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Top Foods to Try in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rican Mofongo

You are hungry and excited about discovering new foods, Puerto Rican cuisine promises to satisfy your taste buds with a unique tasty blend of Spanish, African, Taino and American influences that can be traced back to the Arawaks and Tainos.

Here is a list of your must-try Puerto Rican food. Don't leave Puerto Rico without trying:


Made with green plantains, seasonings, garlic, and olive oil. The plantain is fried and mashed into the shape of a ball, filled with pork rinds or bacon. Served at many roadside kiosks and restaurants around the island.


Asopao is rice soup, gumbo or stew. Asopao can be made with chicken, pork, beef, shrimp seafood, vegetables, or any combination of all.

Lechón Asado

Lechón asado is prepared by slow roasting the whole pig, seasoned with salt, pepper, oregano, garlic, and small sweet peppers over a wood charcoal fire.

Arroz con Gandules

Rice with pigeon peas is considered the island's national dish. Made with pork, chorizo, red peppers, and olives.


Tostones are made of green plantains, sliced length-wise, diagonally, deep fried, flattened and deep fried once more. Served as appetizer with mayoketchup.


Meaning "little coconut" is a traditional Christmas eggnog-like alcoholic beverage, made with rum, coconut milk, sweet condensed milk, cinnamon and nutmeg.


Bacalaitos (fried codfish fritters) are made up boiled codfish, batter of flour, seasoning, baking powder and water. Bacalaitos are fried in a pan until fully cooked.


Tembleque is a form coconut milk pudding. Made with coconut milk, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, and sugar.


Pasteles are made of mashed plantains, yucca, eddoe (yaut’a), potato, and tropical pumpkins, filled with meat and other vegetables, wrapped banana leaves and boiled. A Puerto Rican staple, specially during Christmas.

Arroz con Dulce

Arroz con dulce is a form of rice pudding. Rice is cooked with spices, raisins, sugar, milk, and coconut milk.


Alcapurrias, like bacalaitos are deep-fried stuffed fritters. Made of green plantains or yucca and stuffed with spicy ground beef, such as picadillo, or pork, crab, shrimp, and lobster. Alcapurrias can be found as street food all over the island.


Sorullitos are a fried cornmeal and often served as appetize with mayoketchup or dusted in confectioners' sugar. Sometimes stuffed with cheese or mashed bananas.

Papa Rellena

Made with baked potato dough into which a filling made of chopped beef and onions, whole olives, hard-boiled eggs, cumin and other spices is stuffed. Once prepared, the ball-shaped mass is deep-fried.

My Favorite Recipe Book

Find recipes like this and more in the recipe book Puerto Rican Cookery by Carmen Aboy Valldejuli. My mother gave me this recipe book on my 18th birthday and it has been my staple recipe book ever since.

Did You Know?

Puerto Rico has been a territory of the United States since 1898.