Puerto Rico: Where Should I Eat East Coast
The location is the East Coast of Puerto Rico, and includes Luquillo, Fajardo and Rio Grande. This is a special area with some of the best beaches and surfing in PR. It's a haven for ex-pats and snowbirds from the US and a popular home for military vets from the nearby (now closed) military base. There are large resorts nearby, including St. Regis Bahia Beach [787-809-8000], Gran Melia [800-336-3542], Wyndham Rio Mar [800-207-4421], and El Conquistador [787-863-1000], and also several B&B's (Luquillo Sunrise Inn [787-409-2929] is terrific and right on the prime beach) with many condo rentals available (Alana will find you a perfect place [787-241-8638].
Even if you are staying in one of the resorts, you want to get out and experience PR! Note that only a couple of these are fancy; remember, it's a laid-back beach town.
[NOTE: All have great food, a key requirement for me. Reservations may be necessary!]
So here are some of my favorite places to eat in my area, in no particular order:
PALIO, Rio Grande, Wyndham Rio Mar Resort (787.888.6000)
-Italian, beautiful restaurant.
TEMPO, Rio Grande, Gran Melia Resort (787.657.1026)
-Italian and steaks, romantic.
PASION POR EL FOGON, Fajardo (787.863.3502) - Near El Conquistador Resort
-Upscale PR, seafood, international.
UPSCALE, BUT CASUAL
LA ESTACIAN, Fajardo (787.863.4481) – Near El Conquistador Resort
-Amazing Caribbean restaurant, beautiful ambiance, fun (converted gas station, very cool).
LA PARILLA, Luquillo, The Luquillo Kioskos, #2 (787.889.0590) – Prime location
-PR seafood and steaks, very popular restaurant for 20+ years. Very casual, very nice!
EL VARADERO, Fajardo (787.860.2662) – Near El Conquistador Resort
-Seafood on the pier, right on the water. Quaint with great food!
DON PEPE, Rio Grande (787.888.7373) – Near Wyndham Rio Mar Resort
-Caribbean/PR in a cool environment. Live music, call for schedule.
BOARDRIDERS, Luquillo Beach (787.355.5175) – On the beach/La Pared beach
-Very casual American food, right on the boardwalk
BRASS CACTUS, Luquillo (787.889.5735) – Heart of Luquillo
-American style sports bar, open 365, always good.
LLUVIA, Palmer, (787.657.5186) – On the way to El Yunque Rainforest
-Breakfast and lunch spot, American style.
LUQUILLO KIOSKOS – On Route 3, Km 35
-World-Famous, 60 kiosks in a row, serving all sorts of foods, great bars, late night, live music abounds. Gift shops and my wife's art/jewelry studio (#13, look her up!).
DOS PANZAS, Rio Grande (787.500.7199) - Near Wyndham Rio Mar Resort
-Great casual Mexican spot, next to Don Pepe. Best Mex in area!
SMOKE HOUSE BBQ, Fajardo (787-360-7273) - On the right just after the Natural Preserve
-Good classic BBQ in a great spot. Strong bar selection!
AROMAS COFFEE & CREPES, Luquillo (787-355-6767) - Right on the town square in Luquillo
-Great breakfast and lunch spot. Always good, always consistent.
ERIK'S GYROS & DELI, Luquillo (787-889-0615) - Under the overpass in Luquillo
-Really good gyros and a terrific deli, feels very NYC but here is Luquillo.
So that's where you should eat and drink on the East Coast of PR. At least a start, then explore and find your own favorites. There's a great big world out there just dying to be found! Yes, please!