LivingTravelSalsa at Café Nuyorican in Old San Juan

Salsa at Café Nuyorican in Old San Juan

The bottom line

The quintessential salsa spot in Old San Juan, the Hidden Nuyorican Cafe is the perfect Puerto Rican introduction to the fun and friendly music, atmosphere and culture of Puerto Rico.


  • One of the best places to see great live bands on a regular basis.
  • If there is a cover, it is rarely more than $ 10.


  • You can walk and get lost; Look for the alley on Calle San Francisco.
  • If you don’t like crowds, stay away – on a busy night it can get very crowded.


  • If you had to choose a night to visit, come on Friday at 11pm, when you can catch The Comborican.
  • The word Nuyorican is a mix of New York and Puerto Rico, and refers to the unique culture of New York Puerto Ricans.
  • Also visit Da House, the bohemian music-themed hotel adjacent to the Nuyorican.

Guide Review – Salsa at Cafe Nuyorican in Old San Juan

My first salsa experience on the island was at The Nuyorican Cafe. I remember it well: it was my sister’s wedding and we had all decided to go out for a night in the city. And even though I didn’t know the first thing about salsa, it wasn’t long before I was on the floor moving forward and trying to learn the steps as my patient patient companion guided me through the moment. The music was infectious and flawless, the atmosphere was relaxed and informal, and the place was so crowded that people were pouring out the door.

Years later, it remains the same. The Nuyorican Cafe is still basic, it’s still the real deal, and it’s still one of the most affordable nights in Old San Juan. All bands are quality (styles change daily), and many sell their CDs after their sets. Even pizza is a cozy appetite between dances. And the crowd is still a mix of old and young, rookie salsa players and seasoned pros, united by a desire to hear great beat and express themselves on the dance floor.

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