Today, I want to share the most popular breakfast foods in Puerto Rico with you. The infographic at the bottom summarizes the quick facts, but I’ll give you a brief introduction to these foods and how they may help you in your future trips or just about daily life.
The most popular breakfast foods in Puerto Rico are sandwiches, bread, fruits, and cereal.
However, the foods with more calories are bread and cereals. They’re very filling and easy to digest. Cereals can also be used as a substitute for rice or pasta when you want to lose weight or slim down.
Bread and cereals are also good choices if you want me to label them as “comfort food.” Starting from childhood, we always eat bread with our meals. That becomes part of the normal routine in many families (especially Puerto Ricans).
What Is The Most Popular Food In Puerto Rico?
In a survey my friend conducted, the most popular food in Puerto Rico is sandwiches.
In another survey I conducted, the most popular food in Puerto Rico is bread.
In a poll I conducted with Facebook, the most popular food in Puerto Rico is sandwiches.
So far, it seems that sandwiches are the most popular food in Puerto Rico. It’s not surprising since this is also one of the most common foods in other countries like the US and Canada.
So if you want to eat like a local, then chances are you will be eating some type of sandwich (whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner).
Best 15 Popular Breakfast Foods In Puerto Rico
Here’s a list of the most popular breakfast foods in Puerto Rico:
#1: Sandwich (Especially Baguette Sandwich)
This is what most Puerto Ricans eat for breakfast, especially for lunch and dinner. Bread is also used as a substitute for rice or pasta when you want to lose weight or slim down.
Sandwiches are usually made from bread (baguette, bread loaf, and baguettes). It’s very easy to make, but it requires skills to carve a perfect one. These are usually stuffed with meat, cheese and/or eggs. The bread is sliced, filled with meat, and topped with cheese before being placed into the oven.
It’s the most popular food in Puerto Rico for breakfast. It’s also one of the easiest snacks to prepare and share without taking much time. That makes it a very convenient food to keep on hand for everyone in your family.
#2: Bread (Basically Any Bread)
Bread is also one of the most popular breakfast foods in Puerto Rico.
It can be baked or fried. You can eat it as rolls, breadsticks or toast. Even though it’s not very nutritious, bread has been given the title of “comfort food” because they always eat bread with their meals in many families.
It’s a very common and inexpensive snack, which makes it convenient to keep on hand for everyone in your family. It’s also a great choice if you want me to label it as “comfort food.”
Cereal is usually made from wheat, oat, rice, corn, or rye.
Most cereals are crunchy, but some are soft and are often considered a healthy food because they have low calories and fat. The top 5 most popular cereals in Puerto Rico are Cheerios, Corn Flakes, Special K, Frosted Flakes, and Rice Krispies.
#4: Pancakes (With Butter And Syrup)
A pancake is a flat cake made from batter. In the US, it’s usually eaten for breakfast with butter and syrup, but in Puerto Rico, it’s also eaten for lunch or dinner with meat and vegetables (like fried chicken).
#5: French Toast
French toast is made by soaking a piece of bread in egg batter and deep-frying it in a pan. It’s usually eaten for breakfast, but it can also be served as snacks or appetizers (usually filled with ham and cheese).
Waffles are basically pancakes that are made from batter instead of flour. There are only a few differences between the two dishes. The top 5 most popular waffles in Puerto Rico are chocolate chip, blueberry, cinnamon sugar, and plain with butter.
#7: Breakfast Burrito
A breakfast burrito is filled with vegetables and meat, but it can also be filled with meat only. It’s usually made from the tortilla, but you can use flour tortillas if you want to make the dish healthier.
The top 5 most popular breakfast burritos in Puerto Rico are ham, beans and cheese, chicken, egg and cheese, and bacon, egg, and cheese.
#8: Eggs (Cooked In Several Different Ways)
Eggs are made from white yolk and a thin membrane. It’s very nutritious, and it’s also considered a healthy food since it has low calories and fat.
There are many ways to prepare eggs. For example, you can boil an egg, scramble it, fry it or poach it. There’re also different types of eggs like quail eggs, duck eggs, and turkey (poultry) eggs. The top 5 most popular egg dishes in Puerto Rico are scrambled, fried, deviled, and boiled eggs with rice.
#9: Cereal Bars
Cereal bars come in different flavors, and they’re considered healthy food. They’re usually made from grains, seeds, nuts, and dried fruits. These are some of the most popular cereal bars in Puerto Rico: Cap’n Crunch, Ready Brek, and Corn Flakes.
Tostones are fried plantains that usually come in slices. They can be served with eggs, beans, and cheese, but they can also be used as a snack or appetizer.
#11: Fried Plantains (Salted)
Fried plantains are made from ripe plantains, which is basically the same thing as a banana. However, they’re considered as a snack too because they’re fried and salted. They’re also great to use as a substitute for french fries or other potato chips (for example, when you want to lose weight).
There’re only two types of fried plantains in Puerto Rico: plain and salted.
#12: Eggs Benedict
Eggs Benedict is a popular breakfast dish in the US, but in Puerto Rico, it’s also considered a breakfast food. In Puerto Rico, it’s served with ham and English muffins. This recipe is from the Pueblo Y Las Maravillas restaurant in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
#13: Bacon, Egg And Cheese Sandwich
This is another popular sandwich for breakfast or for lunch in many countries, including the US. If you want to make this sandwich healthier, you can replace the bacon with turkey bacon or ham.
You can also replace the eggs with egg whites, giving your meal more protein without adding extra calories and fat.
#14: Cereal With Milk And Fruit
Cereal is the main ingredient in this breakfast dish. Therefore, since it’s made from cereal, we can consider it as a healthy breakfast food. However, you can use any other cereal if you want to make it healthier or if you don’t have cereal at home (we will explain this later).
You can use any type of milk, even though cow’s milk is the most common one. The top 5 most popular cereals in Puerto Rico are Breakfast Specialties, including Honey Bunches of Oats, Quaker Oatmeal Squares, and Cheerios.
#15: Peanut Butter With Toast
Peanut butter is made from ground and roasted peanuts. It’s usually eaten on toast with banana or jelly (with or without honey). On the other hand, in Puerto Rico, we also eat it with chocolate and marshmallows.
#16: Greek Yogurt (With Granola)
Greek yogurt is thicker than regular yogurt because it’s strained to remove the whey. This makes it tastier and more nutritious. The top 5 most popular flavors of Greek yogurt in Puerto Rico are blueberry-flavored, cherry-flavored, blackberry-flavored, and strawberry-flavored.
#17: Cherry Frappuccino
The Cherry Frappuccino is a cold beverage that contains coffee, ice, and cherry juice (or syrup). In the US, it’s very popular because of its delicious taste and the fact that it’s low in calories.
In Puerto Rico, many people buy it from Starbucks, but you can also buy a can at your local grocery store.
#18: Egg Whites Omelette
An omelet is a dish made with eggs and vegetables. However, in Puerto Rico, we eat it for breakfast with cheese or ham inside. In this case, we’re using egg whites instead of whole eggs to make the omelet healthier (and save some calories).
#19: Breakfast Burritos (With Bacon And Egg)
There’re only a few differences between a breakfast burrito and a regular burrito, which is usually eaten for dinner. The main difference is that we use ham, bacon, and egg in the breakfast burrito instead of chicken or beef.
#20: Honey Bunches Of Oats Cereal With Milk
This is another healthy breakfast dish because it contains one of the healthiest cereals in the US (Honey Bunches of Oats).
The top 5 most popular honey bunches of oats flavors are honey almond clusters, honey malt clusters, cinnamon bun clusters, and strawberry-flavored.
What Are Some Common Foods In Puerto Rico?
You’ve probably realized that there are many common foods in Puerto Rico by this point. However, as we mentioned before, it doesn’t mean that we eat only these foods. This section is for those who want to discover some of the most common dishes in Puerto Rico.
Sancocho is a traditional soup with chicken and vegetables. We usually eat it on cold days or when we have a cold.
In order to make this dish healthier, you can replace the chicken with fish or use low-fat chicken and reduced-fat milk from cow’s milk (instead of using cream or whole milk). This will give your meal more vitamins and minerals without adding extra calories and fat.
Arroz Con Pollo
Arroz con pollo is a traditional dish in many Latin American countries. It’s a very popular food in Puerto Rico, and it’s usually eaten as a lunch or dinner.
The main ingredients are chicken, tomato paste, rice, and onion. The top 5 most popular arroz con pollo flavors are plain, yellow rice with green beans, yellow rice with corn and black beans, white rice with peas, and white rice with meat sauce.
Mofongo (which means mashing plantains) is made from green plantains that have been fried. They’re mashed with garlic, olive oil, and seasonings, and they’re usually eaten as an appetizer.
Pasteles are a popular food in Puerto Rico. They’re made with cassava plants, pork meat, and yautía (a local vegetable). The pasteles are wrapped in a banana leaf, and it’s boiled in salty water until they’re soft.
You can eat them as an appetizer or serve them with rice and beans. The top 5 most popular pasteles flavors are fried cassava (with pork), baked cassava with cheese and scrambled egg, baked cassava with cilantro and cheese, fried yautía, and fried pork.
Sopa De Roundos
Sopa de roundos is a soup made from rounds of plantains that are boiled in water. These roundos go through blanching, which means they’re left in boiling water for a certain amount of time, and then you serve them.
The top 5 most popular sopa de roundos are mashed banana-flavored, yellow rice (with yautía), green rice with black beans (yellow rice without peas), and red rice with pumpkinseed.
Pastelón is a dish that’s made from plantain and yautía (a local vegetable). The filling includes ground pork meat, onions, carrots, and seasonings.
The top 5 most popular pastelón flavors are yautía-flavored (red), yautía with cheese, shredded beef, shredded chicken, and shredded tuna.
Bacalaitos Con Queso
Bacalaitos con queso is made from codfish fritters dipped in melted cheese. You can eat them for lunch or as an appetizer. You can replace the ground pork with ham or turkey bacon if you want to make this dish healthier.
Puerto Rican Ropa Vieja
Ropa vieja is a classic dish from many Latin American countries. The main ingredients are beef, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and spices.
The ropa vieja comes with rice and vegetables, and it’s usually eaten as a lunch or dinner. The top 5 most popular flavors are red, yellow with peas, and green rice with beans.
Pernil Asado O Roasted Pork
Pernil Asado (roasted pork) is a traditional dish in Puerto Rico that’s usually eaten on Christmas Eve with Arroz con gandules.
The name of the dish comes from the fact that you can roast a pig and cut it at any time of the year, but during Christmas, you should eat this dish. The main ingredients are pork meat, bell peppers, onions, and seasonings.
Arepas are corn tortillas that are fried in vegetable oil. They’re usually eaten for breakfast, but you can also eat them for lunch or dinner.
The top 5 most popular flavors are beef-flavored, chicken-flavored, cheese-flavored, and cheese-flavored with ham and chicken. You can also add a fried egg to your aparepa if you want to make it more healthy.
Langosta (shrimp) is a popular seafood in Puerto Rico, and it has many variations. However, we decided to include it in this section because one of the most common variations of langosta is cachanga.
This recipe is made from octopus (cachanga) and onions, and it’s eaten as an appetizer or as a main dish. The top 5 most popular flavors are seafood-flavored, shrimp-flavored, beef-flavored, cheese-flavored, and chicken-flavored”.
Reyna De Aromas
Reyna de aromas is a traditional dish that’s usually eaten at holiday celebrations. It’s made from beef and pork, and it has cheese, cilantro, onion, tomato, and seasoning. The top 5 most popular flavors of Reyna de aromas are beef-flavored, chicken-flavored, and cheese-flavored with ham.
If you want to make this dish healthier, you can replace the meat with turkey or chicken breast meat.
Sopita is a traditional soup made from green plantains (reina pejiblanco). The main ingredients are pork meat, onions, and seasonings. The sopita is served with rice and beans, or you can serve it with yautía (a local vegetable).
The top 5 most popular flavors of sopita are cheese-flavored, chicken-flavored, cheese-flavored with pork, and cheese-flavored with chicken.
El Pollo is a traditional Puerto Rican dish that’s made from chicken. You can eat it for lunch or dinner. The main ingredients are chicken meat, tomato paste, onions, and seasonings.
The top 5 most popular flavors of el pollo include tomato-flavored (tomato paste), yellow rice (without peas), white rice (without peas), and shredded beef.
Papas bravas are fried potatoes that have a spicy tomato sauce. Of course, you can replace the potatoes with another vegetable and even replace the tomato sauce with another sauce.
The top 5 most popular flavors of papas bravas are cheese-flavored, red rice (without peas), yellow rice (without peas), and pork-flavored.
Elotes is a type of corn on the cob that’s served with seasonings and cilantro. This Puerto Rican dish is actually eaten during Christmas Eve meals in Puerto Rico, which means it’s also known as elotes de gandules or Reina pejiblanco.
The top 5 most popular flavors of elotes include red rice (without peas), yellow rice (without peas), and blue corn.
Arroz Con Dulce De Leche
Arroz con dulce de leche is a traditional Puerto Rican dessert that’s made from sweetened condensed milk. This kind of dessert is known in Spanish as Arroz con Leche or Arroz caldoso, and you can eat it for breakfast with meat that’s fried in oil or eat it as an appetizer.
The top 5 most popular arroz con dulce de leche flavors are cheese-flavored, chicken-flavored, and cheese-flavored with ham.
The Bottom Line
Puerto Rico is an island with many delicious food dishes worth trying. For example, some of the most popular ingredients in Puerto Rican cuisine are beef and pork meat and rice, beans, and plantains. Usually, you can eat these dishes for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
The dishes that we mentioned above were only a few examples because there are many more traditional Puerto Rican foods such as tamales, pasteles, and empanadillas, to name a few.