The Best Sports Bar San Juan is part of TPOL’s Move to PR series, which covers more than you’ve ever wanted to know about visiting Puerto Rico.
You now know where to get tacos in San Juan and where to go for a run. But where to go for the big game? When I lived in Mongolia, the only reliable place was home with my Slingbox (see Are You Ready for Some Football? An Expat’s Survival Guide for American Deportes). Unlike Mongolia, San Juan has more choices. During this World Cup, I went to two sports bars in Old San Juan, one in Condado, and two in Isla Verde (which is technically a district of Carolina but this post is about sports, not geography).
So which one was the best? Let’s go from tamest to greatest.
Old San Juan
- Tijuana’s: Tijuana’s is located on Calle Marina in Old San Juan. There’s another one in Condado as well. Nothing spectacular about this place except for a decent view of the marina and free chips and salsa.
- Greengos: (Calle Fortaleza, San Juan, 00901) Is gringos a derogatory term for American tourists? Does it have the same negative connotation as gaijin in Japan? If it does, no one has told the owner of this sports bar. I went here for two games including the championship game. While the place is spacious on the inside, there is not a lively atmosphere. And the margarita was certainly the worst I have ever had.
Based on these two bars, I am going to conclude that Old San Juan is not the place to watch sports.
- The Place: With a name like that, it must be the place to watch sports. I could see it being live, but the 2PM crowd was disappointing, though a few Medallas makes everything more enjoyable.
- Alambique: (5806, Calle Jose M. Tartak, Carolina, 00979) I hopped in an Uber and asked the driver to take me to a beach bar in Condado. She asked if I had ever been to Alambique in Isla Verde. I said no but decided to give it a shot. The bar is located right on the beach and had a much livelier crowd than those in San Juan. I had two Medallas and enjoyed the view. My ears picked up the faint sound of 70’s music from the place next door. I decided to leave Alambique and check it out.
- D’Shack Next Door: I don’t have to put the address of this place, nor do I have to go deep into a description. As the name suggests, this tiny bar is located right next to Alambique. What it lacks in size, it makes up for in energy. I quickly became friends with the bartender, Thomas, and hours later I was in charge of the music. If you’re looking for a place to watch the game, a place to party, or a place to do nothing, I highly suggest D’Shack above all others.
San Juan has the typical sports bars and restaurants for watching the big game, including Chili’s! But if you’re looking for more than the Buffalo Wild Wings experience, I suggest going to D’Shack’s. Tell Thomas that Alex the DJ sent you.