Mario Pagán Restaurant In San Juan, Puerto Rico – Honest Review (2024)

San Juan welcomes over 4 million tourists per year.

The city offers a great variety of dining options to visitors and locals alike, and one of the most famous restaurants is Mario Pagán Restaurant.

I have visited Mario Pagán Restaurant on numerous occasions.

I will review Mario Pagán Restaurant in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in this article, and I will answer the following questions:

What type of food do they serve at Mario Pagan Restaurant?
Where is Mario Pagan Restaurant located?
Is this a good restaurant for tourists?
Is Mario Pagan Restaurant expensive?


Note: This is an honest review from 

At, we receive nothing in exchange and tell it like it is.


What type of food do they serve at Mario Pagán Restaurant?

Local and internationally famous Chef Mario Pagán specializes in fusions of international dishes with local Puerto Rican products.

Chef Mario Pagán is the only Puerto Rican Chef selected to be part of the National Diplomatic Culinary Partnership of The United States.

Mario Pagán Restaurant is a fine dining establishment.

Their menu is offered in sections labeled “Bites,” “Taste,” and “Eat.”

image of Chef Mario Pagan
Chef Mario Pagán.



“Bites” are the appetizers; the Yucca fries and truffle oil aioli are crispy and delicious.

The Gouda Croquetas Sweet Papaya has a balance of flavors that will leave you wanting more.

image of Gouda Croquetas topped with sweet papaya
Gouda Croquetas topped with sweet papaya.

If you order the Escargot Yucca Bacon Mofonguitos, Veloute, you will remember it for a long time.

I like the soup of the day from the “Taste” part of the menu.

At Mario Pagan Restaurant, they turn something as ordinary as soup into an extraordinary experience.

The Baby Arugula Papaya, Radish, Goat Cheese, and Pancetta with Passion Fruit Vinaigrette catch the spirit of Mario Pagan Restaurant. 

The fusion of international dishes with local products works great.

Special mention to the Jumbo Lumb Crab Tacos; their mango papaya gastrique is superb.


Main dishes

The “Eat” part of the menu refers to the main dishes.

My favorite main course at Mario Pagán Restaurant is The Spiny Lobster Thermidor.

The French created the Lobster Thermidor, but a Puerto Rican Chef (Mario Pagan) upgraded it.

image of Spiny Lobster Thermidor
Spiny Lobster Thermidor at Mario Pagán Restaurant.

Chef Pagán uses Shallot Escabeche, Yuca Mofongo, and Tarragon Parmesan Panko to make the Lobster Thermidor a culinary experience.

You will love the Local Yellow Tail Snapper if you like to eat fish. 

For the meat lover, try the Angus Beef Tenderloin Fillet, Lamb Shoulder Confit, and Adobo Nimam Ranch Double Pork Chop.


Desert and drinks

Mario Pagán Restaurant offers a wide selection of red and white wines and sparkling or champagnes.

image of Souffle
You will love the souffle.

Finish your fine dining experience with souffle. 


Where is Mario Pagán Restaurant located?

You will find Mario Pagán Restaurant at 1110 Magdalena Avenue, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

One important thing they offer is valet parking. 

image of Mario Pagan Restaurant interior
Interior at Mario Pagan Restaurant.

Finding a parking spot in San Juan can be a real challenge, but once you arrive at Mario Pagán Restaurant, they will care for your vehicle.

Below is a Google Maps link with instructions for Mario Pagán Restaurant:

While you are in the area, read up on our 40 Best Things To Do In San Juan.


Is this a good restaurant for tourists?

Yes, Mario Pagán Restaurant is an excellent restaurant for tourists.

They offer dishes you might know, but they add Puerto Rican flavors and products.

image of fine cuisine
Tourists will love the blend of fine cuisine infused with Puerto Rican flavor.

The atmosphere is excellent, and the staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and professional. 

If you like drinking, order one of their many cocktails. 

And if you want to try something tasty and Puerto Rican, ask for Ron Del Barrilito (Little Barrel’s Rum) in your Rum Cocktail.


Is Mario Pagán Restaurant expensive?

Mario Pagán Restaurant is not cheap.

image of dinner bill
Mario Pagán Restaurant is worth every penny you pay.

You can think that the restaurant is expensive, but they use high-end quality products, and I think Mario Pagan Restaurant is worth every dollar you pay.


Final thoughts

If you are looking for a fine dining restaurant in the San Juan area, go to Mario Pagan Restaurant.

They offer an exciting fusion of flavors, top-quality ingredients, and excellent service.

For more information about eating in Puerto Rico, please check out our article 35 Best Restaurants In Puerto Rico by Erin Reynolds.

Mario Pagán Restaurant In 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.

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