San Juan, Puerto Rico is a city filled with diversity and culture. From the historic buildings to the tropical forests, this island has something special for everyone. However, one aspect that I love most about San Juan is its street food scene. If you’re looking to try some of the best local fare in town on your next visit to Puerto Rico’s capital, here’s my guide:
Cuchifrito is Puerto Rico’s most famous and popular street food, but it’s also one of the most misunderstood.
The cuchifrito experience is unique. You’ll find no other dining experience quite like it anywhere in the world: you order from a menu on a piece of paper, pay for your meal at a window and bring it to your table yourself, where you then sit to enjoy your meal with friends or family (or alone).
Cuchifritos are served in two varieties: by themselves or stuffed inside sandwiches called bocadillos de cuchifrito. Both options come with French fries and plantains on the side; if you want them on their own instead of stuffed into a sandwich, order them as “platanos fritos” instead.
There are over 100 cuchifritos recipes available at any given time—you’ll find pork belly or beef cheeks seasoned with different spices depending on what’s being served that day! Cuchifritos are made fresh every morning so they’re always delicious when they come out hot off the grill hours later!
Cerdo en Fricase
Cerdo en Fricase is a traditional Puerto Rican dish made with pork and green plantains. The pork is seasoned with garlic and spices, slow-cooked in coconut milk for hours until it becomes tender, then served over rice with fried plantains on top. The rice is also flavored with cinnamon so it’s delicious alongside the tender pork!
You’ll find this dish at any Puerto Rican street food and it’s one of the most popular items on their menus. It’s also a very easy dish to make at home, so if you’re looking for something simple that will feed your whole family then this is a good bet!
Jibaritos are an island staple, and they’re typically made with fried plantains instead of bread. The most popular version is topped with ham, cheese, mayonnaise or ketchup (or any combination thereof), lettuce and tomatoes.
There are many great places to eat jibaritos in San Juan; here are our top picks: El Jibarito (Calle Loiza Street), El Jibarito de Santurce (Santurce) and Taqueria La Princesa (Loiza Street). You can also find some great options at the kiosks outside Plaza Las Americas mall on Avenida Munoz Rivera near Calle Loiza Street.
How to eat jibaritos: You can either cut the sandwich in half or hold it by its sides between your hands like you would pizza crust. Be sure not to eat any part of your sandwich that has fallen off onto your plate—you don’t want to get sauce on anything else!
You may be interested in What is Street Food?
Porkalicious Piggy Trucks
Porkalicious is a local food truck that specializes in boricua pork. If you’re looking for some authentic, home cooked Puerto Rican food, Porkalicious is definitely the place to go.
As a local food truck, they offer four different kinds of sandwiches: roast pork with rice and beans, churrasco steak sandwich on French bread (their most popular dish), pulled pork sandwich with barbecue sauce and coleslaw, and spicy sirloin steak sandwich with cheese and tomato sauce.
All items are served with your choice of side dish—rice & beans or fries—and their signature sauce called “porkalicious” which has been described as tasting just like BBQ sauce but better!
Pastelillos are fried dough filled with sweet fillings. They’re very popular in the Dominican Republic, and they’re one of the street food staples of Puerto Rico.
Pastelillos are made from a special type of dough that’s soft and malleable but also sturdy enough to hold its shape when fried. The pastelillo is then filled with guava jelly or mashed avocado—or any combination thereof—and rolled into a log shape before being cut into bite-sized pieces.
Patitas de Cerdo con Garbanzos
The pig feet with beans is a classic Puerto Rican dish. Served at street carts and restaurants, it’s great for trying something new and different.
The pig feet are cooked until tender, then drenched in stock and spices like cumin and paprika before being served with white rice, black beans, and fried plantains. This hearty meal can be found throughout San Juan Puerto Rico, but most commonly in residential neighborhoods where the chefs are usually family friends who have been making this dish for years.
You may also read: Ways To Find The Best Street Food in Chicago (According To A Local)
So many delicious foods to eat in San Juan!
The best way to get around is on foot, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes! The food in San Juan is so good and so inexpensive that you can go back three times a day and still save money.
So many delicious foods to eat in San Juan! This hearty meal can be found throughout San Juan Puerto Rico, but most commonly in residential neighborhoods where the chefs are usually family friends who have been making this dish for years.
As you can see, there are a lot of amazing dishes in San Juan, Puerto Rico. We hope that this guide helped you find your next favorite meal!
Related: Street Food in Americas