I've taken 2 trips here in the last 3 months and have had the opportunity to try many restaurants, often based on the recommendations of locals. I was pleasantly surprised by the high quality of dining to be found here. Only a couple of these places are in Old San Juan where many tourists and cruise ship day trippers concentrate; rather, these are mainly spots frequented by affluent locals:
Buenos Ayres, Argentinean food, casual atmosphere, 56 Condado Av. Lots of grilled meats and fish; we all had the churrasco which was great - very flavorful, juicy steak. They also make great desserts.
Fieria Greek Cafe, Santurce, inexpensive. One of the few if only place to have Greek food in San Juan. We had a lot of traditional Greek appetizers and shared a large grilled seafood platter which was excellent.
Bistro de Paris in the Hotel Excelsior, Calle Ponce de Leon in the Miramar district. Charming French cafe incongruosly placed in a modern hotel. But good food, very authentic French, and some very fresh raw seafood.
Chayote, in the Olimpo Court Hotel in Miramar - airy, elegant restaurant decorated with modern and contemporary art. Sophisticated, well dressed crowd. The chef is known for using local ingredients in inventive, luxurious preparations. I thought the appetizers were excellent; the main courses (we all had seafood dishes) were good but not truly special.
Dragonfly - in old San Juan, a mix of tourists and locals, has been written about on this board. Too crowded the night I was there and I wasn't very hungry, so will leave this one for others to rate...
Miro Marisqueria Catalana, Spanish. 74 Condado Ave. Very fresh seafood; I especially enjoyed their tapas style dishes using local ingredients and preparations. Also home to a sophisticated local crowd.
Morton's Steak House in the Caribe Hilton (what can I say, my hosts liked meat. This is probably not a place that Chowhounds will seek out, but I did have a huge, tender and flavorful hunk of beef here!
Trois Cent Onze, mostly southern French with lots of seafood choices, another elegant stylish place. Expensive. By this point in the trip I had eaten so much I couldn't really appreciate it, but I would definitely recommend. Very pretty, great service.
There is much more to try in San Juan and I look forward to exploring more on future visits.