No matter how excited you may be to visit a new place, one fear often remains: will you like the local food? That is not a silly concern either since getting used to a new cuisine can be challenging. It is possible to ease the transition if you know what delicious local food to choose, though! Having said all that, let’s look at the best street food in Puerto Rico you are guaranteed to like!
Empanadillas are the first entry on our list of the best street food in Puerto Rico, and their popularity earns them the spot. The treat might initially seem like a relatively basic combo of dough and fillings, but the local street vendors’ endless variety and expert skills make it shine. Furthermore, they are easy to eat on the move, letting you explore more of Puerto Rico while enjoying a great snack.
Alcapurrias are one of the most representative examples of the best street food in Puerto Rico. They are generally one of the most beloved street foods locally, and their taste lives up to the hype splendidly. They are, basically, fritters. The fried dough contains a unique mixture called masa—a filling made of yautia, green plantain, beef, and sofrito. The combo is fantastic; you can’t miss out on trying it if you get the opportunity.
Arroz con Gandules
Next on our list, we have one of Puerto Rico’s national dishes in Arroz con gandules. That is a rice-based dish, which includes pigeon peas, sofrito, and pork. It might be an odd street food, considering it takes a container and some utensils to eat correctly. Still, it is popular locally, and vendors are developing exciting solutions to the eating puzzle. One thing’s for sure: you won’t regret ordering it if you have the chance.
Jibaritos are a unique take on sandwiches. Not only are they not made out of bread, requiring fried plantain instead, but they are also much more substantial meals. They are typically topped with meat and cheese in more significant amounts than you’d expect. Not to mention that the meat is rarely a plain boring cold cut. Instead, you can expect your street vendor to serve you juicy barbeque or similar! Since the moving experts from Four Winds KSA recommend keeping your diet robust before, during, and after a move to deal with exhaustion and stress, jibaritos are a perfect option for once you’ve arrived in Puerto Rico.
Another more ‘substantial’ street food option is pernil asado. That roasted pork dish is unique in that it can take days to roast properly. The result is a vibrant taste. And its divinely soft texture makes it feel like the meat melts in your mouth. The food can be purchased as is, or you can find it as part of other street food. For example, in the jibarito, we just covered. Consider this if you are looking for a satisfying meal after a romantic day in Puerto Rico.
Rellenos De Papa
If you like potato-based food, then out of all the best street food in Puerto Rico on our list, you’ll like rellenos de papa the most. The dish is potatoes stuffed with minced meat. The butter coating on the outside and the decadently spiced meat on the inside make this food stand out!
Pinchos are, basically, grilled chicken meat skewers. While it may come with some unique seasonings and combinations, the familiarity with the dish still makes it a safe choice if you are still getting used to the local cuisine. If you had stressed over things to do before moving abroad to know what you should do once you’ve arrived and aren’t feeling very experimental, this is a great food to opt for, too.
One of the most interesting entries on our list of the best street food in Puerto Rico, and one which might surprise you if you’re not familiar with their cuisine, are Piononos. This simple yet delectable treat is fried sweet plantain stuffed with minced beef. The result is curious yet still delicious, sweet, and sour. The taste might be a bit odd initially, but it draws you in to try more. Before you know it, you will enjoy munching on these. And the way they’re sold makes it easy to carry them around to satisfy your munchies!
Arroz con Dulce
One of the few examples of the best street food in Puerto Rico of the sweet variety is arroz con dulce. The dessert has a rice base, to which you add various spices and raisins. You can find plenty of street vendors selling this particular treat. And while it can be a bit hard to maneuver eating it on your feet, it’s well worth the hassle. It is sure to improve your day, not to mention cleanse your palate a little after indulging in all the savory food you’ve gone through on our list already.
Coquito treads a fine line between a drink and a treat, which earns it its spot on our list of best street food in Puerto Rico. It is, in essence, the local variation of eggnog. However, it’s typically made with relatively high alcohol content and should not be offered to children. You can specify that you want a version for kids made, but it is not the default. The drink is unique in its use of coconut milk and cream, adding an extra kick and making it very rich and sweet.
With our list of the best street food in Puerto Rico, you will surely find some dishes to fall in love with. We hope this will make your visit, or the start of your life here, a lot more enjoyable!