By: AvenidaDeLasArtes.com; Santaella Staff
Parada 20 – Plaza del Mercado
This is the heart and soul of Santurce!
Also known as ‘La Placita’ or the little plaza, this is the last of the traditional markets which used to be in every neighborhood before large supermarkets arrived in the 1970s.
While you can still visit the market during the day for local fruits, vegetables, flowers plus street food and fruit shakes – the placita is now better known for the dozens of restaurants, cafés and nightclubs that surround the classic building and extend for a few blocks on either side.
There are some clubs open each night, the famous ‘Street Party’ takes place on Thursday and Friday nights when the police close off the street and thousands of locals mix with tourists for one of the best parties in the Caribbean. The party starts with the young executive crowd after work and hits its peak between 9pm and midnight.
To reach the fun, look for the large blue Sagrado Corazon Church on Ave Ponce de Leon. Across the street, you’ll see Calle Dos Hermanos. Follow the street for one long block to reach the market. If walking from Condado, take Calle Canals under the highway and up the hill to Calle Roberts where you’ll see the market to your right.
Outside of the marketplace, check out the galleries along Fernandez Juncos Avenue in the Hipodromo neighborhood – built on the site of San Juan’s first horse racing track (note the horseshoe medallion on some of the original buildings). Whilst nowadays more people prefer the huge bonus spins you can find online, this is still a part of the history of the town. Still emerging, the area is a little rough around the edges pending the arrival of the light rail system – but you’ll find some great graffiti, interesting local restaurants and a good hostel for the budget-minded traveler.
El Sabroso (Calle Roberts, 1357)
Live acoustic Music on Tuesday and Wednesday Nights.
Taberna Los Vazquez (Calle Orbeta, 1348; 787-723-1903)
Live Salsa on Party Nights! Click here to Watch Video.
Spot for regular live salsa and a relaxed rum and coke, an open corner bar with a fried-food counter for late-night alcapurrias (meat enclosed in grated yautía, a tarolike root vegetable) and sorullitos (deep-fried cornmeal fingers), about $2 a piece.
Bar El Rubí (Calle Canals, 213; 787-481-7777)
Local Bar open on Weekends serving creative cocktails.
El Patio de Lila (Calle Roberts, 1360; 787-944-7673)
El Patio De LiLa is a great bar with a good kitchen and gooood music….Artisan Pizzas made in a Brick Oven, Tapas, Drinks and Beer. A cozy and cool place that everyone wants to hangout at. What more could you ask for??
Don Rey Cigar (Calle Roberts)
Don Rey Cigar