What's good to eat in/near Old El San Juan? Here's our list from best to worst:
1) El Convento - beautiful, scenic, historic hotel. My PR Wife and I had Cubano and Carne Asado sandwiches with mofungo and plantain chips. Excellent-fresh ingredients, expert preparation. Margarita and Mango daquari (?) were tasty. @$50 total. Wonderful outdoor patio. A winner!
2) Yerba Buena - Condado. Outdoor seating on busy ave but not too noisy. Good service- amuse bouche of seafood mousse with plaintain chips- yum! Entrees of Churrasco w/chimicurri and codfish croquettes were very good, lots of flavor, relatively small portions. $50 with four beers
3) Miro Marisqueria - Condado. Went for lunch, extensive wine cellar (we drank Medalla beer). Great bread basket with garlic butter- it was so worth the calories. Apps of Tortilla Catalan (ok) and Scallops in Garlic Sauce (excellent). Split entree of Grilled Seafood Platter- baby octupus was tasty-just too many of them (10-15)...only 1 shrimp,1 small swordfish,salmon, and a few scallops- all were tasty. Good food but dish should be renamed. @$60 w/a few beers
4) Ropa Vieja -Condado. Early dinner because we saw how mobbed this place gets after 7pm. Lousy seats near bar. Hot track lighting above me cooked me like a Boston makt. chicken. Excellent mojitos tho. App of Shrimp tempura with coconut saffron sauce was ok. Split entree of Mofungo stuffed w/Ropa Vieja. Meat was very good, a little spicy,tangy,salty..worked well with mofungo. W/drinks @$50
-FYI - great waterfront bar to right of rest. (Bar Florvent?) Great mojitos ($7),waves a few yards away, outdoors, a perfect vacation bar.
5) La Fonda del Jibarito- Old El San Juan. A Lonely Planet selection. Wouldn't be one of ours. Kinda rundown with food being served from steam tables in front of you. Wife likes authentic PR food. Her pasteles were ok-good but she didn't like the rice (w/weird chicken sausge things in them) or the beans. I agreed-a fatal flaw for comida criolla. For $13, my garlic shrimp dish was ok but 6 average sized shrimp was a bit lacking. Ditto for the rice /beans. W/ a few beers @$45.
We stayed at Caribe Hilton and were pleasantly surprised with hotel/rooms/etc. To avoid the way overpriced hotel restaurants, we walked to all the places mentioned above.
This is my first post. Hope it helps just as much as some of the previous posts have helped us.