San Juan area restaurants

Old Oct 25th, 2003, 07:11 AM
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San Juan area restaurants

Wife, myself and 14 yr old son staying at the Ritz Carlton, San Juan, in late Nov for a few days. Any recommendations for restaurants in the San Juan area? (We're from Florida and enjoy seafood, Spanish and Cuban cuisine.) All suggestions in a spectrum -- from casual to formal -- will be appreciated. Additionally, is the dining attire as relaxed in San Juan, as here, in Florida, or, should I take a sport coat, etc.?
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Old Oct 25th, 2003, 07:15 PM
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For Cuban cuisine try the Metropol. It is a five minute walk from the Ritz. Sports jacket is not needed.
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Old Nov 6th, 2003, 09:51 AM
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A lovely formal dining experience can be had at Los Chavales in Hato Rey, a ten minute drive from the hotel. If you go for dinner, make a reservation and ask for Anthony.

PS My regrets on your choice of the Ritz. I just returned from a two week stay there and will NEVER patronize the chain again. Make sure that you see security personnel in the lobby!!!
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Old Nov 6th, 2003, 10:14 AM
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devildog just curious why you said that about the Ritz. Could you elaborate? I'm headed there soon too though not at the Ritz.
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Old Nov 6th, 2003, 10:24 AM
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You absolutely must try Ajili Mojili, which is gourmet PR cuisine. Have one of the Mofungu dishes....incredible!
Make reservations though...they are always packed solid.

On the other side of the scale...I used to walk the 2 blocks from the Ritz to the Lupis Mexican restaurant the moment I checked in at night. This is weird as hell, but they have the best chicken wings anywhere! They also have this green mexican hot sause, which is absolutely amzing if you are inot hot is hot but a sweet hot !

PS - I am curious about the Ritz myself...never had a problem there.
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Old Nov 6th, 2003, 01:13 PM
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Isla Verde is not the top restaurant area. Condado and Old San Juan have higher concentrations of good restaurants. Metropol near the Ritz is usually a crowd-pleaser, as already mentioned. Not far from the Ritz, east of Isla Verde, is the Pin~ones area which has lots of food shacks on the beach with cheap fritters. There's also a couple of better restaurants. Soleil Beach Club is one of them. Their fried fish and mofongo is usually good, but the best is the setting, beachfront, on the sand. You can also ask there about bike rentals to ride along the Pin~ones boardwalk. Fredo's in Hotel Casa de Playa in Isla Verde is a good, casual Italian restaurant. For fast, cheap food, try Pollo Tropical (local fast food) or any of the Spanish-style panaderias/reposterias (for cubano sandwiches, quesitos, guava pastries, etc.). Kasalta Bakery in Ocean Park, between Isla Verde and Condado, is one of the most famous one of these. In Ocean Park, there's also Pamela's. On the expensive side, but great food, great service, and great location (on the beach, in a little guesthouse). In Condado, in addition to Ajili Mojili, I like Zabo. In Old San Juan, there's so many good restaurants, I don't know where to start. For a "coffee break" with a sweet "mallorca" go to La Bombonera. For cheap and causal, go to "Arepas y algo mas" or Fonda El Jibarito. Spanish tapas: El Picoteo in El Convento hotel. Higher-end: Trois cent onze, Dragonfly, Parrot Club. For a good view, try the rooftop Panorama restaurant at Hotel Milano. These are only a few. There's hardly any bad restaurants in OSJ (well, maybe that's an exaggeration, but there's a lot more good restaurants than bad).
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Old Nov 7th, 2003, 05:31 AM
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I recommend Pamelas in Ocean Park. Really nice setting dining right in the sand. Very good food
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Old Nov 12th, 2003, 09:19 AM
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ANy of the restaurants at the El San Juan (down the street from the Ritz Carlton) are worthy of a visit.
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