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    Updated on Dec 6, 2019. Posted on Nov 26, 2018

    We Tried The Ultimate Puerto Rico Food Bucket List

    Mofongo, piña coladas, and SO MUCH MORE.

    Getty / Kirby Beaton

    Hola from San Juan, Puerto Rico!


    When headed to a new place, the Bring Me! team always wants to taste test the local cuisine, so on our recent trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico we asked a local foodie to take us on the ultimate food and drink tour of her city!

    Myriam of Puerto Rico Eats took us on a culinary journey to try the must-have dishes while on the island, from classic mofongo to fresh-off-the-spit roasted pork. Now, we want to share them with you. Let's go!

    Grab a plate of mofongo from El Guateque.

    Kirby Beaton

    Mofongo is a Puerto Rican staple found almost everywhere on the island. Made with mashed fried plantains, chicharrones (fried pork skin), and lots of garlic, it usually comes with a protein, like the pork ribs above. Sometimes you'll find it double fried, but Myriam notes that El Guateque keeps it classic; the base remains soft so the crunchy pork really stands out. They also serve an extra cup of broth on the side to keep your mofongo extra moist.

    Fuel your morning with some coffee from Café Marquesa.

    Kirby Beaton

    Puerto Rico is known for its coffee, and it's easy to see (or taste) why when you have a sip of the smooth and sweet blends. Unfortunately a huge portion of the island's coffee crops were destroyed in Hurricane Maria, but a regrowth effort is already underway. Although you'll find great coffee throughout the city, Café Marquesa is an excellent spot to get your caffeine fix.

    Get a late-night (or early morning!) tripleta from Moncho Pan.

    Kirby Beaton

    The tripleta sandwich is a Puerto Rican must-eat! It usually features three types of meat: chicken, ham, and beef. It's something you'd crave after having one too many drinks. For that reason, you usually find tripletas at late-night food trucks or bakeries like Moncho Pan. Their version actually features way more than three meats; beefsteak, turkey, pastrami, chorizo, ham, and smoked ham are sandwiched between soft, chewy bread. So I guess you could call this a sexleta!

    Begin your night out with piña coladas from Jungle Bird.

    Tiffany Lo

    This beloved pineapple and coconut beverage was actually created in Puerto Rico, and although its origins are still a bit mysterious, you'll find it at every bar. Jungle Bird, sister bar to La Factoría (aka where "Despacito" was filmed!), serves up a tasty and modern take on the national drink. Their recipe uses tepache (a fermented pineapple beverage) giving it a bold flavor that you'll want to taste twice...or five times. We don't judge.

    Try world-renowned lechón from El Rancho de Apa.

    Kirby Beaton

    This is the place for pork! Meat from a whole roasted pig (often cooked for 5+ hours!) is paired with pigeon pea rice and plantains. The long roasting process makes the skin extra crispy, almost like a chip! It's so good that Myriam recommends making a reservation and even requesting your favorite cut of meat ahead of time — they sell out fast! El Rancho de Apa is unassuming from the outside, but trust us (and Anthony Bourdain) when we say it's one of the best meals we've ever had.

    Start your morning with quesitos from Bien Dulce.

    Kirby Beaton

    Traditionally, quesitos are a cream cheese pastry eaten for breakfast with a warm mug of coffee. However, despite their name, quesitos aren't always filled with cheese. We saw guava, dulce de leche, salted caramel, and even bacon, for example, at Bien Dulce. This bakery is a delight of millennial-pink walls and colorful desserts and pastries. Grab a latte and a quesito (or two) to start the perfect day in San Juan!

    Hit the beach, and then snack on alcapurrias from Kiosko La Comay.

    While you're there, try the bacalaítos from Kiosko La Comay too.

    Eat like a Puerto Rican with chuletas de cerdo and tostones from El Guayabo.

    Kirby Beaton

    Myriam said that eating chuletas de cerdo (fried pork chops) and tostones (fried plantains) at El Guayabo would be like eating at a Puerto Rican grandma's house – probably because the restaurant is literally attached to the home of a Puerto Rican grandma! This meal is total comfort food, from the juicy pork chops to the crispy plantains dipped in Mayochup sauce. Not pictured but definitely a must-have: a glass of their sangria to wash it all down.

    That wraps up our San Juan food and drink guide! Which dish made you drool the most?

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