For Dan’s birthday trip to Puerto Rico, his one wish was to head to Juncos, Puerto Rico for lunch at Bacoa Finca + Fogón! While it was almost an hour away from our hotel and I had never heard of the restaurant, we booked a car and made reservations weeks in advance for a Sunday morning lunch! And good thing I made the reservation, because Bacoa Finca + Fogón is really popular.
For those unfamiliar, like I was, Bacoa Finca + Fogón, or Bacoa for short, is the creation of three Puerto Rican chefs. Bacoa is meant not to be a restaurant, but a “restaurant concept” “focused on sustainable cuisine that honors the local harvest and Puerto Rico’s culinary heritage,” per their website. We were excited. Plus, Dan’s friend who has great taste in food recommended it to us. We had high hopes, despite the hour drive.
On arrival, Bacoa is in the countryside. Hardly anything around the restaurant. We pulled into a long driveway and our driver dropped us off in front of a large lake. Parking was packed, and it was very hot. We promptly checked in at a tent set up at the end of the driveway. We were told we would be called when our table is ready. We passed a few minutes sitting on a bench by the lake.
We were called up to the restaurant about 10 minutes later, which is located in an old house, complete with two floors of seating! It was quite charming. We were getting even more excited for the food and drinks!
We sat on the second floor of Bacoa and, good sign, we immediately noticed that we were the only tourists in sight. The waitress also spoke Spanish to us, another good sign! She kindly switched to English when she realized our Spanish is not good. LOL.
We, of course started with drinks, which were all very, very well made and served in the cutest glassware. We went through several through the meal, so I will just leave these here. I honestly cannot recall what they are, and Bacoa changes it menu frequently so I cannot cross reference. In any case, you’re in good hands.
For food, we started with grilled country bread topped with Puerto Rican jam, Puerto Rican cheese, a spring of lettuce, and salt and pepper. These were honestly great! I could have ordered another round. The perfect way to start a meal.
We also ordered a type of sauce (maybe hummus-esque) that was served with plantains. Also very good. And, the restaurant brought us some homemade pickles with mustard to pair with our food.
For our primary dish, the three of us split skirt steak chimichurri. That may seem surprising, but the dishes at Bacoa are HUGE, and this skirt steak was more than enough for the three of us! On receipt, it was just as large as expected and perfectly cooked rare, per our request!
Our steak came with two huge sides, Puerto Rican rice and red beans. Both were excellent!
Completely stuffed from lunch, we sadly skipped dessert. We left Bacoa very happy and satisfied with our decision to make the trip! The food and drinks were excellent, and we had a very local experience. If you are planning to go, please, please make advance reservations. Bacoa is crazy popular. For example, the restaurant was entirely booked the day we visited.
STEAL OUR TRIP
ON A BUDGET
If you are on a budget or short on time, I would skip the drive out to Bacoa and visit on of my recommended restaurants in San Juan.