14 Great Places to Eat and Drink in San Juan, Puerto Rico

If you’re looking for some of the best places to eat in San Juan, Puerto Rico, don’t worry, I’ve done the research for you! On my recent trip to P.R. my partner and I spent several days in San Juan and I can confidently say that we succeeded in eating and drinking our way through the entire town. We spent the majority of our San Juan adventure exploring the historic part of the city, taking in the sights as well as the bites. So this guide will focus primarily on great places to eat in Old San Juan, but there will be a few suggestions for the other parts of town as well.

Barrachina – Spanish Food

Location: 104 C. de la Fortaleza, San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico

Website

This restaurant is located inside of a historic hotel, featuring both an inside and “outside” dining area. The outdoor tables are situated in an open air courtyard right in the middle of the historic building. They have been serving Spanish food in San Juan for over 50 years, and are  recognized by some as being the “king of paella”, as well as birthplace of the pina colada.

If you plan to have dinner here, make sure you allow time to wait for a table. When we arrived the wait was about an hour long (but definitely worth it!). They will take down your cell phone number and call you when the table is ready. In the meantime you can explore the surrounding historic town.

We ordered the grouper filet, which comes with a garlic and white wine sauce, fried plantains, and assorted vegetables. And of course we had to try their famous pina colada! Everything was excellent. 

La Factoría – Cocktails

Location: 148 C. de San Sebastián, San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico

This nighttime spot was named among the 50 Best Bars in North America (five years running) and earned the title of Best Bar in the Caribbean in 2023. It has been nominated for multiple awards including the James Beard Award. So, if you’re looking for an excellent craft cocktail, this is the place!

The location is unmarked, but you won’t have trouble finding it in the heart of the Old San Juan. What’s really cool about this bar is that it’s actually 6 different bars all in one, each with its own different vibe and menu. There’s space for both wine connoisseurs, and those who would prefer to dance the night away. El Facto, is the main bar which features a checkered floor pattern and plush couches to lounge on. The other drinking dens can be found through the use of secret passages leading off from the main bar.

The Cannon Club – Tapas

Location: 215 C. de San Sebastián, San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico

Menu

This tapas bar was definitely one of my favorites in Old San Juan. We loved that it featured a self playing piano, and that the vibe was moody and maybe even slightly haunting. The place had a Victorian era feel, with old oil paintings on the walls and antique furniture in every room. Outside on the patio there was a lush garden, marble busts, and a grotto style fountain. Upstairs there is a whole network of additional rooms with more artwork and furniture. The entire place seems to be an exhibition, and we loved it!

The menu features classic cocktails, wines by the glass and bottle, and some good looking tapas. While we didn’t eat here, we were told by other guests that the food is great.

La Taberna Lúpulo – Beer & Bar Fare

Location: 151 C. de San Sebastián, San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico

Menu

Just across from La Factoría, we came to this bar in search of some late night snacks, and were not disappointed to find that they had nearly 50 taps of quality craft beers. Many drafts were from small breweries across the USA, as well as a good selection of Puerto Rican craft beers. In addition to the draft selection, they had over 100 additional beers available in cans and bottles. 

When it comes to food, the menu features regular bar fare, including staples such as sandwiches, burgers, and fish tacos, with late night snacks served until 2 AM. We enjoyed the Queso Frito with a delicious sweet and spicy sauce for dipping. 

La Madre – Mexican Food

Location: 351 C. de San Francisco, San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico

Menu

La Madre was a refuge from the hustle bustle of Old Town. They had indoor and outdoor seating, with a laid back atmosphere. The inside was nicely air-conditioned, and they were actually playing a Wallace and Gromit film by projector onto one of the walls. 

The food was delicious and affordable. They featured a good selection of tequilas, and the menu contains all of the classic Mexican favorites, along with some interesting items like octopus tacos and a duck quesadilla. We enjoyed fish tacos, a veggie burrito and a house salad, and everything was excellent. I highly recommend trying the jalapeno colada, which is made with jalapeno tequila that they infuse in house.

Scryer Barrelhouse & Rooftop – Rum Bar

Location: 259 C. Tetuán, San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico

Menu

This rum distillery featured a distinguished interior with plush couches and dim cozy lighting. We enjoyed sitting on the rooftop which is shaded, and home to a pop-up kitchen which showcases different local chefs from around the island of Puerto Rico. We were told that a live DJ also plays here every Wednesday.

The menu consists of a variety of cocktails made with their own selection of signature rums, and even features a cigar list.

THE CAVE: Cuban Cuisine & Cocktails

Location: 200 ESQ, C. de San Francisco, San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico

Menu

This casual Cuban restaurant is located right in the heart of Old San Juan, just adjacent to the historic town square – Plaza de Armas. They were playing some lively music that gave the place an inviting atmosphere, and some of the tables inside are situated in an open air courtyard next to a big mural showcasing the name of the establishment.

The menu features cuban classics like the cubano sandwich (which my partner tried), as well as a wine and cocktail list. They also have a great happy hour! They run drink specials from 12-7, the margarita was tasty and on special for only 2 for $12.

La Garita – Seafood

Location: 41 C. Lucila Silva, San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico

This awesome restaurant is situated just outside the Old San Juan city walls within the historic shanty town of La Perla. The town became famous for being the site where the music video for the song “Despacito” was filmed. The covered patio outside has beautiful views of the town and the Atlantic coastline.

The menu had a wide selection of seafood and other options. I especially enjoyed the affordable Pina Coladas as well as fish tacos and a tasty shrimp cocktail. The shrimp cocktail was different from those you might find in the states, and instead was more like a fresh shrimp salad tossed with dressing, peppers and onions. So delicious. I consider this spot a must for anyone visiting Old San Juan!

Bar Catedral Rooftop – Cocktails & Tapas

Location: 106 C. San José, San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico

Menu

This bar is placed on the 4th floor rooftop inside of a hotel. Open until 11 pm, the outdoor seating area invites a nice breeze and sights of the surrounding city. Situated directly adjacent to Catedral Basilica Menor de San Juan Bautista, you can sip on your drink while enjoying a view of the oldest and most historic building in Old San Juan. 

The menu featured masterfully mixed cocktails and tapas inspired by Indian cuisine.

The Mezzanine – Cocktails & Tapas

Location: 156 2nd Floor, Sol St, San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico

Menu

This eclectic bar and restaurant is located upstairs in the former apartment of Pedro Albizu Campos, a leader in the Puerto Rican independence movement. There are apparently bullet holes that can still be seen behind the bar left over from a police raid. The decor throughout the restaurant consists of a collection of unique armchairs and portraits of this famous historical figure. Tables on the open balconies overlook Old San Juan’s cobblestone streets and classical Spanish architecture.

The menu is made up of a selection of well made cocktails, some of them featuring their house made ginger beer. They also serve delicious tapas, including some of the best ceviche I had ever had, which was a Greek style incorporating feta cheese. I loved it so much that I came back a second time just to have the ceviche again!

Pirilo – Pizza & Pasta

Location: 207 Ca. de la Tanca, San Juan, 00901, Puerto Rico

Menu

While there are multiple locations in San Juan, we visited the one in the old town. I loved the exposed original brick interior and mosaic tile floors. The menu has a wide selection of Italian food. We tried the caprese salad, mushroom ravioli and the four onion pizza. All of which were delicious! For drinks, our server recommended their signature Spanish style sangria “Genova” which was garnished with ginger, almonds, and sesame seeds. Everything was fantastic!

Pinky’s – Breakfast, Smoothies, & Lunch

Location: 1351 Ashford Ave, San Juan, 00907, Puerto Rico

This casual dining establishment gives a nod to 50’s diners. The decor features black and white photos and a pink color scheme. We stopped in for breakfast and they did not disappoint. The portions were large and prices were very reasonable. The menu includes classic breakfast plates and sandwiches, iced coffees, and smoothies. For lunch, a variety of sandwiches and wraps are available. This is a great place to stop for a quick bite if you are over in the neighborhood of Calle Loiza.

Kaiju Noodle Bar 怪獣ヌードルバー –  Japanese Food

Location: 1616 PR-25, San Juan, 00909, Puerto Rico

Menu

This Godzilla themed bar and restaurant has a neon blacklight theme, like something out of the Tokyo underground. They are open until midnight and reservations are recommended.

The menu features Japanese favorites like sushi, dumplings and ramen. We sampled the Tokyo mule, which was a fruity twist on the classic cocktail made with Japanese whiskey, the vegetable lo mein with fresh made egg noodles, and a big egg roll stuffed with 12 hour slow cooked pork, which is also marinated with Japanese whiskey.

Numero Uno Beach Hotel & Restaurant

Location: 1 C. Sta. Ana, San Juan, 00911, Puerto Rico

Menu

This bar/restaurant/hotel combo is situated directly on Playa Ocean Park. Tables with umbrellas were situated directly on the sand for restaurant goers, and they had bean bags and low tables available to rent for beach loungers. We enjoyed sitting drinking local Puerto Rican beers along with a big plate of nachos, and watching the dozens of colorful kite surfers out on the water.

I hope this list is a helpful guide! Happy adventuring!