When you are in Puerto Rico, having a gastronomical experience is one activity that you simply must indulge in. You could have the rustic form of this in a Mesón, a restaurant that has been endorsed by the Puerto Rico Tourism Company for its superior quality. This way you get a taste of the rustic style of cooking. If you are looking for the best restaurants in the city, then there are plenty that are worthy of the top 5 position, but a few do manage to stand head and shoulders above the others.
The restaurant Pikayo run by Chef Wilo Benet is one such. He is a pioneering figure behind Puerto Rican cuisine these days. The flavors offered here are strong, bold and are very representative of the local cuisines called comida criolla, which is a cuisine that the chef has been brought up on. The setting of the restaurant is chic and beautiful. Some of the interesting things on the menu are pork belly burgers and beef Carpaccio, that is made with truffle oil as well as Parmesan cheese.
La Casita Blanca is another restaurant that is frequented by the blue collared workers of the country. If you are looking for the perfect home cooked meal in the city, then this is one place you absolutely must head to. It is located in a small corner of Santurce and you will find all of the local specialties available here at all times. Ideally go there on a Sunday so that you can eat out of the massive cauldrons they have going.
Augusto’s is a step away from authentic Puerto Rican cuisine and provides you with the best of European that the country has to offer. The service is good and the ambiance formal. If foie gras is more your thing then this is the place to head to.
Aquaviva is a restaurant that comes under the OOF! banner and like the rest of the offerings from this brand it is quite exquisite. This restaurant is all about creativity and their range of ceviches are brilliant. They have numerous seafood options, which is a huge variation from the other meatier options that most restaurants tend to offer. They have a great raw bar that one must take advantage of and for those who love all things fried – the calamari sandwich is a must have.
And finally Budatai, run under the command of Chef Roberto Treviño with its spot-on Asian-Caribbean influence is something you must try. Dishes such as the amarillos fried rice or Peking duck mofongo stew are must-haves.