One of the best ways to really explore a culture is through its food—and Puerto Rico is no exception. When it comes to Puerto Rico cuisine, the flavors are unique and the technique is perfected, providing you with a meal you won’t soon forget. Rooted in its Spanish and Caribbean culture, these four dishes flawlessly define what living in Puerto Rico is all about:
Unofficially, mofongo is the king of Puerto Rico cuisine. It is delicious, it is filling, and it is made out of a combination of mashed plantain, a variety of seafood, meat or chicken with a coral creole sauce, and meticulously added seasonings. Once combined, the dish is formed into a mound shape and almost every restaurant in Puerto Rico—from food trucks to fine dining—will have their own version of mofongo; however, one of the highest rated is served at Pikayo Restaurant.
You haven’t truly eaten pig until you’ve eaten it in Puerto Rico. Lechón is essentially a whole pig that is slowly roasted until it is impeccably cooked with a crispy skin. Puerto Rico is full of lechóneras—or restaurants that serve lechón—but the most famous ones are found on roadside stands off of Highway 184. In fact, the road has coined the name Pork Highway because people of all social classes head out to the street to seek out the best lechón on the island—and arguably in the world.
Sticking with the pork theme, another must-try dish while living in Puerto Rico is morcilla. Served as a main course or a side dish, morcilla is a blood sausage with rice and spices. While it may not sound the most appealing, it is something you have to try to fully appreciate. Since is it a Puerto Rican classic, you can probably find morcilla at any Puerto Rican restaurant you frequent.
Yes, you can find french fries in Puerto Rico, but with tostones as an option, you shouldn’t waste your time. Tostones are like a better, more delicious french fry, made out of crushed plantains that are double fried and served with various dipping sauces. They are usually about the size of a silver dollar and can be enjoyed plain, with a mojito sauce (lemon juice, oil, garlic, and spices), or with a ketchup/mayo/garlic concoction. Tostones are an incredible addition to a variety of Puerto Rico cuisine, and can be found in many restaurants. One of the best local food restaurants for tostones is Jose Enrique’s restaurant La Jaquita Baya.
Bahia Beach Resort is located close to some of the best places for local Puerto Rico cuisine on the island. For further suggestions and recommendations, our concierge would love to assist.