Puerto Rico is a place of beautiful culture, tradition, and exquisite cuisine. With its unique blend of Latin American and Caribbean flavors, the local foods will tantalize any palate. For those looking for something new and exciting, here’s an introduction to 11 delicious snacks and drinks that you need to try on your next trip to this amazing island.

1. Mofongo

Mofongo is a traditional Puerto Rican snack that will delight any traveler. It consists of mashed plantains, bacon, and garlic fried in olive oil, served with pork cracklings, and often topped with chicken or beef broth. The taste of mofongo is unique; it has a slightly sweet flavor from the plantain, combined with the crunchy texture of the bacon and garlic. 

Try some Puerto Rican drinks such as piña colada or rum punch to complement this delicious dish. Piña Colada is a tropical drink made with coconut cream and pineapple juice, while rum punch contains dark rum, lime juice, and syrup or simple syrup. Both are refreshing beverages perfect for hot days exploring the island! 

2. Alcapurrias

Alcapurrias is a traditional Puerto Rican snack that has been around for centuries. Made from either green or yellow plantains, the dough is mixed with herbs and spices to give it its unique flavor. The alcapurria filling can be made with ground beef, pork, chicken, rice, or other choice ingredients. Afterward, they are deep-fried until golden brown. They often come served with garlic mayonnaise sauce or ketchup for dipping purposes.

When visiting Puerto Rico, these savory snacks make an ideal accompaniment to any meal. Not only do they offer a tasty option, but they also provide visitors the chance to experience one of the island’s oldest culinary traditions firsthand. Whether enjoyed as part of a larger feast or simply on its own as an afternoon pick-me-up snack while exploring the sights and sounds of this Caribbean paradise.

3. Tembleque

Tembleque is a traditional Puerto Rican dessert that has withstood the test of time. It is made from coconut milk, cornstarch, and cinnamon. This creamy treat often takes on the shape of a dome or pyramid, giving it its unique name, which translates to ‘shaky’ in English. The combination of flavors makes tembleque an ideal accompaniment for any meal or as a snack during celebrations.

Essential ingredients such as freshly grated coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla extract give this delectable dessert its characteristic texture and subtle sweetness. To prepare tembleque correctly, one requires skill and patience due to the precise temperatures needed throughout each step of the process. If it’s too cold and you risk hardening it; and if it’s too hot and you could end up with a soupy mess! 

4. Arroz Con Gandules

Arroz con gandules is an iconic Puerto Rican dish and a must-try for any island traveler. This traditional rice dish combines aromatic ingredients such as sazon, sofrito, and spices with pigeon peas to create a colorful side that pairs perfectly with just about any meat or fish. The unique flavor of arroz con gandules comes from its special preparation process; it’s slow-cooked in boiling water until all the flavors are fully absorbed into the grains.

This popular Puerto Rican snack can be served both warm or cold, making it ideal for travelers who may not have access to a stovetop. Whether you’re enjoying your meal at home or on the go, this savory treat will make sure you don’t miss out on experiencing classic Puerto Rican cuisine during your trip. 

5. Maduros

Maduros are a traditional Puerto Rican snack made of plantains that have been ripened and fried in oil. They can be served as an appetizer or side dish but are also popular for breakfast or dessert. Maduros are often enjoyed with garlic sauce, sour cream, vinegar, crema de coco (coconut cream), or even mayonnaise. 

The preparation process requires patience and attention to detail; the plantains must be cooked at just the right temperature to not become too crisp on the outside while remaining soft inside. In addition to being flavorful, maduros provide many health benefits, such as improved digestion due to their high fiber content and increased energy levels, thanks to their high vitamin B6 content. 

6. Tostones

Tostones, a delicious Puerto Rican snack, are an essential part of any trip to the island. This fried dish is made from unripe green plantains that are sliced and flattened before being deep-fried in oil. The result is a crunchy yet soft texture that can be served plain or with various toppings such as garlic sauce or crema mayo.

To create the perfect tostones experience, looking for street vendors around local markets who specialize in making them fresh on demand is best. Also known as patacones, these crisps are typically eaten alongside meals as an appetizer or side dish. Still, they can also be enjoyed alone while exploring the sights and sounds of Puerto Rico. They offer a unique combination of flavors and textures, sure to tantalize your taste buds with each bite.

7. Pinchos

Puerto Rican snacks and drinks provide an interesting culinary experience for travelers. Pinchos is one such snack that should not be overlooked during a visit to Puerto Rico. The unique traditional dish is made from the finest ingredients, including marinated pork or chicken skewered on sticks with vegetables like bell peppers and onions. The meat is usually marinated in garlic-based mojo sauce, which adds flavor and juiciness to the dish.

The versatility of pinchos makes them ideal for any occasion; they can be served at picnics, parties, special events, or even just to accompany your favorite beverage. Furthermore, their small size allows them to fit easily into your pocket, so you don’t need to worry about carrying around bulky containers when you want to enjoy some pinchos on the go. 

8. Pasteles

Puerto Rican cuisine is known for its flavors and various snacks and drinks. Among them, pasteles are a traditional dish found in many restaurants across the island. Generally made with masa dough, these savory pies usually contain ingredients such as pork, beef, or chicken combined with various vegetables like potatoes, olives, and onions stuffed into a lightly fried pastry shell. They are typically served hot alongside rice or other side dishes.

In terms of flavor, pasteles offer an interesting combination of sweet and savory elements due to the use of tropical fruits such as plantains and papaya, which add sweetness while still maintaining a slight tartness from spices like cilantro and garlic. In addition to being delicious, they are also easy to make at home since all you need is some basic ingredients. 

9. Empanadillas

Empanadillas are a traditional Puerto Rican snack found all over the island. Many people consider them to be one of the most delicious snacks in Puerto Rico, and for a good reason! The empanadilla is a crunchy pastry with savory ingredients such as beef or chicken, onions, olives, capers, tomato sauce, and spices. It’s then deep-fried until golden brown and served hot with dipping sauces like ketchup or mayonnaise.

The flavor combination in an empanadilla is so unique and delightful that it will keep you coming back for more. They make great snacks and perfect accompaniments to drinks like a piña colada or aguacate con leche (avocado milk). Whether you have them alone or are accompanied by your favorite beverage, these pastries will give you a taste of true Puerto Rican culture.

10. Coquito

The tenth Puerto Rican snack and drink that must be tried on a trip is coquito. It is a traditional Christmas beverage made with coconut, condensed, evaporated rum, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, and vanilla extract. Coquito has been around since at least the 19th century when it was served in homes of wealthy families. The flavor combination makes this creamy concoction an absolute delight for all who taste it.

This delightful holiday treat can also be enjoyed year-round due to its increasing popularity. Its smooth texture, combined with the warmth from the alcohol content, make it a great way to start or end any meal during your visit to Puerto Rico. Furthermore, it pairs well with a variety of snacks like arroz con gandules or alcapurrias which are both dishes commonly found throughout the country.

11. Jueyes

Jueyes is a traditional Puerto Rican dish, consisting of large crayfish that are boiled and served with spices. This savory seafood delicacy has become increasingly popular due to its unique flavor and texture. It can be enjoyed as an appetizer or side dish, but it is also often served over rice as the main course in various dishes such as jueyes guisados (stewed jueyes).

This low-calorie snack is delicious and packed with vitamins and minerals; it contains high levels of zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. Additionally, jueyes provides essential omega-3 fatty acids for heart health. Due to its nutritional profile, this delectable treat makes a great addition to any meal plan, whether you’re visiting Puerto Rico or just looking for something new and exciting to try at home.


All of these Puerto Rican snacks are a great way to experience the island’s culture through its cuisine. Whether you’re looking for an appetizer, main course, or even dessert – you can find something unique and delicious that will satisfy your taste buds. 

From sorullitos and alcapurrias to jueyes and tembleque, these traditional dishes are just a few of Puerto Rican culture’s many foods. So, let your next trip be a culinary adventure and enjoy the local flavors of Puerto Rico!