Q: Hi Playground! We are taking a cruise with my entire family (12 of us!) for spring break in April and we need a family-friendly place to eat dinner in Old San Juan one night when we’re in port in Puerto Rico. We range in age from 2-76! Any ideas appreciated. Thanks ~ Jen G.
A: Hi Jen, San Juan is one of my favorite destinations and I write about Puerto Rico often, so you’ve come to the right place! This sounds like such a fun trip!
For your big extended family, I think the setting and the food are both great at the restaurants at the El Convento Hotel (a converted monastery) in Old San Juan. There are two restaurants: one traditional on the covered interior courtyard patio, Patio del Nispero, and another that serves tapas, El Picoteo, which is on the hotel’s terrace. El Convento is right across from the El Museo del Nino (the Children’s Museum) if the 2-yr-old needs someplace to blow off some energy, too, or there’s a nice square where you can all catch some air.
The Parrot Club is a classic Puerto Rican spot on the restaurant-filled Calle Fortaleza — good food, plenty of room for a group, and I can remember taking my son Aidan there when he was a toddler and had gotten sick. They were so completely kind to him that I still have a soft spot in my heart for them. Aguaviva on the same strip (and owned by the same people) is another good choice.
And a few quick bonus tips on your port visit: Since Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States, you don’t need a passport to visit, your cell phone will work without roaming, and you don’t need to convert money (so great!).
Have a great trip!
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Photo Credit: El Convento Hotel