Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Guavate Home of the Lechon

Guavate located south of San Juan is not the only place on the island for find great lechon (roast pork), but it’s probably the most well known (it’s even been featured on the Anthony Bourdain No Reservations TV show). If you are looking for an authentic, popular with the local place then head to Guavate on a Saturday or Sunday.

The area is inundated with lechoneras (roadside cafeterias) whose specialty is seasoned slow roasted whole pig. Traditionally the pig is roasted over an open flame mounted on on a wooden spit called a varita, but now must use a steel spit. The pig is usually roasted for about 6 – 8 hours which ensures that the pork is pact with flavor, moist and tender. The roast pig is not the only delicacy on the menu; as you will find roast chicken, turkey, morcella (blood sausage) and numerous side dishes, including: rice and beans, rice with pigeon peas, tostones, mofungo, sweet potato and many more. If you happen to be there during the Christmas period you will also see pasteles, arroz con dulce and Puerto Rico’s very own egg nog ‘coquito’.

The main road up and through Guavate is lined with lechoneras, so you will have plenty of choices. Look for one that is busy and lively and then try to find parking at the side of the road close by.

Note: The road which is known locally as ‘La Ruta del Lechon’ is fairly winding and can become busy on weekends, so drive carefully.

The lechoneras in the area are cafeteria style with indoor and outdoor seating, where you line up and select what you would like from the counters. Once you have chosen your food, find a table and dig in.

Weekends are the best time to go if you really want to savor the atmosphere of the area, but even during the week you will find some of the lechoneras open.

What: Lechon (roast pig)
Where: Lechoneras in Guavate
When: Weekends are best before 12pm (but some are open during the week)
Map It

Directions from San Juan:
Take Highway 52) south and take exit 32 (Guavate). Make a left and head up Rd 184. You will find lechonaras all along the route with some of the most popular around km. 27.


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  1. Ismael Baerga says:

    Great puertorican FOOD E-mail me the “recetas” Gracias

  2. I have been looking for information on Guavate, on the web, for over a year!Enjoyed your post and especially the lechon picture. Cant wait to go there in December!

  3. I love going to Guavate every year…I live in PR but my parents drive up there every year for Christmas, the onlything I could give you as advice is to take some light snacks in the car cause its a very oong drive up there and most of the time its really breezy, also there’s always trafic up there cause everyone want the same thing: LECHON!! :D

  4. Great Post! My wife and I had a friend recommend Guavate so we visited it a few years ago. It was crazy good! The second time we went, this year, they were having a festival and it was super crowded.

  5. I love roast pork and I know the Lechon in the Phillipines is just so good so I must try it when I get to San Juan in mid 2010.

    You have some great information on Puerto Rico here, so thank you for this site to explore.

  6. me ecanta el lechon asado y si es de Bajadero mejor bueno del bario arenalejos mas mejor todavia

  7. It’s exit 32 not 33. If u miss exit 32 you can’t turn around for awhile


  1. [...] will be competing over the two days in various types of BBQ, including Puerto Rico’s very own Lechon. There is even a competition for kids teams. Saturday June 26, the three main events will be: [...]

  2. [...] more Food related articles click on the links below: Puerto Rico Food the Basics Guavate the home of Lechon Local Restaurants around Puerto Rico [...]

  3. [...] Rico, but you will also find: food stalls in Old San Juan, food kiosks at Luquillo, Lechoneras in Guavate and roadside food vendors all over the island, serving great inexpensive foods that you probably [...]

  4. [...] is the place. And what was it that Bourdain and Zimmern were enjoying in Guavate; Traditional Puerto Rican Lechon. Guavate is the mecca for roasted pig on the island and recommended for anyone looking to taste [...]

  5. [...] have always wanted to see how lechon is traditionally made and have never been able to make it to Guavate, then the Cattlemen’s BBQ competition is a great opportunity to see local teams cooking up this [...]

  6. [...] MUST go to a Lechonera up in the Cordillera Central for lunch on the weekend!  Here you can get slow roasted pig with [...]

  7. [...] (the pork highway) in Trujillo Alto, a small city southeast of San Juan and closer to me than Guavate the main hub for the lechoneras (roadside cafeterias dedicated to the sell of typical island [...]

  8. [...] I’ll be down in San Juan and look forward to meeting @GeekShui (and hopefully making it to Guavate *grin*) and I would dearly love to meet Lesley (@geeksoap), her husband Lucas (@fubbleskag) and [...]

  9. [...] Guavate, Puerto Rico is a pork lover’s dream and is a MUST stop for anyone who wants to try the traditional Puerto Rican Lechon. Located about 45mins south of San Juan, Guavate offers something for everyone; cooler temperatures, live music, fun atmosphere, great food and the main attraction; awesome roast pork. [...]

  10. [...] -Drive to Rincon – City at the tip of PR. Beautiful Beach. About a 3hr drive from San Juan. -Guavate Home of the Lechon – eat slow roasted pig in Middle of the mountains. The town is named after pig, so believe me [...]

  11. [...] (the pork highway) in Trujillo Alto, a small city southeast of San Juan and closer to me than Guavate the main hub for the lechoneras (roadside cafeterias dedicated to the sell of typical island [...]

  12. [...] Al principio, cuando te vas y ves lo fácil que es vivir fuera del Puerto Rico que conocemos hoy, no te dan ganas de regresar. Luego extrañas las palmas  y el lechón… [...]

  13. [...] if it has rained before. You can stop by the visitor center for some rest. On your way to Guavate, (…of-the-lechon/) remember that it is only open on the weekends, usually after 11:00am Saturday and Sunday. There [...]

  14. [...] From what I've gathered, THE town for lechoneras is Guavate…of-the-lechon/ but the town is ~50 mins from the St Regis. __________________ CHICAGO Malaysian Dinner Do, [...]

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