Puerto Rican food is often fried, usually meat of some sort. It’s abundant and easily accessible in restaurants, roadside stands and by the beach. When eating healthy and mostly vegetarian if not vegan, it can be a challenge finding food that is satisfying. I love that the island has an abundance of fresh fruits such as mango, avocado, papaya, coconut, etc. Eating local is the best way to immerse yourself into the culture of where you are.
I stumbled upon this cute vegetarian cafe after a hike in El Yunque rainforest. As you leave the forest you drive through the tiny and adorable town of Palmer. There are several souvenir shops, cafes and a bakery as well as the gateway to the El Yunque rainforest sandwiched in this one block section of the 955 between the 191 and 968. Parking is to the right of the one way street and takes up much of the road. There are some dirt parking lots on the left side of the street for easy access.
The cafe offers a variety of smoothies, acai bowls, vegan wraps, sandwiches and daily specials. Everything is fresh and made to order. Beer is available and they even offer a rum, vodka or gin option to add in your smoothie if you need a nip after a good hike.
It’s a tranquil spot with birds in the trees nearby, people sitting on the shady terrace enjoying their food or playing board games as they wait. There are banana and papaya plants growing on site helping to provide shade. Colorful native flowers and lush green vegetation contribute to the tranquility. Hand painted murals and pictures on the patio and outbuildings contribute to the local color. Ample seating is provided with many outdoor tables and chairs with shade canopies overhead to keep things cool. They make efforts to recycle and use sustainable utensils and cups which I applaud!
I had the vegan wrap which was loaded with veggies. My daughter had the acai bowl topped with bananas, shredded coconut and granola. Both were a perfect way to satisfy our hunger after a gorgeous hike.
Degree 18 Juice bar
16 Cll Principal, Palmer, Río Grande 00721, Puerto Rico