Revised: October 15, 2010
Pizza is not usually the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Puerto Rico. Mamposteao, tostones, alcapurrias in Piñones, or lechón asado in Guavate are dishes Puerto Rican cuisine is mostly known for. Yet there’s something universal about pizza; its undeniable appeal makes it a favorite dining alternative no matter where you are. With that in mind, here are some of our favorite places in the metropolitan area to get a slice or a pie.
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2482 Loiza Street, Punta las Marias
San Juan, Puerto Rico, 00917
A blend of culinary influences – German, Puerto Rican, and Venezuelan – Das Pastelhaus offers a truly unique pie for the adventurous pizza-lover. Try their fantastic white sauce pies – your favorite toppings sauteed in a creme-based sauce that is rich and buttery and hidden under fresh mozzarella cheese. Perhaps most pizza places are not known for their desserts but Das Pastelhaus doubles as a bakery, so be sure to try out some of their butter cookies and delicate pastries after you are done eating your slices.
2424 Loiza Street, Punta las Marias
San Juan, Puerto Rico, 00917
A wood-burning, brick oven isn’t the only thing that makes this Isla Verde eatery stand out; the variety of non-traditional toppings will have you scratching your head. But bravery never goes out of fashion and, if you dare, you will find a whole new world of flavors (who knew nuts would taste good on a pizza?) Even if you’re not feeling adventurous, you can still try a traditional pie and be blown away; Bistro Pizza is second to none.
La Cueva del Chicken Inn
507 Ave Ponce de Leon, San Juan, PR 00919
Let me state right off the bat that this is my favorite pizza in Puerto Rico. It could be the fact that I’ve been going there since I was a kid. Or it could just be the crunchy, chewy crust, the tangy sauce and the toasted cheese that make it an utter delight. Feel free to add any topping you like, but you won’t get the same taste of perfection as a plain cheese pizza. It doesn’t hurt that the place also makes great chicharrones de pollo (unbreaded pieces of fried chicken).
Family Friendly Fare
Faccio Pizza Isla Verde @ Howard Johnson
Magno’s Pizza Palace
26 Ave Domenech, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Situated in the heart of San Juan’s Hato Rey neighborhood on Domenech Avenue, Magno’s offers a spacious and amiable setting for any occasion – from a business lunch to a gathering of friends and family – at very reasonable prices. The pizza might not be groundbreaking but it’s definitely worth the visit.
Lobby Hotel Howard Johnson, Ave. Isla Verde, Carolina, PR
Ask for other locations
What started out as a single restaurant in the community of Cupey in the municipality of San Juan has branched out into seven franchises peppered throughout the greater metropolitan area. Faccio’s does pizza well: a chewy, thin crust, savory sauce and a variety of fresh toppings (my personal favorite: chorizo). Along with the pasta menu, their wide selection of beers and the easy-going ambiance make Faccio’s one of the island’s favorite dining spots.
The South American Flavor Tour
Pizzaiolo's savory Brazilian-style pies
47 Ave. Isla Verde
Carolina, Puerto Rico, 00984
One of several pizzerias lining the Avenida Isla Verde, Pizzaiolo offers authentic Brazilian flare, not only with the food, but with the atmosphere created by the music and decor. The pies are covered with cheese, a small amount of sauce, and any fresh vegetables or meats that you can think of (sausage or chicken work very well but there is a wide array to choose from). Do have
a Caipirinha if you are there, it would be almost a crime if you didn’t.
51 Ave. Isla Verde, Isla Verde, Carolina, PR 00979
A few yards away from Pizzaiolo we find another South American flavor, Ferrari Gourmet‘s Argentinian cuisine. Over forty different varieties of bold flavors and very hearty toppings characterize the restaurant’s pizza menu. A must for visitors staying along Carolina‘s Isla Verde Hotel Strip.
Juan Pan Pizza
Ave. Piñeiro 1117, San Juan 00920, Puerto Rico
Another Argentinian pizzeria, this one on Piñeiro Avenue in San Juan. The ingredients go all the way to the edge of the pizza making the small crust it has super crunchy and the cheese around it deliciously golden. Very hearty, extremely satisfying and a quaint setting to boot. You can’t miss the building either – a giant mural in honor of “The King of Tango” adorns one of its sides.
When In Condado…
1351 Ashford Ave., Condado, San Juan, PR
Phone: 787-724-0501 / 787-721-4231
Usually packed, and for good reason, I would venture to say that Danny’s is my second favorite pizza on the list. The soft, chewy dough and the unbelievable variety of specialty pizzas make each bite a pleasure unto itself. They haven’t reinvented the wheel, they just make some darn fine pizza. If you are feeling bold try the Puerto Rican specialty pizza with ground beef and ripe plantains (amarillos).
1350 Ashford Ave., San Juan, Puerto Rico
Featuring sidewalk tables for a better view of Avenida Ashford, Via Appia’s offering of Italian food and spectacular pizza make it one of the area’s most popular restaurants. There’s also inside seating for those not interested in people-watching (but still interested in pizza-eating).
The Night Cap (by the slice)
Pizza City's sign (hard to miss, even at night)
Mike ‘s Pizzeria
1024 Ave. Ashford, Condado, San Juan, PR
Phone: 787-722-2480 / 787-722-2484 / Fax: 787-723-0118
Another pizzeria in Condado (formerly known as Mike & Charlie’s – adios Charlie!), and open till late so you can get a slice (or two) before heading off to who-knows-where. Small space but very friendly staff and pizza slices overflowing with toppings (they certainly don’t skimp on those).
5950 Ave Isla Verde
Let’s be honest, at 3 o’clock in the morning you’re not looking for anything complicated, you’ll settle for a nice cheese pizza straight out of the oven. Just another reason to love Pizza City. You could go there at anytime – the pizza is excellent – but it becomes magical when you’re desperate for something to eat and you see that great, big, kitschy sign welcoming you, and others, to sit down, relax, and enjoy
Mario’s Pizza Palace
42 Gautier Benitez St., Caguas, PR
From our readers:
“The best and original Mario’s Pizza in Caguas is the one in Gautier Benitez St., inside Caguas Shopping Center. Mario’s sold franchises that are all over the city but each owner makes pizza in their own particular way (and are not the same as the original).” (Cagueño via comments)
“I must agree with the best pizza in Puerto Rico is Mario’s Pizza in Caguas. I am 50 years old right now but the first time I went to Mario’s I must have been about 9 years old. That pizza is awesome. I am from NY and used to eating great pizza.” (Minerva via comments)
“Nothing in the world compares to Mario’s Pizza Palace, located in Caguas. They serve these over-sized Calzone’s that can barely fit the plate.” (Luis via comments)
Hope you enjoy the list (and the pizza). Found a new pizza place worthy of our list? Let us know by replying below and we’ll set our pizza-tasting experts loose!