Vaca Brava - Old San Juan

3.9
61 Reviews
$30 and under
Puerto Rican

Top Tags:

Casual
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 61 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.9based on recent ratings
4.0
food
3.7
service
3.8
ambience
3.7
value
Noise · Moderate
64% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
OpenTable Diner
Amsterdam
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall3food3service2ambience2

Showed up in time, but did not get a table inside as there is limited space inside due to Covid. The waiters offers to sit outside which was very loud with cars running and left to your own luck. Waiters basically abandon you once they take your order.

R
vipRobert
Orlando
31 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Vaca Brava even though we had a confirmed reservation through Open Table had us wait over thirty minutes due to COVID seating spacing protocol. We were seated outside instead to not have to wait any longer which was fine with us. The food especially the Kan Kan pork chop is very good and reasonably priced. Due to the local government COVID protocol there is no further service after 9pm and guests must all leave the premises by 10pm. Please keep this in mind if visiting.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on April 11, 2021
Overall4food3service5ambience5

Food big portions but nothing to die for! Plates are all shareable.
But the service was OUTSTANDING.
COVID protocols greatly observed.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Miami
1 review
Dined on April 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Overall great experience the ropa vieja was one of the best that I have ever had and that’s coming from a cuban living in miami. Overall great atmosphere and great prices

MA
MichaelA
Miami
1 review
Dined on April 10, 2021
Overall3food4service3ambience3

Dinner was good , however it was really difficult to cut my steak with the plastic utensils.

V
Vero
1 review
Dined on April 10, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

The meats were excellent, not crazy about the drinks or apps.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Las Vegas
3 reviews
Dined on April 9, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

I had a reservation for 8:45pm. I got there at 8:55pm. I wasn’t let inside because they said they were closing. Even though on open table it said I had a grace period of 10 minutes which I was in. Absolutely ridiculous. It would’ve been my first time, but never again.

BL
BarbaraL
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our waiter was awesome and cute, he got us exactly what we ordered

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on April 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Espectacular el lugar, la
Comida y el servicio excelente

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OT
OpenTable Diner
Caribbean
2 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome all together. Will go back but this time will share entrees as servings are big.

IC
ImaniC
1 review
Dined on March 31, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Staff were very impatient and did not pay attention to our requests. We received an attitude when asking questions. Will not be back. Horrible experience.

EG
ErikaG
1 review
Dined on March 31, 2021
Overall5food4service3ambience3

Our waitress was very sweet and able to manage the busy crowd. I wish I knew her name, she was very helpful. The manager was also very friendly.

AK
AndyK
Minneapolis
2 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Great service and food but REALLY slow.

ST
STEPHANIEB
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was great!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Pittsburgh
2 reviews
Dined on March 26, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Nothing special about this place as far as ambience or service or value - but my daughters Mahi Mahi was absolutely delicious so would return for that .

RR
RitaR
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Horrible customer service. Food was amazing but they need better help with customer service

M
Manana
Des Moines
1 review
Dined on March 13, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Service as very good, our waiter was helpful and attentive.
Food was a 3 out of 5.
I asked for the Mahi Mahi and plantain crust and was very dry. The plantain "shell" was super hard to cut.
My friend asked for 'Aranitas' and they were like rocks! you couldn't eat them at all. A bad experience for a first timer in Puerto Rican cuisine. Although the waiter was kind enough and brought a different side dish.
Ginger Mojito was good.
It is right on the touristic spot close to cruises dock.
Overall, good but not great. Better places for traditional food.

LR
LuisR
1 review
Dined on March 13, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

The food was really good with the exception of the chicken and the churrasco that was over cook.
The ambient is very nice and the service was excellent!!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2021
Overall5food5service3ambience5

Good place good food

AS
AshlimS
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service and food. Waiting time was minimum since I did the reservation online.

Y
Yahatzee
1 review
Dined on February 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Todo organizado, la mesa estaba lista para la hora reservada, la comida exquisita y el mesero fue muy atento.

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OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Orange County
7 reviews
Dined on February 25, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

The skirt steak so tender you can cut with a fork everything is tasty would definitely eat there again.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2021
Overall3food4service2ambience3

The food was great, but the service was horrible which made the overall experience not so great.

JM
JesielyM
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2021
Overall4food3service4ambience5

The only complain I have is the food. The food arrived almost cold, as if it was ready long time ago. Great quality, the mojitos are great. I recommend this place. The best thing you can do is reserve the table on time so you wouldn't be waiting outside.

ET
vipEddieT
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2021
Overall1food3service1ambience1

I will never return neither will I ever recommend for anyone. I had terrible service and received so sort of customer service to remedy the situation.

I had my reservation and waited over an hour to receive my food. I had to find a server because no one came to my table to take my order or even to bring water.
Meanwhile, other people that arrived after me had placed their orders and received their food.
I would’ve left but I was already compromised after wasting so much time. I couldn’t go anywhere else and get food before the curfew.

The manager of the venue was by my table the entire time. He could’ve served a better purpose by taking orders because I’m not sure what managing he was doing.

C
Cindy
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 18, 2021
Overall2food1service2ambience3

I would not recommend this restaurant. The service staff was courteous but very slow. The food was bland and lukewarm. The side salad consisted of dry lettuce and two slices of unripe tomatoes. We were three and none of us liked anything there.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2021
Overall1food1service2ambience2

We had reservations and after we were seated we had to call for someone to come to our table . It took almost 15-20 minutes before someone even came to our table . My veggies were bland and almost looked like microwave steam bagged veggies. It was not worth the money or time. I wouldn’t go back

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2021
Overall2food1service2ambience4

Todo estaba súper bien pero la comida demasiada fría el trifongo y Mofongo lleno de aceite sin gusto pondrían mejorar ya que soy cliente que me gusta comer en el mismo lugar con Fam y Reuniones y otras ovaciones no a tenido problema con la comida ni el service.
El Servicio no fue el mejor podrían mejorar y la Comida fue pésima

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OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The food was amazing, definitely worth the travel. Pricing wise they are fare & I loved there house hot sauce . Old San Juan is where it’s at with food. Coming from NYC it was great. Just wish they had more comfortable seating.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2021
Overall3food3service2ambience4

It was good but not what i was expecting there was many missing items

JL
JennieL
Houston
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2021
Overall2food1service3ambience1

Food was okay. Nothing special. Drinks were good and the venue was nice. DONT expect a nice dinner.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food

j
vipjoses
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience3

Good food and generous portions.

J
Jenna
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2021
Overall2food2service1ambience1

Skip this place. So many good authentic restaurants in Old San Juan. The ribs were great but everything else was subpar. The drinks were watered down and the service wasn’t that good.

DG
DavidG
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, drinks and service! I always make sure to stop in here every time I visit the island. The portions are huge which I love. The mojitos are awesome!

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Staff was friendly and helpful. We went to celebrate a birthday and it was perfect.

SS
StuartS
Kent
1 review
Dined on March 5, 2020
Overall2food1service2ambience1

Very uninterested hostess.
Slow drink service.
Pork Kan kan ordered. Came out cold and chewy. Fries cold. Sent back. Second time it had just been refried. Pork was hotter but do tough it was inedible. New hotter fries added to cold ones underneath. No ambience. Old restaurant was better. Such a shame as we used to love this place. There are definitely better restaurants in San Juan

SS
ShabasaS
1 review
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was great- if only two of you it’s better to get individual meals as you are served a lot of food

KE
vipKEAG
New Orleans
51 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicioso!

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OT
OpenTable Diner
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Horrible. Host was rude. We never did see a waitress or waiter and ended up leaving. Very loud and not a pleasant experience. When you go to a restaurant to eat and can’t get served, that’s a problem.

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 3.9 stars by 61 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.