Cayey  is famous for its many lechoneras. From Highway 52, exit onto Carretera 184, where you’ll find many restaurants serving pit-cooked pork as well as roast chicken stuffed with plantains, chicharones, pasteles (mashed plantain or cassava stuffed with meat and steamed in banana leaves), and more. Drive around and check them out until you find one to your liking. Be sure to go hungry and bring a cooler to carry your leftovers home.
Lechonera El Mojito (Carr. 184, km 32.9, 787/263-4675, daily 8 a.m.–8 p.m., $2–20) is the first lechonera you encounter after exiting onto Carretera 184 from Highway 52, and you can’t miss it thanks to its bright purple exterior. This casual, family-friendly concrete-block restaurant is a gastronomic emporium of fresh roast pork and all the fixings. Take a peek at the whole pigs cooking on a spit over an open fire before taking your place in line to peruse the long steam tables piled high with sliced pork, ribs, pork skins, whole roast chickens, rice and beans, sausages, tostones, maduras, yucca, and more. Point out the dishes you want to sample and take a seat at the common tables and wait for a server to deliver your feast. There’s a full bar too. Expect a wait if you visit during the weekends or holidays.
Jajome Terrace (Carr. 15, km 18.6, 787/738-4016, lunch and dinner Wed.–Sun., $11.50–24) is one of the rare upscale romantic restaurants to be found in the Cordillera Central . The circular, pavilion-style dining room featuring tile floors and mission-style furniture overlooks a gorgeous view of the mountains and lovely landscaped grounds. The menu features dorado, salmon, shrimp, sea bass, chicken, and beef served with your choice of sauces (garlic and béchamel, among others) or stuffings (madura, shrimp). The menu also features a selection of mofongos, and there’s a full bar. This is a great place for a special-occasion meal or a pleasant stopover when traveling between San Juan  and Ponce . Reservations are recommended on weekends and holidays.