Hi. I'll be heading out to Puerto Rico next month and would like some recommendations. I've been coming to Puerto Rico for over a decade and have generally been in San Juan, Vieques and Culebra. I'm open to different types of establishments -- kiosk, casual, jackets required, etc. We'll be spending 3 nights in San Juan, 2 nights in El Yunque area (Rio Mar Resort) and 1 night in Culebra.
A couple of places I have enjoyed in the past are Pamela's, Parrot Club (years ago; however when I went two years ago, quality declined tremendously) and Kassalta Bakery. A few places I'm not really interested in visiting again: Dragonfly (everything was too sweet and cloying), Metropol (I know it's a board favorite, but thought it was just OK) and Ajili Mojili (I really don't understand the allure of this place at all). I'm basically concentrating on Puerto Rican/Carribbean (traditional, modern or fusion). I'm really not interested in steak/French/Italian/Japanese/Mexican unless they do something special with the local ingredients. I like local places but am fine with restaurants with a lot of tourists as long as the food is good. I'm also fine with places that are trendy. The reason I state that is because I find that some hounds refuse to go to any place if there are tourists in it or are remotely trendy. My first priority is quality of food. If I can get it in a super trendy place with attitude -- fine. If I can get it at a roadside stand -- fine. Just please point me in the direction of great food!
We will probably have a car (well, definitely outside of San Juan). And I should probably mention that part of our trip will include Christmas and Christmas Eve (we should be in San Juan at this point). So if there are any restaurant closings, I'd appreciate that info. Also, prices of restaurants not really an issue.
These are a few places that I have in mind:
1. San Juan -- La Casita Blanca, Pikayo, Aguaviva, Delirio, Pescador, Tantra (I'd also appreciate it if you guys can tell me if some of my choices are more style than substance)
2. Culebra -- Juanita Bananas (that is, if they're open), Dinghy Dock, Mamacita's -- I know that chow options are limited here; if anybody can point me to a secret gem, I'd be much obliged
3. Rio Mar Resort area (Fajardo, El Yunque area) -- La Parilla (Luquillo), ???
4. And I'd also appreciate any recs for the trip along the way from San Juan to Fajardo. Have heard good things about the kiosks in Loiza. Any recommendations for any particular kiosks?
5. And DH is really looking for some good lechon. Seems that the best are in Guavate. Are any particular lechoneras standouts? And are Sundays the best time to go? If we don't have the time to drive down there, any other recommendations?
Thank you for enduring this long post!