A melting pot of cultures, Puerto Rico offers fantastic food options. Local Caribbean flavors mix with African and Spanish flare giving a certain creative and unique flavor to Puerto Rican cuisine. Unfortunately visitors often cheat themselves of this experience by sticking to their resorts or barely venturing off the cruise ships to taste some of the local favorites.
Recently, while I was in Puerto Rico, I set a goal try the street food from every stall I came across. Well 7 days and probably 7lbs heavier, rest assured I ate my way through the street food scene! Below are 6 of my favorites for you to hopefully discover on your Puerto Rican adventure.
1. Tacos from El Trompo Tacos y Burritos Food Truck
At $2.50, this oversized taco was the perfect combination of sweet, savory, and spicy. Crispy, juicy pork topped with lettuce, tomato, pineapple and fresh jalapeño salsa was perfection. Located in the Plaza de Puerto, about one block from San Juan’s main pier you will find many food trucks offering up delicious bites but the tacos at El Trompo Food Truck were my number 1.
2. Oysters at Tito’s Food Truck
Tito’s raw oysters and clams were a close runner up for first place. Maybe it was the fact that boys were shucking these fresh shellfish from iceboxes in the back of their blue van straight to your plate, or maybe it was that they always give you one extra from what you ordered. But at $1 per oyster, these fresh, salty, limey, pillows of heaven were the perfect treat to pair with a cold beer at the beach. Luquillo, a 45 minute drive from San Juan, is where you can find Tito’s oysters in front of the food kiosks that line the beach. Even if oysters are not your thing, Luquillo Beach has many food options and is a great way to experience what the locals do on the weekend. Be prepared for impromptu salsa dancers, great music, and an all around fun time.
3. Delicious Colombian Food Truck
Delicious Columbian Food Truck is located on Esperanza Beach on Vieques Island, Puerto Rico. Usually only open Friday-Sundays, this modest blue food stand offers traditional Columbian treats. Plates of friend pork, plantains, chorizo, and small yellow potatoes are the perfect hearty combination of sweet, salty, and delicious meatiness ($6).
4. Tico Tripleta Food Truck
The Tripleta, is a delicious, huge sandwich which combines ham, chicken and beef with mustard, mayonnaise, and ketchup. A Tripleta is a perfect way to end the night of drinking and dancing in old town San Juan. Also located in the Puerto de Plaza, Tico Tripleta food truck is hard to miss, as there is always a line of hungry locals, mouths watering for this savory sandwich. At $7, it’s a great price dinner, however I suggest sharing one, as it is too huge for one person to finish, especially if you want to food truck hop down the plaza.
5. Sol Food
Sol Food, is an AMAZING food truck located on Vieques Island at the turn off from Experanza to Red Beach but just ask any local and they will be happy to point you in the right direction. Open Friday-Sunday 11-3, (or as their sign states, “until the food runs out!”) The spicy jerk chicken sandwich was the absolute best I’ve ever had with customized spice and loads of chicken ($8). The beef, and cheesy spinach empanadas ($3) were cooked to order making them perfectly crispy on the outside and bursting with juicy goodness inside. Although Trip Advisor doesn’t always get it right, Sol Food is ranked #1 of restaurants; they hit the nail on the head with this one!
6. Posada San Francisco Hostel Food Court and Bar
Yes, you see it right, a Food Court, and Bar! Located under the Posada San Francisco Hostel, in Old Town San Juan, the locals Food Court offers cheap and oh so delicious traditional food. A friend and I shared the beef and onions plate with beans and rice, and two beers for $9. The beef was so tender is could be cute with a fork and the caramelized onions with the beans and rice were incredible. Centrally located in Old Town, I would definitely recommend this hostel and its great Food Court and Bar below. If you want to save money, eat like a local, and have walking access to all of the historical sites, this is the perfect fit for you. read more here on backpacking Puerto Rico.