La Buena Mesa de Oscar

San Juan, Puerto Rico


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I agree with Cass--the customer's are always very friendly and are locals. This is my favorite vegetarian restaurant in the whole world! Okay, maybe I'm being bias, I now live in Costa Rica, but the food at La Buena Mesa de Oscar in Puerto Rico has the most authentic and delicious vegan I've ever tasted representing the country's national dishes. So if you are traveling and want to enjoy local dishes, you won’t be disappointed. They make local dishes that are vegan. And they are baked instead of fried. Back home in the U.S., it's difficult for me to find a great vegan place that I can indulge myself and not feel guilty. Since I don't get many opportunities to eat at La Buena Mesa de Oscar, I only go to Puerto Rico once a year, I really make sure I always visit La Buena Mesa de Oscar and I do indulge myself on a flan and sometimes two desserts. Not to brag, but I do enjoy and know a little about good vegetarian food, I've been eating mostly vegetarian for nearly 30 years and I'm the founder of

Image for Cass Danger

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It's official. This is by far, my favorite restaurant in all of Puerto Rico. Not only do they serve the largest variety of vegan food (I think it's 100% vegan, but not totally sure), but they are the ONLY place open on Sundays, and the customers there just happen to be the friendliest on earth.

I went here several times while in Puerto Rico and the only items I didn't enjoy were some steamed, wrap things. One was like carrot/zucchini/yuca and the other was like a tortilla w/ beans inside. Other than that, everything was amazing. My favorites were all of the yuca and potato bakes that were sort of hard to identify and now hard to describe, but they were outstanding. They feature some sort of mushy mashed potato mix inside with a hard yuca or potato crust outside (sometimes w/ faux bacon bits sprinkled on) and then fried.

The soy cheese items, like the broccoli and soy cheese lasagna and the potato/plantain/soy cheese bake were phenomenal. I loved that they had a mix of real Puerto Rican food and international food. Oh, and they had the best batida (smoothie) of any place I tried because instead of just omitting the cow's milk like I did at most places, I had the option to have almond milk, and it was so smooth and yummy.

Nearly everyone eating here was Puerto Rican, which was a sign that the food is authentic (it's also not in a touristy area, which could be a reason). And everyone here was noticeably friendlier than other places. I had at least 5 people walk past my table and say "enjoy your meal" (in Spanish). The woman in line behind me happened to be vegan and eat there every day so she showed me what the best items were. Then an older man went to go get me take out dishes when he saw I couldn't finish my food. Then he drove my friend and me home when he saw us walking down the street, but first drove us by another local veg restaurant to show it. Unbelievable.

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