The Bottom Line
- Flavorful Puerto Rican cooking at moderate prices, served with a smile.
- Outdoor dining with views of Old San Juan across the bay.
- Takes a bit of effort to get to, if you consider a ferry ride "effort."
- Don Tello is located at Avenida Las Nereidas #36 in Cataño. It's open from 11 am, Sunday noon to 8 pm. Phone: 787-788-1951.
- In addition to the standard menu, check the daily specials; the special of the day comes with a glass of wine.
- Get a table on the terrace, which has a bubbly, convivial atmosphere along with fine views and (usually) wonderful weather.
Guide Review - Review of Don Tello Restaraunt in Cataño, Puerto Rico
But if you don't mind a quick and cheap (less than $1) ferry jaunt across San Juan Bay from Pier 2, you can find a Puerto Rican dining stalwart in Don Tello. Located right across from the docks, this colorful eatery has a long tradition and terrific typical Puerto Rican fare. The name (and image of the kindly old patriarch on the menu) comes from Don Tello, a native of Utuado and father of 13 children (the restaurant was his daughter Rosin's idea, and the name came from her sons Jorgito and Luis Arnaldo).
The family ties run deep here, and so the 'Rican roots. This is the place to come for delicious island staples like asopaos, mofongos (I recommend the mofongo stuffed with garlic shrimp), and chillo entero. True to any Puerto Rican restaurant, there's a great selection of fritters and appetizers on the menu, including one of my favorites, buñuelos de bacalao, or codfish fritters.
The restaurant offers a bright and casual dining room on the ground floor and a lovely terrace level with views of Old San Juan.
Excellent food, a welcoming ambience and friendly staff, and an attractive setting make Don Tello a worthy choice for pure Puerto Rican cooking, just a short ferry hop from the old city.