For an unforgettable fine-dining experience, visit
Perla (La Concha Renaissance Resort, 1077 Ave. Ashford, 787/977-3285, www.perlarestaurant.com , Sun.–Thurs. 6–10 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 6–11 p.m., Sun. brunch noon–3 p.m., $25–39). The architecture is reason enough to go. The restaurant is nestled inside a 1958-era modernist interpretation of a clamshell located right on the beach. The seasonal menu leans mostly toward seafood and is ever-changing, depending on the availability of the freshest ingredients. Recent selections included frog’s leg skillet chowder, skate wing poached in duck fat, and fennel-dusted diver scallops.
A casual option for good local cuisine is
Marisqueria La Dorada (1105 Ave. Magdalena, 787/722-9583, daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m., tapas $5.95–9.95, entrées $16.95–29.95). The cute, cheerful little eatery serves terrific Puerto Rican cuisine, specializing in seafood. The bite-size piononos—balls of sweet plantain stuffed with spicy ground beef and deep-fried—make an excellent starter. Check the board for daily specials, including codfish in passion-fruit sauce and whole fried snapper.
Ikakos Restaurante Marisqueria (1108 Ave. Ashford, 787/723-5151, www.ikakos.com , Tues. and Thurs. noon–10 p.m., Wed. and Fri. noon–10 p.m., Sat. 5–11 p.m., Sun. noon–10 p.m., $10.95–28.95) is a casual but elegantly appointed seafood restaurant specializing in fresh local lobster and whole fish. Oysters, mussels, and empanadillas make up the tapas menu, while entrées feature mofongo and mamposteao, a sautéed rice dish served with your choice of meat or seafood.
Waikiki Caribbean Food & Oyster Bar (1025 Ave. Ashford, 787/977-2267, daily 11 a.m.–late, $12–35), a casual oceanfront restaurant, features a long pinewood bar, sidewalk dining, a stone grotto-style dining room inside, and a wood deck on the beach for alfresco dining. Dishes include mahimahi nuggets, crab-stuffed mushrooms, lobster tail, osso buco, and seafood criolla.
Locals and tourists alike flock to Che’s (corner of Calle Caoba and Calle Laurel, 787/726-7202 or 787/268-7507, Sun.–Thurs. noon–11 p.m., Fri.–Sat. noon–midnight, $12.95–28.95), a large casual restaurant serving excellent Argentine cuisine. Grilled meats are the specialty—veal, lamb, churrasco, veal kidneys, and so on. There are also some unexpected offerings—a Greek-style spinach pie with a whole boiled egg buried inside and an apple and celery salad. Che’s has good service and a full bar.