to take you back to hotel after shopping spree. Spend on artisanal gifts to take back home. That's a real treat and they have a whole well stocked row of ideas as treats, well packaged to stand the trip: cookies, brazo gitano (jelly cake), coffee, local white cheese, guava and mangoe pastes and other candies. Try a six pack of our Medalla light beer, or perhaps ask about popular brands of pre-mixed fruity Sangria. Across from El Convento is Rosa de Triana Rest, a tapas bar who's owner is also bartender from Spain. Flamenco on Saturday at 8:00 PM. Ask you for a personal sangria mixing class, or better yet, visit Caña one night, restaurant in lower ground floor of same hotel. Ask for rum tasting and pairing lessons for a change of taste to the real Puerto Rico!

Street foods vendors, try our version of snow cones or "piraguas" (tends to be extra sweet syrops... ask for Tamarind to be different) and "platanutres"or plantain chips (say "con ajo" for extra garlic touch) home made, nearby PR Tourism Center. Also search close by for a good "Pina Colada" drink, specially after walking on Paseo La Princesa at mid day. My favorite workers lunch spot for years, is a fonda known as "Manolin" for real bargain early lunch. It's located on the shopping streets nowone can miss, done now a walkway. Ask for specials of the day and yes, go before everyone (very popular) takes lunch break from work on weekdays or go for breakfast.

Manhattan, New York
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7. Re: where to eat in old san juan Wendsday - Friday

I have to warn against "Tio Danny's", on Fortalezza. It was simply awful. I have eaten enough mediocre food and enough good food to know that this was startlingly bad. It seemed to me that the food was an insult--not to me, but to each ingredient. I felt as though the person who made this food did it with utter contempt, or, worse, indifference.

I should have canceled the order for entrees when we got the appetizer. It was a sampler of assorted "what is this?" deep fried in... old shoes? tar? bread? Who knows. We all know that deep frying something is an easy way to make it taste good, but this food was godawful.

The entrees were worse. The fish, red snapper, was entirely devoid of flavor, and was mushily floating in a noncommital sauce. Paella was a travesty, oh, an insult. Perfectly good shrimp were reduced to the consistency of soccer balls. A lobster tail: the once-delicate meat boiled to death--literally. The rice dyed yellow, tasting of nothing.

Why?

Avoid. Avoid like the plague.

Manhattan, New York
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8. Re: where to eat in old san juan Wendsday - Friday

We had tapas at Toro Salao, which was walking distance from Fortalezza, but I don't remember the name of the street. Very yummy mussels, but I have to admit it was really expensive. We got, for $8, exactly three mussels on the half shell. Admittedly, each mussel was a perfect bite of happiness, perfectly balanced and delightful in flavor, but it's a bit difficult to accept that each bite was about $3. :)

Marmalade had interesting drinks that I personally thought were a bit overambitious--but their desserts were imaginative and delightful. We had the creme brulee, the "coffee and doughnuts" and an apple crumble. But there was quite a big dinner crowd, so I'm sure the food isn't too bad.

I hear 311 is very good, as are Tantra and Dragonfly. I wouldn't rely on guidebooks alone--partly because even the most up-to-date guidebooks are not match for restaurants that are high-profile one day and gone the next (like "Urdin", where apparently Ricky Martin was sighted and the food is bold and vibrant, and which didn't exist when we looked for it barely months after it was written about).

North Carolina
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9. Re: where to eat in old san juan Wendsday - Friday

I am reading this with interest because we will be going to San Juan in a little less than a month. I have been reading these boards and a few books to get dining ideas.

I would like to know if casual clothes are suitable for most restaurants. Are there any places that will require more formal dress? Also, what about reservations? How far in advance will I need to make them? If we call a day or two before is that enough? I read in my book that Parrot Club will not take reservations. That is one that we want to visit. I don't know if I need to be calling for reservations now or if it is too soon or too late.

Thanks!

Cleveland
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10. Re: where to eat in old san juan Wendsday - Friday

We ate at Barrachina's last week and really enjoyed it.