Travel down any major road in Puerto Rico and you will find almost every fast food restaurant from the states such as McDonalds Burger King and KFC. As you travel down city and country roads, your sense of smell will be assaulted with savory wood burning aromas as you see family road side stands selling BBQ meats, and fresh seafood. In every town there are many family owned restaurants serving up local fare such as fresh seafood dishes prepared in the Creole tradition, and local favorites such as monfongo and pasteles. You will also see kiosks serving fried snacks such as tostones, pinchos and Puerto Rican tacos. All the major hotels also have several dining options to satisfy any taste. Travel down any road in Puerto Rico and you will never be far from several places to eat. Below are some of our favorites in our area. You will also find many dining options in OSJ and SJ metro area to fit any taste and budget.
The Brass Cactus in Luquillo
The Brass Cactus has a nice atmosphere, great service and wonderful American and southwest cuisine (we recommend the Cajun Mahi wrap, Cactus Burger, or BBQ Pork wrap). They feature a large bar with TV’s showing sporting events, daily drink and food specials and live entertainment on weekends. Their Canovanas location is just a few minutes from our house and features high speed internet and a children’s play area upstairs. Ask for Mike and let him know we sent you! $$-$$$
Erik’s Gyros and Deli in Luquillo
This is a great place for gyros and sandwiches for a good price. You can get a Gyros plate (gyro fries and a drink) for about $5. They also offer breakfast, coffee, and deli sandwiches. Non Smoking $ - $$
The Westin Rio Mar In Rio Grande
The Westin offers several casual and fine dining options including Italian, Buffets, Asian, Sushi, Puerto Rican, and also a beachside restaurant. $$$-$$$$$
The Kiosks at Luquillo Beach
There are about 60 kiosks next to Luquillo beach, offering local foods with a beach front setting. They range from shacks selling fried snacks and drinks to nice dining options. We recommend #2 La Parilla, #9 Congas, #18 The Burger Shack, #20 The LightHouse along with Oso Buco Ceviche Hut and Capone's Pizza. The kiosks have sometihng for every taste, from the local fried speicalties like lobster tacos and pionones to culinary delights artfully presented to seafood, Italian, Ceviche, pizza and great burgers. Don't let the looks of these fool you. Seriously stop in and give one or two of them a try. $-$$$
Lolita’s Mexican Restaurant in Luquillo
This is about the best Mexican food we have found in our area and all the locals and ex pats go here. They have a patio dining area, and also serve drinks. Non smoking. $$-$$$
Local family owned bakeries are located throughout the area. In addition to great sweets, breads, and desserts (ask for a quesito!) most also serve wonderful sandwiches (try a Cubano or a Tripleta for a real treat!) $
There are a wide array of shopping venues in Puerto Rico ranging from huge malls, specialty shops, upscale boutiques, outlet stores and street side kiosks. You will also find many grocery stores, and chain stores such as Walmart, Walgreens, Costco, and Sams Club.
Coqui International Artist and Artesian Gallery in Palmer
Coqui International is our featured shop and a favorite among our guests. Located on the main street in the small town of Palmer on the way to the rainforest, it is truly a unique experience that should not be missed.
As you walk into this eclectic shop your senses will be awakened. Gallery owner Tom Ross and his wonderful staff will immediately greet you with a warm smile, a taste of rum cake or perhaps even a sample of some local sangria. You will be immersed in the exotic scent of incense. You will be instantly uplifted by the fun lively music playing from the small stereo behind the counter. Inside this shop and gallery you will be surrounded by colorful artwork and works of the local artisans from amazing art, woodwork, pottery, local coffee, baked goods and other creative pieces. Learn a bit about the local artists and artisans and their works, as you sample some Puerto Rican coffee and browse through the shop. By the time you leave you will feel like Tom and his staff are lifelong friends and you will have some truly unique items to remember your visit to Puerto Rico.
Belz Factory Outlet
These outlet stores are located 6 miles from Villa Sevilla, and feature stores like Nike, Macy's and many others. They also have a food court and movie theater.
Plaza Las Americas Mall-This mall is located in Hato Rey by San Juan and is the first mall built in Puerto Rico. It remains one of Puerto Rico's leading shopping centers and boasts to be the largest shopping mall of the Caribbean. Plaza Las Americas has over 300 stores such as JC Penny, Sears, Macys, and Pier One, as well as many specialty stores, 2 cinemas and multiple dining options.
You will find many galleries in OSJ and SJ however we also have a few galleries here in our area. In the town of Palmer you will find a few galleries lining main street near the post office which feature works of several local artists. Closer yet to us is the studio of artist Monica Linville Laird. (See our specials page for current workshops which are being offered). Her home and studio is set among lush landscapes in the foothills not far from Villa Sevilla.
The Tree House Studio:
Artist Monica Linville Laird has been living and working in Puerto Rico since 1986. One of the leading watercolorists in the Caribbean, her repertoire now includes oil painting as well. A visit to her TreeHouse Studio, located in the foothills of El Yunque, is to experience the lush tropical environment as seen through a true artist’s eyes.
Along with a collection of her works, private classes in drawing and watercolor are also available along with workshops. This is a fun and great activity for everyoone even if you have never picked up a drawing pencil or brush. Not only this but her studio is a true tree house with amazing views of the lush forest and blue sea. Classes start at $45 per person and run about 3-4 hrs. Children as young as 8 can participate depending on the type of class. Classes can be customized to your interests. Materials are usually included.
Postcard Class- This is a class given off site usually a beach or nice forest area where you learn some basic techniques on small postcard sized stock that you can send to family or keep as a souvenier.
Water Color Class or Drawing Class- This is given on site at Monica's studio. Materials provided and you will be able to take home your matted masterpiece at the end of the day.
Be Me/Be We- This is a very fun workshop great for friends and families that is also given on site at Monica's studio. You will learn to explore color, and tap into your creativity to create a group project. At the end of the day your designs will be cut and matted into individual prints with a beautiful inscription on the backside. We recently took this class with friends and even though Wally who has never touched anything artistic in his life was skeptical he ended up having fun and really getting involved in the project.
Below are a few photos including a view from Monica's Tree House Studio.
To schedule a visit or class, call 787-888-8062 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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