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Puerto Rican Food

Puerto Rican Food And IBS – What To Expect

I’m sure you’ve already heard me say that we’re fortunate because Luquillo has so many incredible restaurant choices.  We are a small town, but we are not small on flavor – that’s for sure. The reason is mainly because of the Luquillo Food Kiosks (Kioskos de Luquillo). If you’re wondering what that is, it’s basically a row of restaurants that range from street food, all the way to expensive steak joints and everything in between. There are nearly 50 restaurants, so there is a huge variety of Puerto Rican food to chose from.

If don’t know what Puerto Rican food is like check out this post on Luquillo’s Amazing Food. In fact, the entire section on Good Eats on that site is worth a read.

Today, however, I want to talk about Puerto Rican Food and IBS. This is an important topic to me because, as you probably know, I have IBS and it is always a challenge for me to eat at new places.

Puerto Rican Food and IBS

Fortunately, Puerto Rican food has been easy on my stomach. Don’t get me wrong, some of the fried stuff, is neither good nor easy for any stomach but, for me, the main thing is to avoid things that are very heavy in fiber and items that contain any type of milk products.

Puerto Rican Food

When we went to Spain, after about a week, I got very, very sick. So sick, in fact, I couldn’t leave the apartment for fear of being away from the bathroom. It lasted for about a week, until I discovered that Spanish cuisine contains milk in nearly EVERYTHING. I am not joking, seriously, we even found milk additives in their sausages.. what?!

I’m happy to report that I have not had any type of problem in Puerto Rico. In fact, my IBS has hardly had any flare ups here and in general, I don’t have a problem going out to eat. I suspect that the main reason for this is that Puerto Rican food is relatively blend (i.e. not overly spicy like in some countries we’ve visited) and it doesn’t contain a lot of cheese (or milk in general).

I also think that the quality of water here in Luquillo, is considerably better than many places we’d traveled to. For example, in Europe, both Spain and Poland, I could only drink bottled water. The couple of times I drank regular water, I got sick. Luquillo gets its water straight from the El Yunque rainforest, so it is of very good quality.

Since Puerto Rican cuisine is rice and root vegetable heavy, I don’t have much trouble digesting it. And therefore, my IBS is under control.

Here are my favorite dishes that are easy on the stomach:

  • Mofongo
  • Coconut rice and fish
  • Any of the Puerto Rican stews, including the rabbit stew (I always ask if there are any milk ingredients).
  • ViandasPuerto Rican root vegetables – yuca, batata, malanga, taro, yautia – yum.
  • Fruits – I love the tropical fruits from our local farmers’ market here in Luquillo!

puerto rican food

What I stay away from:

  • Most of the street food – because it’s all fried and greasy.
  • Beans – oh, my goodness, beans, beans, beans – they are a staple of Puerto Rican food but I just can’t tolerate them. So, I simply chose some other sides.
  • Any quasi-Mexican food – because, here, it is usually drowning in cheese.

All in all, it’s quite easy for me to eat out here in Luquillo because the local food is pretty easy on IBS. Neither the food nor the water are a problem and the fact that Puerto Rican food is heavy on root vegetables is a good thing because I can usually tolerate them. They are easy on my digestive system and I’ve never had a problem.

So, if  you’re worried about traveling to Puerto Rico with IBS, I think you’ll be fine. Just take your usual precautions.



About Joanna

is a Polish American living in Arizona with her husband Tim. She is a founding partner of JTR Tech and she is proud to be a professional geek. She had dreamt of living abroad for many years. So, she and Tim created AbroadDreams.com to document the process of making their dream of moving abroad come true. They spent 2 years in Puerto Rico and several months in Spain and Poland. Now they are exploring the American Southwest.

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  1. Thanks again for great information! Will be moving to PR in June for at least a year. We have looked at many places to move to from Rincon to Fajardo and think we’ll end up in Condado because we will have to get to airport often. We really like Luquillo (love the kiosks!) but didn’t see many options for long-term rentals (would like to be on/near the beach). Do you know of anyone who specializes in long term rentals in the area (we may change our minds from Condado).


    • Hi John, There are LOTS of long-term rentals in Luquillo and if you’re looking for beach living, they are a ton cheaper than Condado. Where are you looking at the rentals? I’d recommend http://www.clasificadosonline.com/ or working with a realtor. Google Playa Azul Realty here in Luquillo. Ask for Enoc and tell him Joanna and Tim sent you. We are renting a property now through him.