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Food for Kids in San Juan, Puerto Rico

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Looking back on our summertime mommy-daughter trip to Puerto Rico, all of the delicious meals and snacks play a starring role in many of our favorite vacation memories! From traditional Puerto Rican cuisine to kid-friendly fine dining and refreshing treats – there's something for everyone in the family to enjoy. Check out the food for kids in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

A plate of Puerto Rican deep-fried goodness

A plate of Puerto Rican deep-fried goodness (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Traditional Puerto Rican Cuisine

To get a taste of traditional Puerto Rican cuisine, we went to Raices. All of the adults ordered some version of Mofongo; mashed green plantains served with a choice of protein. I got mine with garlic shrimp. While it was tasty, I preferred the side of fried ripe plantains. Yum!

Raices Restaurant in San Juan (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Be sure to get a side order of fried sweet plantains at Raices!

Upscale Meal Option

If you'd like a fancier meal but don't want to book a sitter, look no further than Jam Rum Bar & Bistro Moderne! This restaurant had a modern, candy-colored decor, serves scrumptious food, and offers a “kids’ lounge.” When the kids got restless, we sent them off to play with building blocks, color with crayons, and watch movies in this little room just around the corner from the dining area.

Jam Restaurant in San Juan, Puerto Rico (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Kids' Lounge at Jam Rum Bar, Puerto Rico

In addition to a wide variety of tropical drinks and fine wines for adults, Jam also offers a menu of Kidtinis. With names like the Chocotini and Kidsmopolitan, how could we resist? My succulent, savory, creamy entree of Puerto Rican pork with pumpkin risotto was worth the multitude of calories. For dessert I ordered a chocolate mousse served with a crumbly chocolate cookie and a shot of coconut rum…mmm…heaven!

Please note, the Jam Rum Bar no longer offers a kids' lounge or menu. Jam Rum Bar Manager Cristina Gonzalez said, “We do have child friendly options available but not a physical menu.”

Cocktails at Jam Restaurant

Mama's Pomegranite Sangria and my daughter's No Tequila Sunrise (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

A Refreshing Treat

One day we ventured to El Morro, the oldest fortress in Puerto Rico and a perfectly windy spot for kite-flying and a refreshing Piragua (snow cone). The vender formed our frosty treats by scrape, scrape, scraping a large block of ice. There were 19 flavors to choose from, with exotic options like sesame seed, molasses, and guava plus traditional choices like cherry, lime, and grape.

Piragua Snow Cone at El Morro

My daughter slurping up her grape piragua at El Morro (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Breakfast at San Juan Marriott

Each morning we started our day at the San Juan Marriott with either room service or the plentiful breakfast buffet at La Vista Restaurant. The array of pastries (like M&M muffins!) and selection of fresh fruits were a big hit with my five-year-old, Karissa. I appreciated the vanilla-flavored oatmeal and the made-to-order omelets.

Breakfast Buffet at San Juan Marriott

Just a peek at the extensive breakfast buffet at the San Juan Marriott (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

New Latin-Themed Restaurant at San Juan Marriott

This restaurant will get a much-needed renovation this fall (2010). One night during our stay we were treated to a sampling of the new, Latin-themed menu. The best part was the Puerto Rican-style shrimp ceviche, made with Grand Marnier and coconut.

Puerto Rican Shrimp Ceviche

Puerto Rican shrimp ceviche at La Vista Restaurant (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Italian Night in San Juan

My favorite meal at the resort was at the fancier Italian Ristorante Tuscany. In my opinion, pasta is this restaurant’s strong suit. I particularly enjoyed the appetizer Fiocci, darling little purse-shaped pasta topped with a creamy cheese sauce served alongside a gorgonzola and pear salad. The tray of scrumptious mini desserts was a big hit too!

Dessert Tray at Ristorante Tuscany

Dessert tray at Ristorante Tuscany (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Take Home a Taste of Puerto Rico

Looking for a unique, affordable souvenir that will satisfy your sweet tooth? Look no further than the local drugstore, where you can stock up on sugary treats made of coconut, sesame seeds, mango, and more. Do you prefer savory snacks? Pick up a bag of fried garlic plantains instead. Or, grab a bottle of Puerto Rican rum to mix up some tropical fruity drinks once you return home.

Puerto Rican Candies

Puerto Rican candies and snacks (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

After all of this wonderful food, is it any wonder that I gained two pounds in a few short days on this vacation? Ahhh…but it was so worth it!

What is your favorite Puerto Rican dish or restaurant? Let us know in the comments!

A Note from the Travel Mama: Our flights, accommodations, and many other expenses for this trip were paid for by the San Juan Marriott. I always provide my honest opinions, regardless of who’s footing the bill.  

About Colleen Lanin

Colleen Lanin is the founder/editor-in-chief of TravelMamas.com. As the author of her book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents not only how to survive a trip with children, but also how to love exploring the world with their offspring. Her stories have appeared online and in print for such outlets as the "Today" show, NBCNews.com, Parenting Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Expedia, San Diego Family Magazine, and more. Colleen gives tips on television, radio, and as a public speaker. She has a master’s degree in business administration with a background in marketing. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

Comments

  1. Kris Bordessa says:

    I *love* trying new foods when I travel and always get a kick out of how the packaged food differs from American snack foods.

  2. Really nice food!

  3. Sounds like you all had a blast exploring the tastes of Puerto Rico.

    As well as all of the various local restaurants, you can also find great street food in Puerto Rico and I highly recommend that to anyone who is planning on a trip here.

    You don’t have to travel far to find it. Plenty of stalls in Old San Juan and for those with a car, just head east of San Juan to Pinones; you won’t be disappointed.

  4. Corinne @ Have Baby Will Travel says:

    Thanks for reminding me that I need to locate a Puerto Rican restaurant here!

  5. Taking a photo of a restaurant with memorable food helps bring back memories long after I get home. I might even try to find a recipe or two in a cookbook or on the Food Network.

  6. Hilton caribe says:

    Oh you made me hungry. I like the food in Puerto Rico.

  7. Just ate at the Jam Rum Bar. Although they no longer have kiddie drinks or kiddie lounge, the food and service were superb! They were very accepting of children and had a great menu.

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    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Colleen Lanin, Colleen Lanin. Colleen Lanin said: New on Travel Mamas: Family-Friendly Food in San Juan, Puerto Rico (with lots of yummy pictures!) http://bit.ly/cZLzhl @SanJuanMarriott […]

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