Puerto Rican food is a feast for the senses, from traditional dishes passed down through generations to innovative takes on classic recipes.
Get ready to indulge in savory meats, aromatic spices, and tropical fruits!
Whether you’re craving hearty comfort food or refreshing bites, Puerto Rican food has something to satisfy every palate.
In this article, I’ll share some of my favorite Puerto Rican dishes that you must try.
Pernil (Roast Pork)
You haven’t experienced true Puerto Rican cuisine until you’ve savored the succulent and savory pernil. As one of the best dishes in Puerto Rico, this traditional dish is a must-try for any foodie.
Made from slow-cooked pork shoulder, the delicious meat is marinated to perfection.
Pernil truly captures the essence of Puerto Rico’s culinary heritage, making it an unforgettable dish that should be on everyone’s list when visiting the island.
Indulge in the rich flavors of a perfectly seasoned and crispy mofongo, bursting with savory garlic and tender sweet plantains throughout.
Mofongo is one of the most popular foods in Puerto Rico and for a good reason! This traditional Puerto Rican food is made by mashing fried green plantains with garlic, olive oil, and pork cracklings to create a deliciously addictive side dish that pairs perfectly with any meal.
It is also considered one of the Top Puerto Rican Breakfasts!
The dish has roots in African cuisine but has been adapted over time to become a staple of Puerto Rican cuisine. Whether you’re enjoying it as a side or main dish, mofongo is sure to satisfy your taste buds and leave you wanting more of this delectable treat!
Arroz Con Gandules (Rice with Pigeon Peas)
If you’re looking for a flavorful and filling dish, try Arroz Con Gandules – it’s a must-try Puerto Rican favorite! It is also a very popular dish in the Dominican Republic.
The traditional Arroz Con Gandules is made of rice, pigeon peas, sofrito (a flavorful sauce made with onions, garlic, peppers and other spices), and sazon seasoning. The dish is often served as a side to meat dishes or the main course.
Pigeon peas are an essential ingredient in many popular Puerto Rican dishes and are known for their high protein content.
There are many variations of Arroz Con Gandules recipes throughout Puerto Rico but they all share the same delicious taste that makes it one of the most beloved Puerto Rican foods.
Puerto Rican Pasteles
When it comes to traditional Puerto Rican cuisine, one dish that you must try is Pasteles. This classic Puerto Rican food is a staple in many households and restaurants and is a popular dish during the holiday season.
The pasteles are made with grated root vegetables, such as yucca or green bananas, mixed with meat or seafood filling and wrapped in plantain leaves.
The taste of this traditional Puerto Rican food is rich and savory, making it an essential part of any list of famous Puerto Rican dishes.
Whether you’re a local or just visiting, try the traditional popular Puerto Rican foods and dishes. The Puerto Rican version of Pasteles should definitely be on your list of things to do!
You’ve got to try the Tripleta, a delicious Puerto Rican sandwich that’s one of my favorite Puerto Rican dishes.
This hearty sandwich is filled with three different types of meat (usually grilled steak, ham, and roast pork) and topped with lettuce, tomato, and cheese.
The unique bread slices are made from fried green plantains instead of traditional bread rolls. The plantain slices provide a crispy texture that perfectly complements the juicy meats inside.
And for an extra crunch, some versions also include crunchy pork skin or bacon bits on top.
Trust me, if you’re looking for a satisfying and flavorful Puerto Rican food experience, the Tripleta should be at the top of your list.
Now, let’s dive into the delicious world of tostones – crispy and savory plantain slices that are a staple in many Latin American cuisines.
Tostones are made from starchy green plantains that are first sliced and then fried until golden brown on the outside and tender on the inside.
They’re typically served as a side dish or snack, accompanied by a dipping sauce such as garlic aioli or hot sauce.
Whether you’re eating them alone or pairing them with other dishes, Tostones are a must-try for anyone interested in exploring the rich flavors of this beautiful country.
Get ready to indulge in a creamy and sweet treat with tembleque, one of the classic Puerto Rican foods that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.
This popular dessert is made from coconut milk, cornstarch, sugar, and spices and has been a staple of Puerto Rican cuisine for generations.
No Puerto Rican celebration or family gathering would be complete without this delicious dessert on the table.
The rich flavor of coconut milk combined with the smooth texture of cornstarch creates a perfect balance of sweetness that makes tembleque genuinely irresistible.
So if you’re looking to explore some popular Puerto Rican dishes, be sure to try tembleque – it’ll definitely leave you wanting more!
Puerto Rican Alcapurrias
If you’re a fan of savory snacks, then you’ll love Alcapurrias – a popular Puerto Rican street food that is sure to satisfy your cravings. These fried fritters are made with a doughy mixture of green bananas and yucca, filled with either seasoned ground beef or crab meat.
Alcapurrias can be found at many local Puerto Rican restaurants and food stands.
They make for the perfect snack while exploring the city or enjoying a day at the beach. Pair them with a refreshing Piña Colada or some delicious Puerto Rican rum, or a creamy Coquito for an authentic taste of Puerto Rican cooking.
For some more beverage ideas, check out my post on the Top Caribbean Drinks!
You’re in for a treat with the mouth-watering pastelón – a Puerto Rican dish that combines sweet fried green and fried plantains, with, seasoned ground beef, and gooey cheese all baked to perfection.
The dish is typically made by layering slices of cooked sweet plantains with seasoned ground beef mixed with tomato sauce and adobo seasoning.
The layers are then topped off with shredded cheese and baked until golden brown. The result is a savory and slightly more sweet potato casserole that’s packed with flavor.
Pastelón is a must-try when visiting Puerto Rico, as it’s one of the island’s most beloved dishes.
Now, let me tell you about the delicious asopao – a comforting soup that will warm your heart and soul with every spoonful.
Asopao is a traditional Puerto Rican dish that is known for its rich and flavorful taste. It’s a hearty stew made with Puerto Rican rice, pigeon peas, and tender chunks of chicken or seafood.
The combination of spices used in Puerto Rican foods gives this soup the unique flavor profile that sets it apart from other soups.
So if you’re looking for a dish that will satisfy your hunger and leave you feeling content, give Asopao De Pollo a try!
Pan de Mallorca (Mallorca Bread)
Another delightful dish from Puerto Rico is the Mallorca Bread, also known as Pan de Mallorca. This sweet and fluffy pastry is a beloved breakfast or snack item on the island.
Mallorca Bread is made by rolling out dough into a thin layer, spreading it with butter, and then rolling it up into a spiral shape. The dough is left to rise, resulting in a soft and airy texture. After baking, the bread is dusted with powdered sugar, adding a touch of sweetness.
Typically enjoyed with a cup of hot chocolate or coffee, Mallorca Bread is a delightful treat to start your day or satisfy your sweet tooth. Its pillowy texture and subtle sweetness make it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
When in Puerto Rico, don’t miss the chance to savor the delicious Mallorca Bread, a culinary gem that showcases the island’s unique flavors and cultural fusion.
Let’s talk about Arroz Mamposteao – a flavorful Puerto Rican rice dish made with unique ingredients, including pigeon peas, root vegetables, and deliciously seasoned rice.
The name ‘mamposteao’ comes from the Spanish word for ‘mixed up,’ and that’s exactly what it is – a blend of tastes and sensations that unite in flawless synergy.
Arroz Mamposteao is a staple in Puerto Rico and can be found on menus throughout the island, especially in San Juan.
It’s a comfort food that reminds many Puerto Ricans of home and family gatherings. Arroz Mamposteao is sure to please your palate with its bold and satisfying flavors.
Imagine sinking your teeth into tender, succulent, pork shoulder as the crispy skin crackles under the pressure of each bite – that’s the experience of indulging in lechón.
A staple dish in Puerto Rico, lechón is a roasted suckling pig seasoned with garlic and other spices before being cooked over an open fire for hours until it becomes melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness.
If you’re looking for some of the best lechón on the island, head to one of Puerto Rico’s many renowned restaurants or seek a local chef specializing in this classic dish.
And don’t forget to pair it with some traditional sides like arroz con gandules and a glass of Puerto Rican rum for the ultimate dining experience.
Savor the crispy, savory goodness of bacalaitos – a popular street food in the Caribbean made with shredded codfish and batter that’s deep-fried to perfection.
This delicious treat is a staple in Puerto Rico and can be found at many local restaurants or food trucks.
Bacalaitos are often served alongside other Puerto Rican favorites such as rellenos de papa, which are stuffed potato balls.
It’s no wonder why this dish is so beloved by locals and visitors alike – it truly showcases the skill and creativity of Puerto Rican chefs when it comes to creating mouth-watering dishes.
After indulging in the delicious Bacalaitos, let’s explore more of Puerto Rico’s best foods. One dish that stands out to me is Chuletas Can-Can, a staple in many Puerto Rican restaurants and households.
These thick pork chops are first seasoned with adobo, then pounded flat before deep-fried until crispy.
The result is a mouthwatering dish that pairs perfectly with traditional Puerto Rican rice and beans. It’s no wonder why this meal is often served during family gatherings and special occasions.
Give Chuletas Can-Can a try when looking for a tasty treat among Puerto Rican cuisine’s deep-fried options!
Bacalao Guisado (Stewed Salted Codfish)
If you’re feeling adventurous with your taste buds, try the Bacalao Guisado – a classic dish made with salted codfish stewed with tomatoes, onions, peppers, and potatoes.
As a lover of traditional Puerto Rican cuisine, I highly recommend this flavorful and hearty meal. Many Puerto Rican chefs have their take on this dish, so it’s worth trying it at different restaurants to compare styles.
Bacalao Guisado can be found in many Puerto Rican restaurants around the island and is one of the most popular dishes in Puerto Rico.
Trust me when I say that this dish is delicious and a great representation of Puerto Rican cooking at its finest.
Sorullitos de Maíz (Cornmeal Fritters)
These deep-fried cornmeal fritters are crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. They’re typically served with a side of sweetened condensed milk for dipping, adding an extra layer of sweetness to this irresistible treat.
Whether you’re dining at renowned restaurants in Puerto Rico or trying your hand at traditional Puerto Rican cuisine at home, Sorullitos de Maíz is a must-try dish in Puerto Rican foods.
You can’t visit the island without indulging in some Puerto Rican Flan, a rich and creamy dessert that’s almost like a custard.
Flan is an essential part of Puerto Rican cuisine made of sugar, evaporated as well as condensed milk, eggs, and vanilla extract.
Some variations include adding cream cheese for a flan de queso or caramel sauce for a dulce de leche flavor.
The preparation process takes time as the mixture needs to be baked slowly in its own caramelized sugar syrup until it sets perfectly.
It’s a delicious treat that showcases the richness of Puerto Rican food and should not be missed while visiting this beautiful island.
Pollo Asado (Roast Chicken)
Indulge in the succulent flavors of pollo asado, a must-try dish, during your visit to this beautiful island.
The traditional recipe for pollo asado involves marinating the chicken in a blend of citrus juices, garlic, and seasonings before roasting it to perfection.
The result is tender and juicy meat with crispy skin that will leave you wanting more.
A skilled Puerto Rican chef knows how to infuse just the right amount of olive oil into the marinade to create an unforgettable taste.
Pollo guisado is often served as a side dish with rice and beans or sweet, fried plantains, adding even more depth to Puerto Rico’s cuisine.
Trust me when I say that once you try the pollo guisado asado here, it’ll be hard to settle for anything less than authentic Puerto Rican flavors again.
Camarones al Ajillo (Garlic Shrimp)
Camarones al Ajillo is a delicious Puerto Rican dish made of succulent garlic shrimp and a spicy kick!
The Puerto Rican version infuses local ingredients such as cilantro and lime juice into tomato sauce, which elevates the already delicious flavors in this dish.
Served with rice and root vegetables, Camarones al Ajillo makes for a perfect meal that is filling and satisfying.
Don’t miss out on this mouth-watering experience when visiting Puerto Rico!
Puerto Ricans’ Flan De Queso (Cheese Flan)
After indulging in the succulent garlic shrimp, you will be ready for something sweet and satisfying. That’s the perfect time for Flan De Queso – a Puerto Rican equivalent of cheesecake with a caramel glaze.
This dessert is made with cream cheese, eggs, condensed milk, and sugar to create a delicate yet rich texture that melts in your mouth.
It’s often served during special occasions and holidays like Christmas alongside other classic Puerto Rican favorites such as rellenos de papa, arroz con dulce, and asopao de pollo.
This creamy flan is definitely a Puerto Rican favorite that you won’t want to miss out on! Try it with one of the many Caribbean Holiday Season Drinks!
Pollo Guisado (Stewed Chicken)
You’re going to love the tender and flavorful Pollo Guisado!
Made with juicy chicken simmered in a fragrant tomato-based sauce, sofrito, and spices, it’s the perfect comfort food.
The stewed chicken is traditionally served over white rice or arroz con pollo (Puerto Rican rice), which is often made with pigeon peas.
It’s no wonder that Pollo Guisado is a staple in Puerto Rico and a must-try for anyone visiting the island.
Arroz con Habichuelas (Rice and Beans)
When making Arroz con Habichuelas, don’t forget to add the savory flavors of sofrito and sazon to your rice and beans mixture for a delicious Puerto Rican dish.
This classic combination of rice and beans is a staple in Puerto Rico, often served as a side dish or even as the main course. It’s no wonder that it’s considered the national dish of Puerto Rico!
Add some green bananas, also known as ‘platanos verdes,’ And if you’re looking for something sweet after your meal, try some traditional Puerto Rican rice pudding, or ‘arroz con gandules.’
Arroz con habichuelas is one of our most beloved dishes – it’s simple yet flavorful, comforting yet satisfying.
Puerto Rican Chillo Frito (Fried Fish)
To truly savor the flavors of this delectable dish, take a bite of the crispy golden crust before diving into the tender meat of your Chillo Frito.
As one of Puerto Rico’s best foods and a beloved national dish, Chillo Frito is a must-try for any foodie visiting the island.
This fried fish is made with red snapper, seasoned with garlic and adobo seasoning, then coated in flour and deep-fried to perfection.
The result is a mouthwatering combination of savory seasonings and crisp batter that will leave you craving more.
Whether enjoyed as an appetizer or main course, Chillo Frito is a staple in Puerto Rican cuisine that should not be missed.
Arroz con Dulce (Sweet Rice Pudding)
Indulge in Arroz con Dulce’s rich and creamy flavors as you savor each spoonful of this traditional Puerto Rican sweet rice pudding.
This beloved dessert is a staple in Puerto Rico, often enjoyed during holidays and special occasions.
The dish is made by cooking rice with coconut milk, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla extract coconut milk, and sugar until it becomes a thick and luscious pudding.
To add more texture and flavor, many Puerto Ricans also mix in raisins or shredded coconut.
Arroz con Dulce is sometimes served alongside arroz con gandules or boiled green bananas.
Puerto Rican Coco Flan
Coco Flan is another must-try dish that showcases the island’s unique flavors and culinary traditions.
This delectable dessert combines creamy flan with coconut milk, creating a perfect balance of sweet and rich flavors.
While Arroz con Gandules may be considered Puerto Rico’s national dish, many other Puerto Rican dishes deserve recognition for their incredible taste and cultural significance – Coco Flan being one of them.
Puerto Rico is a food lover’s paradise, offering rich culinary traditions and unique flavors. From succulent Pernil to savory Mofongo, the island’s dishes are a delight.
Arroz Con Gandules is a staple, while Pasteles are a must-have during Christmas. The Tripleta sandwich is a hidden gem, and Chillo Frito is fried to perfection with a burst of lime.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with Arroz con Dulce or Coco Flan. Each dish reflects Puerto Rico’s passion for cooking and cultural heritage, blending Spanish, African, and indigenous influences.
So come hungry and ready to explore this Caribbean gem’s delightful cuisine!