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Top 5 places to eat & drink on Valentines according to our Liquor Executive

Looking for great places to eat & drink on Valentines Day? Our Liquor Executive and expert, MariGabi, knows all the trendiest hotspots on the Island. Here’s her list on where to go for a one of a kind experience on this special day.

Top 5 places to eat & drink on Valentines according to our Liquor Executive:

1. Santaella – I’ve visited this bar so many times with so many different people, and it has never once disappointed me. I’ve gone with many types of people as well, Americans, Latinos, locals, young, and “young at heart”, and I always encourage them to be adventurous and order something off the menu and say to the bartender “make me something special. Surprise me!” Never once has a friend of mine complained or disliked their cocktail, and that is an amazing achievement. The formula for this great bar is so simple, but yet a rarity: Ridiculously talented bartenders, quality spirits and ingredients, and vast amounts of creativity with a splash of passion. And it doesn’t hurt that the food is AMAZING too.

 

2. La Factoría – To some people, La Factoría is nothing new, they’ve probably been here already, but it doesn’t change the fact that it deserves to be mentioned. La Factoría continues to be the epitome of a cocktail bar in Puerto Rico or as I describe it a “cocktail laboratory”. Since I enjoy asking for “off the menu cocktails” and challenging the bartender to be creative (only telling them the spirit I’d like to drink like Gin or Vodka), La Factoría continuously pushes me beyond my comfort zone, but the cocktails sometimes don’t even seem to matter because they’ve hired the friendliest and wackiest bartenders of all the island. This is one of the few instances where the experience is just as or more important than the product. I dance salsa with my friends at the back bar and come back and sit so I can drink a cocktail while having a deep conversation with my bartender-friends. What more could I ask for? It’s like that song in the 80s show called Cheers that says: “You wanna go where everybody knows your name”.

3. El Almacén – I still find speakeasy bars intriguing even if in Puerto Rico, nothing is a secret, and nothing can be really hidden. So, it doesn’t really matter if I tell you that El Almacén is located behind the HP Tavern at La Placita in Santurce, and I honestly have enjoyed tasting all of the cocktails on the menu. Every cocktail seems to have been designed by a mad scientist or a skilled chef that knows perfectly what ingredient works with what. This bar calls to me on those days when I don’t necessarily feel the urge to be social or with tons of energy, but instead want to sit and talk with my best friend while I taste ridiculously good cocktails and risotto croquettes, and listen to Frank Sinatra. It brings out the inner mature woman in me, she deserves some nights out too.

4. La Penúltima –  Just like the inner mature adult woman in me wants to have sophisticated drinks while not moving for hours, the inner “lets stuff my face with good food, beer and cocktails” also comes out to play. There is something for everybody and for every mood, but you can’t go wrong with having a delicious plate and a cold beer. The ambiance is nice and comfortable, and it’s one of the few places I can go back to twice a week. Cocktails one night and beer with food the other. Honestly, Puerto Rico needed a place like this.

5. Acapulco Taquería – If in another life or maybe in this current one, I have a drop of Mexican in me, it definitely comes out when I visit Acapulco located on Calle Loiza. It’s Mexican Heaven with the best margarita on the rocks and cochinita pibil tacos I never knew I needed. I know I love a restaurant when I don’t even mind that there’s a line to get a table and could eat there the 7 days of the week without complaining.

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