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 Post subject: Puerto Rico
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 11:54 am 
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Can't Dance, Isn't Part of Revolution

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I'll be going to Puerto Rico this summer! We're not quite sure what cities/areas we'll be visiting yet. Has anyone been? What is vegan eating like there? I know about the beans and rice, plantains, fresh fruit etc. Any other ideas?

Also, are there any must-see places? Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Puerto Rico
PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:35 pm 
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Old San Juan is really nice. It's a little touristy, so if that's not your thing you probably won't want to go. It's historical and really pretty. Try finding someone to take you into El Yunque. I went to a local spot in El Yunque with a waterfall, it was a lot of fun. I'm not sure if it's necessary for you to get someone to take you (though the well known tourist spots aren't as relaxing, in my honest opinion), because I'm half Puerto Rican so my aunt just took us. There is also, I believe, a veg cafe/store in Caguas. I didn't get to go, but I read about it a few years back.

Don't forget to go to Ponce de Leon, nice sights, shopping, and a relaxing place to walk around.

For the most part, vegan eating will be okay as long as you stay close to the cities. San Juan and El Dorado are really americanized, so you'll see some options. The closer/higher you get to the mountains the less likely you'll be able to find something besides plaintains, fruits, and rice and beans (if you can manage to find that vegan).

There are lots of piragua pushcarts, in the right areas. It's a Puerto Rican style shaved ice and it is amazing. I remember a Piragua stand right outside the ferry to Vieques (I recommend going there, really nice with lots of landmarks and events [though I didn't get to visit the vast majority, like the black sand beach and the bio-luminescent bay]).

Puerto Rico is also one of those places that you can go to without a plan, get a hotel and go to the beaches or the caves.

Have fun!

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 Post subject: Re: Puerto Rico
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 7:58 pm 
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I was in Rincon this spring. It was kinda rough staying vegan. I know I ate things I shouldn't have. Even though a dish may sound vegan friendly, they put pork in pretty much everything.

The place that saved me was Super Foods. It's a little natural market on the main highway in Rincon. They have a cafe in the corner with some hot food every day. Most things (if not all) there are vegan.

Rincon is awesome, but pretty small. It's on the west coast, and supposedly pretty awesome for surfing. We were there for a wedding, so we didn't really get a chance to spend time in any other cities.

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 Post subject: Re: Puerto Rico
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:08 pm 
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There's a trendy Indian/Latin fusion place in old san juan that had lots of really delicious vegan food when I was there. Can't remember what it was called though.

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 Post subject: Re: Puerto Rico
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:31 pm 
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Vegimator, remember that name! I'm staying in old San Juan for a few days for my study abroad in January. I was planning on taking some protein bars, dried fruit, a bulk bag of granola, and crossing my fingers that non-dairy milk is available in a store nearby. I think my group stays together for our meals though, so I'm nervous about my options. I think rice and lettuce will be my friends for my trip.


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 Post subject: Re: Puerto Rico
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:34 pm 
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Tantra! http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant ... _Rico.html

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Like the beleaguered people of sub-Saharan Africa, I'll just go to Denny's. Solidarity!
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 Post subject: Re: Puerto Rico
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:23 pm 
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Hey y'all, I'm bumping this because I just booked a trip to PR for August! I'm going to be there from 8/9 to 8/20. I'll be staying with family on the west side mostly (Cabo Rojo), but I'll be renting a car because I want to be able to go to San Juan and El Yunque and all the beaches ever.
I'm a little nervous about eating vegan, though I'll prob be cooking most of my own meals. I guess the biggest challenge will be explaining veganism to the extended family we've got down there. My Spanish is pretty crappy.
I think between happy cow and veg guide, I'm pretty much set on food in San Juan, but if anyone has food recommendations outside of the city, let's hear 'em! And things to do? I'm looking for stuff that's not very touristy, and that is awesome. Oh, and any info on the queer/activist scene would be sweet as well!


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 Post subject: Re: Puerto Rico
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:41 pm 
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Oh what a coincidence. I was just on google maps checking to see where Puerto Rico was and low and behold it was exactly where I always thought it was. The reason for my confusion..... well the people I work with were adamant it was in Africa. One of them was even over there.

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 Post subject: Re: Puerto Rico
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:28 pm 
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hahaha what? it's not even sort of close to africa!


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 Post subject: Re: Puerto Rico
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 3:04 pm 
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I know. I was incredibly confused because they were adamant it's in Africa.

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 Post subject: Re: Puerto Rico
PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:29 pm 
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I'm flying to PR tomorrow with my mom! We definitely plan on cooking our own food most of the time, since we don't plan on spending any time in San Juan. Half the trip will be spent in the El Yunque and the other half will be on Vieques. Bioluminescent bay, here I come.


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 Post subject: Re: Puerto Rico
PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:07 pm 
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That sounds awesome, Alice! The bioluminescent bay was the best part of my trip.

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Like the beleaguered people of sub-Saharan Africa, I'll just go to Denny's. Solidarity!
-mumbles


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 Post subject: Re: Puerto Rico
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:49 am 
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We are so excited. I'll post pics here when I have them!


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 Post subject: Re: Puerto Rico
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 10:31 am 
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I'm back! I had a really amazing time. If anyone is interested in looking at my photos, here they are:

http://flic.kr/s/aHsjGDSNCU

I of course did not get any photos of the bioluminescent bay, but that was a truly spectacular experience. We went twice (in clear canoes), and it was beautiful and otherworldly. No moon, a sky full of stars, and glowing water. We even had rain the first night, and every drop that hit the water glowed! Highly, highly recommended.

ETA: I'm going to create a Trip Advisor account to recommend a few incredible experiences/hotels, so I may come back here to copy/paste my reviews for other people's reference.


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 Post subject: Re: Puerto Rico
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:28 am 
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Great photos! Looks like you guys had an awesome time. I wish I'd met horses when I was there!

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Like the beleaguered people of sub-Saharan Africa, I'll just go to Denny's. Solidarity!
-mumbles


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 Post subject: Re: Puerto Rico
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:59 am 
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They were pretty much inescapable on Vieques. We were told there are 3,000 "stray" horses on the island, and we saw a lot of locals riding around on them bareback. Crazy! Lots of stray dogs, too. :( I ended up dumping money into the Vieques Humane Society cans at various shops – I'm sure they have their hands full. I nearly came home with a bagful of adorable dogs, because they were all so sweet-looking!


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 Post subject: Re: Puerto Rico
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:11 pm 
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Awww. I never made it to Vieques on my trip. I did see plenty of adorable stray dogs though. :(

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Like the beleaguered people of sub-Saharan Africa, I'll just go to Denny's. Solidarity!
-mumbles


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 Post subject: Re: Puerto Rico
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:41 pm 
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If you go back, I'd highly recommend going to Vieques. Especially as it's quickly gaining popularity as a travel destination. The biobay there was worth it alone!


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 Post subject: Re: Puerto Rico
PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:55 am 
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One place people always seem to miss when they go to PR is Culebra. It's like the little sister of Vieques, and it's an amazing little island with nothing but a few bed and breakfasts, restaurants, and the best beaches in the world.

One thing to note also is that because of the heavy eco tourism to the bioluminescent bay, the bioluminescence is dying.


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 Post subject: Re: Puerto Rico
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:52 pm 
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I've got about 7 hours to spend in San Juan in the spring and really want to make the most of our time there! I'm considering trying to find a way to get to El Yunque, but am open to other neat things in central San Juan. I like history, meandering around cities, and hiking a lot.

There's one vegan place that's going to be closed while we're there, but I'll check out the other recommendations!

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 Post subject: Re: Puerto Rico
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:54 pm 
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Nebraskalaska, which place is going to be closed? I didn't get a chance to spend much time in San Juan, but I went to Cafe Berlin a couple of times for breakfast and got some really great scrambled tofu. I also had the mofongo there, but it was just okay. I went to a couple of random places and found that they had better and cheaper plain mofongo.

If you can get to El Yunque, that would be cool to see, but you'd waste an hour each way just in travel. and there's a lot to see just walking around San Juan. El Morro is the big fortress there and it's great for history and beautiful pictures. and Old San Juan is really pretty with the colorful houses and cobblestone streets. There's a free trolley you can take around to get to various places around Old San Juan. So you could just hop on that and get off wherever you see something that interests you.


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 Post subject: Re: Puerto Rico
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:12 pm 
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It's called Verde Mesa. Though, after closer examination is not even all vegetarian, but is supposed to be very vegetarian/vegan friendly.

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 Post subject: Re: Puerto Rico
PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 8:16 pm 
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I'm hoping to start this conversation back up to see if anyone has any new ideas. I never made it to PR a few summers back but we are going in a few weeks for our honeymoon! We're staying at a vegan B&B, and also in Fajardo, Vieques & San Juan. I'd love any suggestions!


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 Post subject: Re: Puerto Rico
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:45 pm 
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Rum and pineapple juice is vegan. What more do you need? I was there a few years ago and don't have any suggestions... I had some good food, but don't remember the names of the places and most of what I ate was vegan, but greasy. And I just went to study for an exam (had to get away from my friends for the last week of studying) so I didn't see much besides the beach and the bar.

Enjoy your trip! I will go back next time I see a cheap flight!


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 Post subject: Re: Puerto Rico
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:45 am 
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Verde Mesa is a pescatarian restaurant with vegetarian and vegan options. It opens for dinner (6 pm) and accepts no reservations. If you go when they open you can get a seat. It is somewhat expensive. They offer specials and most people go with those. In my experience, the vegan special is lacking in the protein department. The Verde Mesa Rice, without cheese is good. Unfortunately, the few times I have gone they do not have any vegan desserts.

If you want traditional Puerto Rican food, I can recommend Cafe Puerto Rico by the Plaza Colón, their beans are pork free, and it's better food than Raíces (never eaten there).

If you go to a Restaurant called Rosa de Triana (Calle Caleta de San Juan) they can make you something vegan, either tapas, paella or pasta with fava beans (or chickpeas).

If you want Italian food there's a little place called Il Baccaro (Calle Cruz) that can make you Gnocchi alla Puttanesca (sans cheese) and no anchovies.

If you venture out of San Juan it is somewhat difficult, people add pork and chicken bouillon to beans. If you head East, you could eat arepas (made with flour, salt and oil) if you don't mind that they are fried with non-vegan stuff.

In Piñones I've asked for some unstuffed alcapurrías (which are supposed to be vegan).

In short (haha) if you have questions about pork and bouillon you should ask:
"¿Tiene cubito de pollo o cerdo?." (bouillon)
"¿Le echan jamón o tocineta o cerdo?" (ham, bacon or pork)

If you need suggestions, please ask.


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