Vaca Brava - Old San Juan

3.6
118 Reviews
$30 and under
Puerto Rican
Vaca Brava is the most famous Puerto Rican steakhouse that spice your experience with farm to table ingredients and the heartfelt jíbaro hospitality. The platters themselves are grandiose odes to local comfort food, chicken wrapped in churrasco, wrapped in bacon and smothered in cheddar cheese. Try it family style or go for it solo with classic dishes like mofongo with carne frita. Kick back with a refreshing flavored mojitos like mango, strawberry and the shockingly good apple. Reserve today!

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Contactless payment available
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
  • Staff temperature check required
  • Diner temperature check required
  • Contact tracing information collected
What 118 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.6based on recent ratings
3.7
food
3.2
service
3.5
ambience
3.6
value
Noise · Moderate
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OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was excellent great time with friends

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Antonio
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Charlie was absolutely fabulous. He made our first time there a memorable time. The food was delicious and the portion sizes are worth the price. Will visit again when in PR.

KG
KristhiaG
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Me super encantó la comida estaba bien bueno el new york steak

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OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
10 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Great food, cooked perfectly. Service was shotty though. Server kept forgetting what we would ask for. Then would come back 15 minutes later like oh yea… but forget again. FroZen drinks came out completely melted.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on August 12, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Nothing extraordinary. Waiter was very busy so did not check on us and it took awhile to get his attention.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2021
Overall1food1service2ambience3

Worst meal of the vacation , sausage dry, chicken bad , salad limp leaves , empanada appetizers no meat inside STAY AWAY !!!

DC
DalmarysC
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Worse place an experience ever. Don't waste your money or time. The food was cold as freezer cold the chicken was burn like black burn. We canceled an order because it never came to the table and we keep asking the waiters and he keep lying. We wait 45min for food. We called the manager to the table she didn't care about tje cold food and the orders not coming. The menu said a price tje change totally different and when I asked why the price are different they didn't know how to answer the question. DO NOT WASTE YOU TIME AND MONEY. I know why the first 2 places close because the administration and the people that work there does not know how to administration and run the place correctly. I do customer service for a living and I have never being in a place that they don't care about the customer satisfaction.

C
Customer
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 22, 2021
Overall3food4service3ambience3

Even with a reservation, service was very slow. Food was good, but the prices were higher then anticipated due to several different taxes.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was delicious beautiful atmosphere and great service. Me and my family enjoyed it

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2021
Overall5food5service3ambience5

Overall not a bad experience. Food was great and so were the drinks but they just took way too long to get to the table. It wasn’t crazy busy yet we didn’t get our food for like 45mins unfortunately.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Atlantic City
2 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2021
Overall3food2service5ambience3

The food came out so salty my girls send her food back, but the steak was good.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Miami
3 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2021
Overall5food4service4ambience5

Great mofongos

IC
IsraelC
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2021
Overall3food4service2ambience4

Good food, slow service (may have been under staff on my visit) good ambient, good drinks

DK
DamianK
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2021
Overall4food5service2ambience3

We had a seven o clock reservation and there was a line just to check in we waited like 20 minutes and the girls takes you inside the door we’re she checks you in and says you have to wait for your table to be ready we go outside for another 20 minutes meanwhile there are empty and clean tables available finally after 45 minutes we get in the food was very good but the service was painfully slow we didn’t get out of there till 9:45 smh

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience2

Our waiter was very nice and pleasant. However that is the only positive thing I can say about the restaurant. Other service, food, and surroundings made it a negative experience

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2021
Overall2food3service1ambience1

Horrible experience through out. We arrived for our reservation approximately 20 minutes early, when we checked in we were told to wait until our reservation time. This would have been fine, however there were plenty of empty tables visible through the window. We get seated at our reservation time and we proceed to sit for 30 minutes before we even get water. We are brought a pitcher of water which is just left on the table with plastic cups. Some water and ice get spilled on the table and that sits for 20 minutes or so before the waiter drops paper towel on the table for us to clean it up. The wet paper towels are never picked up even though our waiter was cleaning the adjoining table. Food was okay, not great, but service was beyond service. The only positive was the young man who brought us our food. He was very pleasant and courteous. Clearly was caring and trying to do a good job, versus everyone else we interacted with at the restaurant.

MG
MGPE
1 review
Dined on July 4, 2021
Overall3food4service2ambience3

Servicio lento. Se reservó la mesa a una hora y cuando llegamos no estaba disponible.

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FR
FREDERICKO
1 review
Dined on June 25, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience2

Food is good, not excellent. The bifongo is so bad!!!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Charlotte
26 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food! We only got one shareable plate and 2 appetizers. Enough food for 5 of us, to good eaters 2 not too much. Food was great!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Dallas
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience3

It was okay. Not the best food or atmosphere we had in Old San Juan, but many restaurants were closed or had a very long wait.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was our first time at Vaca Brava and had a great meal and experience! If you are on Viejo San Juan, this is a must!

SS
SalvatoreS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

The food was amazing. I had the Chuleta Kan kan. Amazing

J
Jaxgirl2015
Jacksonville
16 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Great food.waitress was a little bit slow. Overall great experience. Highly recommend it. You have to try the Chuleta Kan Kan

L
Ligia
1 review
Dined on June 12, 2021
Overall2food1service3ambience1

I was honestly impressed because the sides of the food were flavorless (flavourless beans, greasy mofongo and poor presentation, sagging tostones) the only good thing was the meat "churrasco and kan kan". There were no comfortable chairs, it was difficult to sit for a long time.
I had a good time in Barranquitas twice, but at Recinto Sur we did not enjoy our stay and food.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on June 11, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

The food was not good or seasoned at all, wait time to get drinks was over 30 mins, by the time we ate and finished asked for the check, water was just brought to us. Food took over an hour

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on June 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Birthday and high-school graduation

SM
SuilmarieM
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excelente el mesero con 10 mesas a cargo y total control

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OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience3

The food was absolutely outstanding.

The seating was horrible. We were seated at hard wooden benches with no padding. For what you’re paying, you expect a comfortable seat. My husband asked them to move to one of the seats that had padding and the hostess said it was reserved for other parties (one of those stayed open our entire visit.) If you make reservations, call and make sure you’re getting a comfortable seat. The hostess wasn’t overly motivated to help.

Service was slow, when it came to drinks. There were only 12 tables total (partial capacity), so it shouldn’t have taken 15-20 minutes each time

Also, I had put a note that we were celebrating our anniversary and nothing.

k
vipkennethk
Chicago
50 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2021
Overall1food1service2ambience2

This restaurant was CLOSED!!

TL
vipTiffanyL
Philadelphia
37 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

We literally waited 15 mins to be seated and wait ones another ins for someone to come take our order then they never came back! I asked for a supervisor and he did nothing! We ended up talking out!!!!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on May 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was awesome! The staff were really friendly and answered all our questions, I enjoyed the clothesline, all the meat was very well seasoned and tender, it was awesome, so was the rice, tostones and fries. It was more than enough food for 3 very hungry foodies. Unfortunately we had no room for desert, we had so much meat leftover that we got some rice to go and finished it the following day for lunch after spending the morning at the beach

VM
VictoriaM
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on May 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

La mejor comida de PR y la
Mejor atención los mojitos de coconut los mejores

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OT
OpenTable Diner
Denver
1 review
Dined on May 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is amazing and the portions are insane

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Nashville
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

It wasn’t open.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 16, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Our party of 6 arrived 15 minutes early & hostess was expecting us. Seated a few minutes later (after our reserved table was cleared). Happy we booked on Open Table because there was a large crowd waiting outside in the San Juan heat. Atmosphere was casual & family friendly, with welcoming staff & decent music. Food was mostly very good with large portions - although 'medium rare' steak was less cooked than it would be in the U.S. We would dine again if returning to PR.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
3 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Anniversary

M
Msmelissah
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience4

The food was great, long delays but over all a good experience.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2021
Overall2food3service1ambience2

Open table reservations guaranteed us our seats as reserved. Staff was very nice. Everything I wanted on the menu was unavailable. Service was slow. Our appetizers never came. Waited half hour after asking for the check then I had to step up to waiter to ask her for check, if wasn’t very busy and there were multiple servers. Overall food was good, nice and flashy but expect the best customer experience .. although very friendly .. it was very scatteredz

OT
OpenTable Diner
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on May 7, 2021
Overall3food5service1ambience3

The food was AMAZING!! However, the service not so much. It wasn’t busy at all, but our server had taken forever to even greet us the food and drinks had taken even longer....

OT
OpenTable Diner
Caribbean
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2021
Overall2food1service2ambience4

We ordered the Vaca Acosta. Steak was full of fat so much that it was chewy and not eatable. The mushroom sauce had 2-3 pieces of mushrooms and and it was watery like a soup. We asked for steak sauce to make the meat taste better but they didn’t have any. Our waitress’s service was also slacking. This is our 5th time at the restaurant, all the other times we have always had good service and the food has been amazing. Not sure what happened on this visit.

FAQs

Vaca Brava - Old San Juan offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (787) 723-3700.

Vaca Brava - Old San Juan is rated 3.6 stars by 118 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.