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. 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.
It is a tasty and interesting place. The live music gets people dancing and singing, and everyone is eating and drinking. The area is really like a multi-mile long block party. Children play in the streams and forests behind the restaurants. Older people hang out and talk, eat and dance. Young adults just drive up and down this congested area, just scoping out, looking for people they know.
The road up is just lined with lechoneras. Everyone you ask will have their favorite place. Some people like the first ones you come to on the road – easy in / easy out, and delicious! But you can keep going up and up. The road eventually tees at Road 763. Turn right and then you will start getting into the serious lechoneras. Here is where the street party is – tons of people, bands and food! My way of finding the best place is to look for the crowded ones – then you know you have found the best!