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5 Of The Best Seafood Restaurants In Puerto Rico

Between the mofongo and tostones, lechón and alcapurrias, you’ve got serious work to do when it comes to tasting the best of Puerto Rico’s cuisine. But in between the most traditional dishes, you have to—and we mean have to—make time for seafood in Puerto Rico.

With over 300 miles of coastline and a collection of surrounding islands, it’s really no surprise that seafood in Puerto Rico reigns supreme. Heaping platters of shrimp and ceviches, whole grilled fish and lobster tails can be found almost anywhere around the island.

But the best ones are found right here, on this list.

El Nuevo Acuario

a plate of food

Good news—the hunt for the best seafood in Puerto Rico can pretty much end now. Because, tucked away at the end of the Piñones Boardwalk in Loíza is El Nuevo Acuario, a simple restaurant serving up the best local seafood on the island.

Family owned and as authentic as it gets, this restaurant is well-loved by tourists and locals alike for their creative menu of tasty seafood dishes.

Here, you get the whole experience. From the location to the staff, the food to the drinks, a meal here is the kind you’ll talk about for years to come. While everything on the menu gets high praise, you can’t leave without trying the whole fried red snapper, empanadas and mojitos.

Oh, and, it’s steps from the beach; an unwritten rule for any restaurant that wants to contend as a top seafood spot.

José Enrique

For an elevated take on Puerto Rican classics, head to José Enrique in Condado. The namesake of one of the island’s most celebrated chefs, this spot should be on every foodie’s list of restaurants in Puerto Rico.

The atmosphere at José Enrique is casual. Almost exceedingly so. But the minimal decor and modest building make a stark contrast to the menu, which is full of bright, innovative dishes.

Unique takes on local staples include swordfish schnitzel, tuna crudo and cod fritters. All three are beautifully plated, exceptionally delicious and truly one-of-a-kind. You also can’t go wrong with the catch-of-the-day, in fact—you can’t go wrong, period. Better make your reservation now.

Cayo Caribe

If you’re looking for one of the best seafood restaurants in San Juan, this might just be your place. Casual and inviting with sidewalk seating and a massive menu, Cayo Caribe is a great choice when you’re hungry in the city limits.

A convenient location in Old San Juan is just one of many reasons to love this spot. Their menu covers just about every seafood dish you could imagine, from crab meat mofongo to grouper filets.

Seafood lovers also rave about the fish tacos, shrimp tacos, ceviche and red snapper.

La Estación

a person holding a bunch of food on a plate

Image by Jeffrey Bary on Flickr

Okay, yes, technically this is a BBQ restaurant and the focus here is on slow cooked meats. But Fajardo’s well-loved La Estación does everything ridiculously good—seafood included. Perfect for couples or groups that have a blend of seafood lovers and meat-eaters, this spot is truly one of Puerto Rico’s must-visit restaurants.

The vibe is chill. Very chill. An old gas station converted into a bustling BBQ restaurant, it might not seem like it serves some of the island’s best food, but it does.

Cheat on the seafood and get the brisket. We promise we won’t blame you. But you better save room for some of the best lobster in Puerto Rico, the amazing grilled snapper and a ceviche you won’t soon forget.

It’s pricey, but it’s worth it.

La Cueva Del Mar

A quick and spirited neighborhood joint with affordable prices and excellent seafood? La Cueva Del Mar checks all the boxes. An expansive menu covers all of the favorites from traditional Puerto Rican cuisine, but there’s no doubt—seafood is the star.

Located on the bustling Loíza Street of Old San Juan, everything here is super fresh and expertly prepared. It’s a great spot for lunch or a casual dinner, tropical drinks with a group of friends or a happy hour pit stop.

Whatever you do, just heed this advice: get the fish tacos. Oh, and the empanadas.

La Cambija

a piece of food on a plate

Image by stu_spivack on Flickr

Welcome to La Cambija, Rincón’s airy, seafood shack of your dreams. Order from a white board menu that cuts right to the point—fresh lobster, shellfish and fish prepared in traditional styles.

Guests rave about everything on the menu here, but for us, it’s all about the pinchos. Skewers of whatever’s freshest from the sea, they come simply seasoned and hot off the grill. Pair them with your choice of authentic Puerto Rican side dishes or a hot empanadilla or two.

Even better? Come for happy hour and add in a rum punch or ice cold cerveza.

The prices are reasonable, the open-air seating screams good island livin’ and the fish is as fresh as it gets. If you’re over in Rincón, this one’s a must-visit.

Old San Juan Food Tours

a plate of food on a table

Image by Hungry Dudes on Flickr

You basically have a full island seafood tour at your fingertips now. But if you’re anything like us, too much of a good thing can only be a good thing. Keep the train rollin’ with a food tour of Old San Juan.

We know it sounds crazy but this list barely scratches the surface of all the good eats Puerto Rico has to offer. Link up with the experts for a guided tour through some of Old San Juan’s best restaurants, food and drinks.