Insider Guide: Puerto Rico, Part 1

If you have never been to Puerto Rico, I suggest you go. It is part of the United States after all. I happen to know a special someone in Puerto Rico that has made me fortunate enough to go pretty often. Visiting often has allowed me to get to know the area around San Juan, specifically Condado.  Below I have rounded up some local spots to eat, drink and be merry. 

JUICE

Crush Juice Located off Ashford Avenue in Condado, YELP reviews cannot steer you wrong on this one. I like to grab a juice here on a walk home from the beach. 

Kamoli Cafe and Boutique This is my happy, hippie cafe! I highly recommend visiting this little bohemian bungalow. If you do not mind paying a little more than usual for juice and super fresh food, then you will love the vibes of this place. Great decor, and friendly service. Giving your body a mini detox has never looked so good. 

EAT

Jose Enrique One of the biggest names in Puerto Rican cuisine. Although I have not eaten here, I did enjoy some drinks here! This is a highly popular local place that is almost ALWAYS packed. Located in the lively market square, La Placita, this is one place to try for food. If you cannot sit before you become hangry, (although based on the reviews I have read I think you should contain yourself and wait to sit) you can walk around La Placita. There is quite a bit of flavor with live music playing in the background. 

Pirilo Pizza Rustica SO. GOOD. I visited this pizza spot with a girlfriend and we chowed down on a whole pizza and a bottle of rose. We were highly impressed with the taste and quality as well as the options for pizza. It is a very tiny place, but the windows are open so you can get an ocean breeze. 

Mario Pagan  

La B de Burro Right next door to Pirilo Pizza, this serves some great tacos while getting a feel for the neighborhood in Ocean Park. 

Pinkys With two locations (Ashford Avenue and Calle Loiza) this is another favorite that is mostly always packed! Restaurants are tiny, so get there early if you are going for breakfast. The Calle Loiza location gives you an insight to all new restaurants and bars along the way that have been popping up.

Budatei Located across Ashford Avenue from Parque la Aentana al Mar, this fancy spot has delicious thai food serving delicious spicy margaritas to go along with it.

El Rex Taco, nachos, burritos, OH MY! If you feel like a splurge, this is a local favorite and for good reason. A speakeasy shares this space if you feel like having cocktails after dinner. Primarily their big days are Wednesday and Sundays. Be sure to call ahead if this place is out of your way as some of their hours are not always exact with the website. 

DRINK

Santaella Restaurant Also located in the lively market square of La Placita, this resturant is gorgeous. Enjoy specialty cocktails made my mixologists and enjoy the scenery. 

Oceano Condado Beachfront lounge! This is a little more upscale, but well worth it. Perfect place to watch the sunset with a loved one while enjoying the ocean breeze. 

Funky Buddha

BYOB to Ocean Park beach which is an upscale beachfront community within the district of Santurce, San Juan. Here you can find locals drinking Medalla and playing paddle board in the sand. Hopefully you ate at Pirilo Pizza before and are now letting that delicious pizza settle while drinking Medella basking in the sun (using sunscreen of course!) 

SHOP

Nude With brands similar to what sells at Revolve clothing, this little store is trendy, clean and very welcoming. 90's baby? Chokers and body suits are definitely sold here. 

Freshmart Healthy, conscious living, but not quite a Whole Foods. This local grocery spot is the spot to pick up some healthier items if you find yourself needing a snack or a quick purchase for essential oils. Upstairs has delicious food options for you to enjoy or take away.

STAY

La Concha Resort This hotel lobby smells as wonderful as it looks. The amount of plants leading up to the pool makes me feel like I am in an exotic jungle. Right off the beach located on Ashford avenue this hotel will not disappoint. Next door is Serafina which is also another place to enjoy drinks if you are looking for something familiar from NYC.

Condado Vanderbilt Hotel Amazing pool overlooking the ocean. Equipped with plenty of Rose wine. Below the pool is a small little deck suited with a table and chairs for those romantic affairs. Walking through the hotel to get to the pool feels like a dream. It is absolutely gorgeous. If you are not staying at this hotel, I suggest grabbing drinks here at the pool and/or coming back later in the evening to enjoy some food at Tacos & Tequila

The Dreamcatcher Hotel