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“Throw Some Shapes”
Review of Nuyorican Cafe

Nuyorican Cafe
Ranked #2 of 46 Nightlife in San Juan
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Best Music Venue in San Juan!!! Music Theater Poetry Ambiance, Salsa, Latin Jazz, Folklore, Hip Hop.
Norfolk, VA
Level Contributor
62 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Throw Some Shapes”
Reviewed July 15, 2013

We went on a Sunday, there was live salsa-esque music from about 10 PM. Fantastic evening, not a pretentious crowd, no-one batted an eyelid and my atrocious dancing.

Visited July 2013
Thank TripMember05062015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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182 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
62 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“No Old San Juan trip is complete without a visit”
Reviewed May 27, 2013

This standby is pretty much the pulse of Old San Juan, and it really should not be missed. While it isn't open on every day of the week, you should be able to catch some live salsa music and dancing on any weekend. Things get started a little late, because there may some standup comedy prior to the music. Could be funny, but if you don't speak Spanish, probably pretty pointless. But get in here at midnight and get dancing. Then you can say you really experienced Old San Juan!

Visited April 2013
2 Thank rwckennedy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
159 reviews
89 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 171 helpful votes
Reviewed May 26, 2013

I came here for some late night music and dancing 3 nights in a row. There's a $5 cover, cash only. The kitchen is open late, drinks are cheap and strong. There's a live salsa band every night that gets started around 11 pm. It doesn't matter if you've never salsa danced before, just get out there and move! This place is packed with mostly locals of all ages, and quite a few asked me to dance. Everyone is very friendly. Great vibe and energy here. Note- the band takes a LONG intermission, but they play CD's of Spanish music during the break. The party goes on until at least 3 am. You will definitely have fun here.

Visited February 2013
6 Thank thejetsettergirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“My favorite place in Old San Juan”
Reviewed May 21, 2013

Nuyorican Café is my favorite spot in Old San Juan. If you want to hear great live salsa music you should definitely check this place out. Nuyorican Café has a great vibe, the bartenders are cool, and the drinks are reasonably priced. It gets really crowded on the weekends so it can be difficult to dance at times (ie. be prepared to have people in your personal space). If you really want to dance and have space to move ask someone to dance during the band's breaks (or go during the week when it is slightly less crowded). The party usually starts around 11. Bring a little cash...usually $5 cover.

Visited May 2013
1 Thank blackbruin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denmark, South Carolina
Level Contributor
237 reviews
71 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
“The best fun in Old San Juan!”
Reviewed May 13, 2013

Nuyorican Café

It’s 1:15 AM in the morning and I just walked back from the Nuyorican Café. I was there since about 7:00 PM. I paid the six dollar cover. For the opening entertainment there was an improvisational/comedy group. Then after 10:00 PM a good live salsa band played. I wanted to hear a live salsa band. It was the second night of my two week trip to Puerto Rico for the first time. As a Senior Solo Traveler I ventured out very early one evening while in Old San Juan staying at Posada San Francisco. I went there during the third week in April on a Thursday night. I was told the Nuyorican Café was just up Calle San Francisco a couple of blocks then turn left down the side street, “You can’t miss it!”. I couldn't find the place. Finding the entrance on the side street was challenging. The place is located on an obscure alley. I missed the tiny sign-I never did see any sign even after it opened. No signs or anything. After circling the block I started asking questions. It was confirmed. The place was the 3rd shuttered window down the alley from the corner of Da House hotel. I staked out the place to be sure of the address. There was not any action. The door was not open.
I got there way too early. I was sure I had the right address. At this point I was determined to hang in there and wait until something happened. I was there for the duration whenever things got started. Finally. The door opens. It was the doorman who parks a stool on the stoop. I started to talk to him and he is informative and congenial. He had a friend hanging out with him, and the three of us chatted for over a half hour. I was told that the salsa band, the house band, El Comborican, would come on around 11:00 PM. I asked him if I could step inside. There was no one there at 8:00 PM. I checked it out. No one but staff. I went back outside. Continued to talk with the friendly doorman and his friend. They said there was a local improvisational/comedy group that would perform on stage before the live salsa band. The three of us chatted for another half hour. I took a break from them and smoked across the alley leaning on the wall watching the scene. About ten minutes after the comedy group took the stage the doorman said, “They’re on. You won’t want to miss them”. I paid the $6.00 cover charge and entered, sat at a table in the back, and was in for a surprise. I don’t speak a word of Spanish (This was all in Spanish). Within minutes I was gut laughing. Stayed for the entire presentation. Then I took a smoke break outside watching people showing up for the live salsa band and dancing. I witnessed the doorman greeting people, answering their questions, collecting the cover charge, and inviting them in. Once the band started the local regular dancers also showed up and got the dancing started. I had been studying this beautiful local woman for a while who was sitting a little more than arm’s length. I noticed she was still sitting watching the dancers. I was itching to give it a go at least once. I asked her and we managed to squeeze in. We danced. I had a good time trying to Salsa with this fine lady in this mixed crowd of locals and tourists of all ages with a wide range of dancing abilities. It was easy to detect the real Salsa dancers. I am an old school veteran of Philly dance steps (American Bandstand early days). It was electric with so much energy I was buzzing and I'm not a Salsa dancer. I gave it my best.
The house band, El Comborican, was great. Beautiful women were all over the place all decked out. This place has plenty of energy full of friendly people out to have a good time where tourists and locals blend together. I would not call this just a tourist club for half of the crowd was made up of locals.
Live salsa music is played starting Wednesday through the weekend. Music generally starts after 10:00 pm, they’re located about 2-3 blocks from the Taxi stands, and it’s an easy walk after a night of dancing and drinking. Check out their Facebook page for the latest happenings, or their website, but they don't update it very often while they usually post what's happening on their Facebook page (on the day of). If I ever get to go again I will show up later and stay much longer. This is an incredibly lively, thoroughly entertaining night spot full of friendly people having lots of fun. Listening to the live salsa band while watching the dancers on the tiny, packed dance floor is a one of a kind experience. When I was there everyone was having a great time, but I had the best of all.

Visited April 2013
5 Thank BigBoyWorldDada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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