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Vaca Brava

$$ - $$$
Steakhouse, Caribbean, Latin, Puerto Rican
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253 Recinto Sur | Old San Juan, San Juan 00901, Puerto Rico
11:00 - 22:00
Open now
See all hours
Sun - Wed 11:00 - 22:00
Thu - Sat 11:00 - 23:00
More Info
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377 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 300: English reviews
Level Contributor
3 reviews
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

We were looking for some authentic Puerto Rican cuisine while exploring this amazing city and Vaca Brava came highly recommended by some fellow passengers we met while touring. We were told to expect authentic cuisine and ambiance. What we found was poor service exorbitant prices and rude management. We placed our drink and appetizer orders with a young man who... More 

Thank william h
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
44 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

My wife found this place through a recommendation on Bon Apatite and I have no idea how it found itself there. This is an over-priced, low quality, establishment and if it isn't a chain then it sure feels like one. It seemed like locals (or Puerto Rican tourists) were happy to bring their families there and the large portions may... More 

Thank CJThom79
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Had delicious food at this location. Would eat here again. The ribs just fell off of the bone and the chicken was great. The steak was good, could have been seasoned a little better, but still tasty.

Thank Lecherie S
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

From the outside it looks a lot better then the inside. The service was awesome and everyone was friendly. I ordered the skirt steak and my friend ordered the hamburger & fries. The skirt was not at all what I was expecting was mostly fat and hard to cut & eat. The side of plantains was average at best. The... More 

Thank Thomas W
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Level Contributor
31 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Great place for meat lovers! I had the Carne Ahumada de Cerdo (Smoked Puerto Rican Pork) with Rice and Beans. The pork was very fatty, but very tasty. The rice and beans were fantastic! I'd give my meal three stars, at best, but I'm giving the review an overall four stars because my wife's meal was one of the best... More 

Thank Waffie67
Oklahoma City
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Our food was really good and the two for one mojitos were the best we have ever had. Carlos, our server, was very professional and helped us choose our menu items, skirt steak and steak mofongo. We've tried mofongo at several places in San Juan and this was superior! We highly recommend Vaca Brava!

Thank OKCtraveler_12
Ellsworth, Maine
Level Contributor
26 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 December 2016 via mobile

I've been raving about this place since we got home. My wife and I went on a excursion here from the Carnival Magic. The atmosphere and food were amazing. The chef who thought us how to make the mofongo dish was awesome. We will definitely be visiting this place on our return trip. It's a long trip from Maine but... More 

Thank gcaron43
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Level Contributor
88 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 December 2016

I always hesitated in dining at Vaca Brava and well it happened. This is a “Viking style eatery”, servings are huge. I ordered what was supposed to be skirt steak, instead I was given a huge cut of flap steak. Very undercooked and something about the taste did not convince me. I had the manager come over and she repeatedly... More 

Thank Elias C
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
31 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 December 2016

Dined together as a large group in a private room. Service was lacking as there did not appear to be systems in place or training for handling large groups. Lots of confusion, and food was mediocre. The mofongo was AWFUL, tasted rancid. There is a large quantity of food which can be good if you arrive super hungry, but can... More 

Thank Kimberly H
Metro Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
3 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 November 2016

So there are a lot of things that make up a good dining experience, La Vaca Brava has them ALL: good food, good atmosphere, good employees, good location, and good pricing. I often go there for happy hour to enjoy the mofongo dinner plate (very taste) with the "Mojitos" (served in a chilled classy glass). I recommend this place highly.... More 

Thank fernandoquinones67

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Average prices
USD 12 - USD 60
Steakhouse, Caribbean, Latin, Puerto Rican
Lunch, Dinner, After-hours
Restaurant features
Television, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Highchairs Available, Full Bar, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Digital Payments, Free Wifi
Good for
Child-friendly, Bar Scene, Kids, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Groups
Open Hours
11:00 - 22:00
11:00 - 22:00
11:00 - 22:00
11:00 - 22:00
11:00 - 23:00
11:00 - 23:00
11:00 - 23:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 253 Recinto Sur | Old San Juan, San Juan 00901, Puerto Rico
  • Location: Caribbean  >  Puerto Rico  >  San Juan
  • Phone Number: 17877233700
Vaca Brava is a restaurant run with love and dedication.
In the you can savor a delicious Puerto Rican and totally creative food. Our extensive menu is divided into two parts ; To Eat Solito or eat together . In this Second we have a variety of dish where they can eat more than one person in some dishes consume up to 5 people. Among those dishes is La Vaca Acosta where you can participate in a Challenge that if you eat it you just pay you $ 100.00 .

Among the dishes to eat you recommend the Churrasco accompanied by delicious mofongo . Although our specialty is Beef , we also offer chicken, pork, and seafood sins .

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Vaca Brava and other visitors
1 question
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10 months ago

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Questions? Get answers from Vaca Brava staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?