Nestled in the heart of urban Santurce is the vibrant Calle Loiza known for its spectacular arts and culture, cuisine as well as nightlife. Despite only being a sub-neighborhood within San Juan, the largest city of Puerto Rico, there are no shortage of things to do and try.

Calle Loiza is where the old meets the new, cultures merge, and experiences are made.

Whether visiting the neighborhood by car or foot, there are countless of experiences at your fingertips. Peruse Calle Loiza and snap photos of the murals –painted by PR celebrity artists like Rey X and Pun18–, get your tan on at Ocean Park Beach and enjoy a latte under the flowering vines of Cafe Con Ce’s patio seating. For the foodie in search of a new spot, Calle Loiza has numerous restaurants to choose from. 

Murals located to the right of Nomada Urban Beach Hostel

The beauty in Santurce’s cultural diversity is reflected back in the wide variety of dining experiences found on Calle Loiza’s main strip: Shibo’s Asian-Puerto Rican fusion, Bocca’s delicious Roman-Italian cuisine and El Chincho’s mouth watering BBQ amongst others!

For a glimpse into the best experiences that Calle Loiza has to offer, continue reading for Team Nomada’s top recommendations:

Breakfast & Lunch

Cafe Con Ce

1765 Loiza Street, San Juan 00911

This coffee shop takes on a minimalist aesthetic but not at the cost of rich flavor; Cafe Con Ce’s coffee is 100% locally sourced from the mountains of Jayuya, PR and all sweet treats come from partnering PR bakers. Enjoy the silken taste of your latte and relax beneath the flowering vines of Cafe Con Ce’s patio seating.

Kasalta

1966 McLeary Ave, San Juan, 00911

Want to enjoy a cafecito the local way? Treat yourself to a Quesito and a coffee at Kasalta to start your morning off right!

Pinky’s Cafe 

1902 C. Loíza, San Juan, 00911

Calling all smoothie lovers! Pinky’s is the spot for you. The hole-in-the-wall classic oozes charisma and offers a variety of delicious breakfast plates as well as $5 smoothies—try the Peanut Butter smoothie, it’s a fan favorite!

Dinner 

The Pork Dumplings at Vagabundo Social

Vagabundo Social 
1265 C. Marginal Villamar, Carolina PR 00979

Escape the heat and lose track of time at Vagabundo Social– Nomada Hostels’ very own speakeasy lounge hidden in the heart of Isla Verde. Appease your taste buds with any one of the menu’s eclectic plates or a hand-crafted cocktail. Drink in hand, Vagabundo Social will transport you into an intimate dining experience, free of all prohibitions.


El Chichon BBQ & Sandwiches
787.209.1183

El Chinchon may not show up on Google Maps but don’t let that discourage you— this locally-owned gem is a treasure worth hunting for! El Chinchon serves classic Puerto Rican street bites and mouth-watering BBQ. For $11, you can treat yourself to the best BBQ plate in Santurce, Puerto Rico. 

To locate El Chinchon, walk a few paces down from Pinky’s (1902 C. Loíza) and it will be a clearly marked booth with a sign featuring a cartoon pig and the restaurant’s title. 

Acapulco Taquería Mexicana
2021 Cll. Loíza, San Juan, PR 00911

Acapulco Taqueria is a family-owned restaurant, run by the Salvatore brothers, that proudly serves authentic Mexican dishes. Taste the mouth-watering flavors of slow roasted Al Pastor tacos and finish the night with a shot of Mezcal. 

Bocca Osteria Romana
2012 Cll. Loíza, San Juan, PR 00911

Bocca Osteria Romana is a pioneering and renowned Italian-Roman restaurant in Puerto Rico. Through age-old recipes and refined methods, Bocca delivers an exquisite culinary experience with decadent plates and intimate ambiance. Bite into the Ragú, braised overnight, or try the Bistecca de Vitello, and enjoy the Bocca experience.

Cueva Del Mar 
1904 Cll. Loíza, San Juan, PR 00907

Discover the flavors of Puerto Rico at Cueva Del Mar. This restaurant is beloved by locals and tourists alike for its fresh seafood and daily deals on traditional “criollo” dishes. Stop by for happy hour and order their famous fish tacos!

Day Excursions

Ocean Park Beach

Marvel at the white sand and turquoise ocean at Calle Loiza’s Ocean Park Beach. For those craving rest under the sun or a budget friendly excursion, Ocean Park Beach is the perfect place to get a taste of local living. Pick up your drinks and snacks at the 24 Hour To Go Store and then walk the final five minutes to the beach entrance at the intersection of Calle Kings Ct. and Avenida Ashford.

Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (MAPR)

Marvel at the architecture of the Museo de Arte and step inside to immerse yourself in the beauty of Puerto Rico’s art. At present, MAPR hosts rotating installations as well as the permanent exhibition, ‘Puerto Rico Plural.’ The permanent exhibition features 250+ Puerto Rican masterworks dating back to the 1800s. Prior to your visit, check the website to see what visiting installation is on display and to purchase your tickets.

Jardín Botánico (Botanical Garden)

Marvel at the flora y fauna of Puerto Rico at the botanical garden of Rio Piedras, PR. The botanical garden stretches across 289 acres of land and is home to 60+ species of birds. Pack a camera to snap photos of the gardens’ natural wonders and binoculars for birding. 

For guided tours, call in advance to make a reservation.

Pinoñes
PR-187 Piñones, LoízaPR 00983

If you leave for Pinoñes on an empty belly, you’ll come back full! Pinones is the destination for those seeking a self-guided street food tour. Love plantains? Try a Pionono. More of a seafood person? Nab a Bacalaito fritter from one of the vendors. Once you’ve eaten your way down the strip, close your evening out by enjoying a water-front sunset at La Casita Amarilla.

Nightlife

Bartender at Vagabundo Hostel serves dining guest

La Placita
154 Cll. Dos Hermanos, San JuanPR 00907

Explore La Placita after hours! When the sun goes down, the market square comes to life; Locals flood the square to dance salsa, smoke cigars, sip on cocktails and dine outdoors. To experience La Placita in full swing visit on a Friday or Saturday night. 

Penultima
1359 Ave Ponce de Leon, San Juan, PR 00907

Lose track of time at La Penultima. Hidden behind an unassuming entrance is the vibrant bar-restaurant that has perfected eclectic plates and creative cocktails. While you wait for your drink, you’ll get a taste of local life set to a playlist that bounces between German metal-rock and reggaeton. Then, enjoy your meal and make new friends with outdoor communal seating under La Penultima’s sparkling lights. 

La Factoría
148 Calle San Sebastián, San Juan PR 00901

Make the trip to Viejo San Juan and discover La Factoría. For the last five years, La Factoría has been listed among The World’s 50 Best Bars which is no mistake. La Factoria is made up of six bars, each bar uniquely curated. At La Factoría’s Shing A’Ling bar, you can dance the night away to live Salsa every Sunday-Monday or enjoy crafted cocktails at any of the other five bars.