I traveled to Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, for business and of course took a bit of time off to explore a part of Puerto Rico I had not visited before.
Even though it was a business trip, I shied away from hotels (not many choices in that area anyway) and stayed at an absolutely wonderful place: Villa Tropical. I had an one bedroom apartment in their Villa Quinones building and thoroughly enjoyed it. Waking up in the morning and being able to enjoy breakfast in my ocean front patio was a great way to start the day. Watching the stars while listening to the waves was an even better way to end it. I highly recommend them – great location and wonderful personal service.
While I worked during the weekdays, in the evenings I had an opportunity to enjoy the many local restaurants that did not disappoint. Not only was the food delicious, I made it a point to start a personal task to find a “bad” mojito – a running joke with some friends who were asking me to drink something besides those incredibly refreshing drinks. Every place I went to, I ordered one – sometimes more than one – and to my amazement, they were all fantastic.
In the time I was there, I only repeated two places – and they were both for breakfast. A special shout-out to Levain Artisan Breads for the best croissants I’ve ever had and for their pan fried brioche. OMG is the only way to describe the latter – it sets the bar for what a “French Toast” should be. Check them out! One other place just stood out for me and that was Ola Lola’s Garden Bar & Grille – a fantastic little out of the way place with one of those “Cheers-like” atmosphere that you wish you could be at every day. The burgers are delicious, the mojitos hit the spot as do the pina coladas!
Here’s the complete list with my ratings as well as some comments.
|Boca Loca||*****||Trifongo. Need I say anything else?|
|Cinco||*****||Delicious lunch (Argentinian sausage) and refreshing watermelon juice!|
|Cocina Creativa||****||Really enjoyed their ceviche with chips. Light lunch and it was delicious|
|Cuatro Lunas||*****||Really good mofongo and mojitos.|
|Desecheo||****||Rice with seafood was delicious. Fried cheesecake didn't impress me.|
|Gustitos Criollos||*****||Lunch place only - not a food truck because it's a converted shipping container. $7 for a complete lunch! Good stuff at a great price!|
|Jetblast Bar & Grill||****||Don't let the looks fool you (besides/part of a gas station). The food is really good (I had the mofongo with shrimp) and the mojitos are too.|
|KAI Beach Bar and Restaurant||*****||Excellent mojitos, truly delicious whole fried snapper.|
|La Reina Taqueria||*****||Small hole in the wall taco shop. Good stuff! Guava sauce was so good I requested a bottle to take home!|
|La Spezie||****||Pretty good flat bread style pizza.|
|Levain Bakery||*****||Another one where I could do ten stars. Some of the best croissants I've ever had. The "pan fried brioche" - OMG!|
|Mahi Mahi||*****||This place is known for their mojitos which were good, but the food was a lot better than I had been lead to believe!|
|Mona||****||Truly enjoyed the burger during lunch.|
|Ocean Front||*****||This place gets five stars just for the view. The mojitos and shrimp creole just reinforced that it is more than just a pretty view!|
|Ola Lola||*****||I really should give this place ten stars! If you can imagine the bar from "Cheers" as an outdoor restaurant - this is it. Damn good burger!|
|One-Ten Thai||*****||Tuna stir fry. What else can I say? Oh yeah, biscocho de chocolate!|
|Panaderia La Campana||****||Bakery with great sandwiches (I had the "media noche") and coffee (they roast their own)!|
|Pedro Pescado||*****||Some of the best sashimi I've ever had in the definition of a hole in the wall. And it's BYOB!|
|Sonido del Mar||*****||Another great little ocean front restaurant with good food. I got my octopus fix here!|
|Textura||*****||Good place out of the way. Catch of the day (it was wahoo that day) was delicious. I had to skip dessert but they looked awesome!|
|The Coffee Spot||*****||Excellent little coffee shop|
Of course, my wandering self spent plenty of time walking along the beach and finding all type of interesting things. Again, I love to just wander and explore and on this particular occasion I ran into a Stand Up Paddle Board competition which kept me entertained for a while. It was more than that though as there was music, food, and vendors selling their wares – just another festival!
Here is some of what I saw during that wandering.
I’ll return soon and look forward to wandering around some more.
Be on the lookout for future articles where I talk about other places I explored around Puerto Rico – la isla del encanto!