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Puerto Rico is known for its good vibes and party atmosphere. As the world’s leading rum producer and the home to many world-renowned reggaeton artists, like Bad Bunny and Daddy Yankee, you know you’re in for a treat. There’s no better place to let the drinks flow and infectious music take you away. With such a vibrant array of nightlife options, it can be tough to pick where to spend an evening. We’ll make it easy on you and share our list of the best bars in San Juan.
Vibe: Divey but artsy, punk-rock, historic
What to get: A Manhattan or any classic cocktail
A visit to El Batey is sure to excite all your senses. Many have left reviews exclaiming that it’s the best dive bar in San Juan. As soon as you walk in you’ll be inundated with writing scrawled from the floor to the ceiling. The iconic bar is also a historic site. It was a favorite of The Rolling Stones and writers like Allen Ginsberg and Hunter S. Thompson are also connected to the staple watering hole. Go enjoy a classic drink and then choose a tune on the vinyl-only jukebox.
Vibe: Sexy, low-lit, perfect for craft cocktail aficionados
What to get: Any and all of their craft cocktails
For those of you who prefer more finely curated cocktails, you cannot miss going to La Factoría. The bar was recently named one of the top 50 bars in the world and for a good reason. It’s a staple for locals and visitors alike and helped ignite the burgeoning cocktail scene in San Juan. Their carefully crafted cocktail menu features everything from lavender mules and spiced old fashions to guanábana, or soursop, punch. Of course, the food menu is equally as salivating with tofu brûlée and mahi-mahi bites being two stand-out options. While you’re there, you’ll be tapping your toes to the salsa music the venue is known for.
Patio de las Flores
Vibe: Vibrant and modern with Insta-worthy cocktails
What to get: Whichever seasonal cocktail is being served up
From drinks that come in seashells to ones in the shape of the fierce luchadoras, each drink is nothing short of astounding. These eye-catching cocktails are carefully made by a team of mixologists and are changed out seasonally. You’ll definitely want to make a reservation to Patio de las Flores because people just can’t get enough of these truly unique drinks. They are *almost* too pretty to enjoy, but we know you’ll make do.
Vibe: Elevated speakeasy, intimate and cozy
What to get: The Pretty in Pink cocktail and the spicy crab salad
This bar is slightly outside of the heart of San Juan, but we’d be remiss to not include this beloved speakeasy on our list. Everything is simply picture-perfect at La Unidad. The speakeasy is simple but gorgeous with a cozy atmosphere and perfectly poured drinks and plated dishes. Their cocktail menu features options like the Pretty in Pink which has hazelnut liquor, cranberry and rhubarb bitters, and coconut foam, just to name a few ingredients. La Unidad is the perfect, intimate hideaway for those who prefer to nurse a more elevated drink.
Vibe: High-energy, eclectic tiki bar
What to get: Get Rum Runner, a staff favorite made with a housemade rum blend, raspberry, passion fruit, pineapple, and lime.
Show up early and snag a spot at Jungle Bird, a walk-up-only bar. This vibrant tiki bar serves up fun with elegant fare and equally alluring drinks. While some tiki bars only serve up rum, Jungle Bird serves a wide variety of liquors, and falernum syrup (made up of ginger, lime, and almond flavors) being a staple ingredient. The drink menu is dizzying with all its enticing flavor mixes. The food menu is small but mighty and it perfectly complements the drink menu with options like jerk chicken and tuna tartare. You’re sure to be in good company given that the bar was founded by Roberto Berdecía of the aforementioned La Factoría.
- La Penúltima for an unpretentious but hip bar. ($$)
- Taberna Boricua for more than 200 craft beer options. ($$)
- The Mezzanine for enjoying a drink on an open-air balcony. ($$)