Delightful Puerto Rican Food You Must Eat on Vacation

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Delightful Puerto Rican Food You Must Eat on Vacation

Posted on June 25. 2014

Whether your idea of fun in Puerto Rico is exploring history in San Juan’s Old Town, hiking El Yunque National Forest, or simply laying on the beach, at some point, there’s one thing you are going to have to do no matter what: eat.

Due to the unique history of Puerto Rico which features heavy influences from Africa, Spain and the Caribbean, its food has developed a set of signature flavors that have garnered it a reputation for tastiness around not just the Caribbean, but the world.

Here are a few of our favorite Puerto Rican food dishes to whet your appetite for your upcoming first trip to the island or remind you of the good times your taste buds had last time you were in Puerto Rico.


One part gumbo, one part stew, one part risotto, Asopao is all parts comfort food for Puerto Ricans. It is without a doubt one of the most popular dishes in Puerto Rico, and can be found on nearly every menu on the island. The most popular varieties feature shrimp or chicken but all types are perfect on a cool and breezy winter night.


Puerto Rico’s answer to mainland American barbecue is Lechon, also known as roasted suckling pig. The tender juicy meat is a result of a long process stuffing the pig with seasonings like garlic, lemongrass and ginger and then slow roasting it. What adds to Lechon’s lore is that most of the best places to get it on the island are simply no more than shacks on the side of the road. In fact, there is even a state highway that has gotten the nickname “The Pork Highway” due to the large amount of Lechon shacks located on it.


Mofongo is a dish so versatile, there is said to be a different type of Mofongo for every man, woman and child in Puerto Rico. At its most basic, Mofongo is a cake of mashed plantains layered and stuffed with toppings varying from bacon to vegetables. Many times a broth will be added to the dish as well.

Arroz Con Gandules

Arroz Con Gandules has been described as the Puerto Rican version of red beans and rice and if there is one dish that gives an insight to the Puerto Rican culinary tradition, this is it. Arroz Con Gandules has major influences from Spain and is typically made with pork, peppers and olives stewed with pigeon peas and a spicy sauce called sofrito.

Fried Food Fiesta

While this isn’t one particular dish, any trip to Puerto Rico would not be complete without a taste of something fried. From deep fried pork chops to crispy empanadas and yam fritters, the culinary tradition of Puerto Rico was forever changed when it became tied with the United States and deep frying with lard came into play. Various crispy fried delicacies called cuchifritos can be found everywhere on the island and no trip would be complete without a stop for a handful of them.


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