No “Longology” trip is complete without a food related day. In Puerto Rico, we decided to book a walking food tour of Old San Juan with Spoon Food Tour. Seemed like a good idea to mix a bit of history with walking and food. We used Trip Advisor to find the tour, and as usual Trip Advisor recommendations don’t disappoint.
We decided to go with the morning tour simply because our daughter is pleasant up until nap time. Then, she starts to act crazy.
We walked all of Old San Juan (at least it seemed that way). While walking from one restaurant to another, we saw all of the main attractions and spots of Old San Juan I was about 6 months pregnant at the time of the tour and I was comfortable. The stops were well spaced out and Pablo ensured we were in shade throughout the whole walk. I strongly advise you wear flat and comfortable shoes and if you’re traveling with children you should bring a stroller.
We drove to Old San Juan from Caguas and paid $5 for all-day parking right by the docks. We met our tour guide, Pablo, at the Plaza. It was about a 10-15 min walk from the parking spot and easy to find.
The monument right in the middle of the upper part of the Plaza is made of Taino pottery found in the Old San Juan area which was a perfect start to our food tour. There was only one other group of two on the tour with us so, four people total. This made the tour nice and small!
It turns out that Saturday is a good day for the tour for two reasons (1) there’s a farmer’s market you get to walk through and (2) a music lessons class is held near the first stop so we got to enjoy some music as well.
FIRST STOP: Cafe y Mallorca at Don Ruiz
We were looking forward to an early morning cup of coffee but this cup exceeded our expectations. The coffee was full of flavor, foamy, rich, and did not need sugar. The coffee was accompanied by a savory bite: Mallorca bread with ham and swiss cheese. The bread is fluffy, flakey, buttery, and dusted with powder sugar. It’s perfect.
While we sipped on the cup of perfection, Pablo gave us an overview of the island and some basic history and demographics.
Before we left, we toured Don Ruiz cafe. We should have taken another cup to go!
BONUS STOP: First Farmer’s Market
SECOND STOP: Quesito Pastry at Tortuga
Tortuga was busy and buzzing by the time we arrived. I was unsure about this stop, but when on a food tour, you try it all! Quesito is a cheese-filled sticky pastry and it was delicious.
THIRD STOP: Chicken Garlic Mofongo at Hecho en Casa
Monfongo is a plantain based dish and it’s served so many different ways. At “Hecho en Casa” we had a creamy garlic chicken mofongo. I sweat we could eat this every single day!
The restaurant itself was bright and the staff was welcoming. We had the place to ourselves and we stumbled upon a circus parade right outside the cafe. Bonus!
FOURTH STOP: Pernil & Soursop at Deaverdura
Of course the food tour had to included a traditional Puerto Rican pernil (slow cooked pork shoulder) with rice and beans. The restaurant, Deaverdura, also has a variety of juices. I chose soursop, which I’ve never eve herad of. It was a refreshing sweet and hint of sour taste.
FIFTH STOP: Gelato at Trapiche
Gelato was a refreshing way to end the tour a little after Noon. We were allowed to choose from three different flavors.
Pablo was an awesome tour guide and really knew the route, the restaurants, the food, and most importantly — the history. He takes pride in his island and it shows throughout the whole tour.
We had enough time to visit La Fortaleza and leave Old San Juan before the big rush.