Barrachina Restaurant In Old San Juan, Puerto Rico – Honest Review (2024)

In 1979 Rupert Holmes recorded Escape, also known as the “Pina Colada Song.”

But did you know that Barrachina Restaurant in Old San Juan claims that in 1963 its bartender, Don Ramon Portas Mingot, invented the famous drink?

I have been visiting Barrachina since my college days at The University of Puerto Rico.

I will review Barrachina Restaurant in this article and answer these questions:

What type of food is served at Barrachina Restaurant?
Where is it located?
Is this a good restaurant for tourists?
Is it expensive?


What type of food is served at Barrachina Restaurant?

For over 50 years, Barrachina Restaurant at Old San Juan has been offering Spanish food.

They became famous for their “paellas,” a rice dish from the Valencia region.

image of Paella
Paella at Barrachina.

But during the last decade, Barrachina has specialized in Creative Puerto Rican and International Cuisine.

They still serve paella and other Spanish dishes at Barrachina.


My favorite dishes at Barrachina:

For starters, try the sampler “surtido,” which has pastelillos “turnovers” fried red snapper, calamari, and fried plantains stuffed with seafood, sorullos, and croquettes.

The Sampler at Barrachina.

The coconut-breaded fried red snapper (chillo empanado con coco) is exquisite. 

image of Fried red snapper with mofongo
Fried red snapper with Mofongo.

The Mofongo Relleno de Mariscos (Mashed plantain stuffed with seafood) is a must-order if you want to taste Puerto Rican cuisine.

image of Mofongo stuffed with seafood
Mofongo stuffed with seafood.

You can also try the canoas “canoes,” ripe plantains stuffed with seafood or meat. 

image of Ripe plantain canoe
Ripe plantain canoe.

Please save some room for dessert.

It is challenging to choose a favorite dessert at Barrachina; all their desserts are excellent.


Where is it located?

You will find Barrachina in “the heart” of Old San Juan.

The restaurant address is 104 Fortaleza Street, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

image of Entrance of Barrachina
Entrance of Barrachina in Old San Juan.

Barrachina is in a colonial building that is over 200 years old.

Below is a Google Map with directions to Barrachina: 


Is this a good restaurant for tourists?

Barrachina is one of the best restaurants in Puerto Rico for tourists.

The staff is friendly and bilingual. They have a deli where you can have breakfast.

If you want to beat the heat after walking around Old San Juan, stop in Barrachina and cool down with a Pina Colada.

image of Barrachina's piña colada
According to the legend, in 1963 Barrachina’s bartender Don Ramon Portas Mingot invented the emblematic drink.

But if you are looking for a place to have a Puerto Rican lunch or dinner, go to Barrachina.

The building has a “patio interior” inner patio with a bar where you can have drinks.

image of Inner Patio
Inner patio at Barrachina.

This restaurant offers more than food. Barrachina is a cultural experience.

Every Friday, they have a Flamenco show and live music on weekends.

Below is a video of the Flamenco Dancing Show at Barrachina:

Barrachina also has a wine bar with a selection of wines for every budget.


Is it expensive?

Barrachina is a relatively inexpensive restaurant.

The quality of their food is excellent, and their portions are generous, making the restaurant worth every penny you spend.

image of Barrachina staff
The Barrachina staff will go above and beyond to help you have a great experience.

Barrachina’s most expensive dishes are the ones that have lobster in them.

But those dishes are less expensive than you expect to pay in the States for the same quality.

The service you will get and the ambiance you will enjoy going to Barrachina is very cost-effective.

Learn more about the offerings by reading Barrachina’s menu.


Final thoughts

You will find more than just great food at Barrachina Restaurant in Old San Juan.

History, culture, and a great time await you in one of Puerto Rico’s oldest and best restaurants.

If you want to learn more about where to eat in Puerto Rico, please read our articles 35 Best Restaurants in Puerto Rico by Erin Reynolds and 30 Best Puerto Rican Street Foods by Jenny Diaz.

Barrachina Restaurant In Old San Juan, Puerto Rico – Honest Review (2024)
Article by

Carlos Cubero

Writer at I was born in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. I’m passionate about Puerto Rican history and culture. I live on the west coast of Puerto Rico, and host an Airbnb for tourists. I also coordinate tours and concierge services for tourists. I authored “Eat Like A Local, Puerto Rico”, and have contributed to blogs and magazines with articles about discovering and enjoying what Puerto Rico has to offer.

About the author

Find the best things to do
by interest