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Dining at the Luquillo Kiosks

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

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Dining at the Luquillo Kiosks Photo © Zain Deane

The Bottom Line

Dining at the 60 or so kiosks in Luquillo is something of a rite of passage; eventually, you just have to try it. Most people end up falling in love with their favorite numbered stall, which can serve anything from down-home 'Rican basics to gourmet burgers to ceviche and other international fare. No matter where I've ended up, I've never had a bad meal here, and I've always enjoyed the casual, welcoming ambience of the place. Don't be discourage by the rustic exterior; there's good eating here.

Pros

  • From gourmet Italian to fried snacks, there's something good for everyone here.
  • Those on a budget will find cheap eats aplenty at numerous kiosks.
  • Come for the food and hang out into the night as the fun late-night scene develops.

Cons

  • Accessible only by car.
  • On the outside, the place admittedly looks a bit grungy.

Description

  • The kiosks are located on the north side of Route 3, near Luquillo Beach and just past the Route 191 entrance to El Yunque.
  • Hours and even days vary, but from 11 am to 10 pm you'll usually find at least a few kiosks open.
  • The kiosks are a great choice for authentic 'Rican food, ceviches, burgers, Italian fare, and Mexican cuisine.

Guide Review - Dining at the Luquillo Kiosks

The first time I went to the Luquillo kiosks (this was years ago), I was a bit underwhelmed. This long string of dilapidated sheet-metal stalls was the famous and revered kioskos de Luquillo? It didn't seem all that special.

Then I hopped from one numbered shack to another, sampling all kinds of frituras, crab on a stick, and other goodies, and I was hooked.

But while kiosks have come and gone, Luquillo has grown, and now boasts an impressive collection of classic old stalwarts, gourmet fusion eateries, and new blood from all over the world. It makes dining here even more of an adventure, and even more difficult to decide where to go. Here are a few of my favorites.

  • El Jefe Burger Shack (Kiosko #12) has ridiculously delicious stuffed burgers that have made it among the most popular hangouts among the kiosks.
  • Ceviche Hut, or Kiosk #38, is owned by a Peruvian couple, which gives it instant credibility; so does the biting fresh signature dish, which uses red snapper as the main fish. The mixed seafood ceviche is outstanding, and if you don't want seafood, there's plenty more to the menu. Call 787-942-2873, 787-531-8686 for more info.
  • La Parrilla, which means "the grill," has long been the resident fine dining option among the kiosks. Located at Kiosk #2, it's also one of the pricier options here. But the food is very good, a mix of classic Puerto Rican with some Caribbean fusion thrown in, and is known for its gourmet seafood (try the stuffed baby red snapper). Call 787-889-0590 for more info.
  • Osso Buco, or Kiosk #29 offers surprisingly good, and surprisingly authentic, Italian fare. The eatery certainly ranks among the more refined options at the kiosks.
  • Congas by the Sea, at Kiosk #9, has tasty food at decent prices. The only thing I've had here were the coconut shrimp, and they were excellent.
  • Roca Taino, or Kiosk #60, is the last on the kiosk row, and a great place for typical 'Rican bites like tacos (not to be confused with Mexican tacos, the 'Rican version is a large, deep-fried, cigar-shaped flour tortilla stuffed with beef, chicken, crab, shrimp, or lobster.
And that's just a sampling of the culinary wonders on offer at the Luquillo kiosks. The more I go, the more I'll sample, and the more I'll report back!

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